Here's a funny little piece by Robert Benchley, from his 1936 collection My Ten Years in a Quandary, and How They Grew:
A friend of mine who calls himself a dachshund is furious over an article he has just read in a scientific paper purporting to give the essential qualities of a good dachshund. He finds himself libelled by implication.
"I think I could sue," said my friend. "This man here has said, in effect, that I am not a real dachshund."
"I wouldn't sue," I advised, cautiously. "In the first place, you would have to show that you had been damaged by the publication of the article. Your standing in this household is just the same as it was before the article was written. We won't go into just what your standing is, but it remains unchanged at any rate.
"Furthermore," I added, sagely, "the magazine, pushed to the wall, might dig up a lot of ugly stories which you might not relish having told in court. You are not immaculate, you know. Remember that Seelyham named 'Arthur.'"
"That was just wrestling in fun," my friend said. "I meant him no harm."
"Just the same," I warned, "it wouldn't look very well in the tabloids. And, anyway, the case wouldn't come up for a year or so, and even then it would drag on, with appeals and reappeals, until you were flat broke. I couldn't do very much to help you out with the costs, you know."
This rather sobered him up, I thought. He had evidently been more or less counting on me to back him in this crack-brained suit of his.
"Listen to this!" he said, trying to swing me into his own irrational state of mind. He spread the paper out on the floor with his paw and adjusted his spectacles. (He wears them only for very fine print.)
I am afraid that this account is getting to sound just a mite whimsical, what with dogs wearing spectacles and talking like people. My only excuse is that it is an actual stenographic account of a conversation and is designed only to show the futility of libel suits.
"Listen to this," he said (we will leave out the spectacles this time): "'The special work of a dachshund is to enter a badger hole and hold the attention of the animal until it can be dug out.'
"I never saw a badger," he said, without looking up from the paper, "much less try to hold its attention. How do you hold a badger's attention, anyway?"
"I shouldn't think that it would be very hard," I said. "You could make faces, or just say 'Look, badger!' I don't imagine that a badger's mind wanders easily, once the badger has caught sight of something."
"That is beside the point, anyway," he said, crossly. "The point is that I do not go into badger-holes myself. Does that, or does it not, imply that I am not a real dachshund?"
"You are too touchy," I said. "There must be plenty of real dachshunds in this country who don't go near a badger-hole from one year's end to the other. No jury in the world would count that as a personal slur on you."
"Very well, then -- here is another crack: 'The hind legs should be strong and capable, and viewed from behind must go down straight and by no means show the turning in at the heel known as cow-hocks. This is very common and very bad.' Why doesn't he mention my name and be done with it? Why doesn't he come right out and say Friedel Immerman is not a genuine dachshund?"
"Could you prove in a court of law that you are a genuine dachshund?" I asked, trying not to be brutal about it.
He turned in disgust and walked away without deigning a reply. As he disappeared through the door I distinctly saw the "turning in at the heel known as cow-hocks. Very common and very bad."
It probably is just as well that he dropped the suit.