Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dress your doggy

Picture from China.org.cn

Those of you who live here, or have visited Chinese cities, have probably noticed the ‘small dog trend’ amongst people in their 50ties +. The reason seems very obvious: their only child has just moved out and the house is empty, so they get themselves a small fella to fill the empty space.

A Chinese friend of mine was once dating a girl whose mom was a widow. The daughter had also moved out, so to fill the emptiness she got herself a small dog. She and the dog became like peas and carrots, and when the dog eventually passed away, the owner mourned it as if it was her husband. She devoted a separate room of her flat to the dog, where she kept an urn with the dog’s ashes, plus a table full of pictures of the dog, and all of the dog’s toys. Later, the mom was asked to relocate to something less expensive, however, first she wanted to consult the ashes of her dog, and because the dog wasn’t ready to leave yet, she stayed in the flat.

A kind of sad story, I know, but really, the small-dog-fever is almost over the top in cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Suzhou. If it would end there, then fine, but it doesn’t. People here love to dress their dogs in everything from PJs to small dog shoes, or red diapers?! Or, shaving their fur during summer. This actually isn’t a dog trend only. Even cats get shaved in Shanghai during summer. It really looks awful.

Picture from China.org.cn

Lately it has also become trendy amongst younger people to have dogs, and here the girls are the worse criminals; dressing their pups in hello Kitty dresses and tight t-shirts. Another obvious dog trend? Carrying your dog. (Just like carrying your child). Everywhere.

However, I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. As long as they keep the dogs from the dinner table I am happy. Although I wish that some people treated their dogs a bit better. Dressing them up I can take but there’s a lot of hitting and slapping going on on the dog walking streets. That I can’t take.

Dog dress shop in Suzhou.

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