Day 4 - Who let the dogs out?
Today was our fourth day in Beijing and we got to finally see the Great Wall of China! As we spend more and more time in Beijing I am starting to notice the lack of animals, more specifically, dogs. I didn’t see a dog at all in Beijing the first day or so but since then I have begun to see small dogs on the streets. I was wondering why there seemed to be such a low dog population. One explanation could be is that dogs can be expensive and many people to not have the disposable income to support and care for a dog/pet. Another possible reason is that the culture itself is focused on dogs or pet ownership unlike in America where a common phrase is “dogs are man’s best friend”. One final explanation for the low dog population is that here in China people eat dog. I hope this isn’t the case. Even though I have begun to see more dogs in the city they are all small dogs, like Chihuahuas or other small mutts.
Another thing I have noticed around the city related to animals is that they are often not taken very good care off. As a dog lover it is hard to see a lonely dog wandering the street or a dog tied to a chain lying in dirt by itself. Also these dogs are not as well trained as their American counterparts. We were advice not to try to approach or pet them, which is also hard for me. Many of the dogs are poorly groomed and have shaggy, dirty, nappy coats. There doesn’t seem to be a leash law in Beijing which makes it difficult to identify a domestic pet with a stray on the street. One positive thing I have noticed is that there seems to be no dogs dressed up in clothes, an annoying hobby of American dog owners. Also I have yet to see any dogs being carried around in purses or designer dog bags.