Top

Pet Pals

Pet Pals
Highlights

Asia is relatively new to petownership and so its easy to claim that pretty much anything furry is a puppy skunks, raccoons, capybaras, giant...

Asia is relatively new to pet-ownership and so it's easy to claim that pretty much anything furry is a puppy – skunks, raccoons, capybaras, giant tarantulas, wigs, floor mops, mouldy meat and certain types of deciduous shrubs.

A news report is circulating at the moment about a family in China's Yunnan province whose "puppy" grew up to be a 115-kilo bear. But regular readers of this column will know that this happens regularly in that country, and I would be more surprised by a headline which said: "Puppy Sold As Puppy In China Actually Was One."

While waiting for my daughter's thing to slaughter my family, I checked my email to find a dog-related news story sent in by a reader. A householder left his dog to guard his home when he went out. A burglar broke in and the dog simply followed the man around, wagging his tail. The whole thing was captured on a security video, which quickly went viral on the Internet.

This didn't surprise me at all. This columnist has an old dog who barks ferociously at family members but gives strangers a friendly licking.

A vet once told me that a dog's brain was the size of a walnut, but that's an insult to walnuts. You read about some dogs being able to smell things on other planets, but mine can't find a chunk of meat she's sitting on.

It was a good thing that the burglar incident happened in the United States. Housebreakers who enter homes in China to be jumped on by bottom-wagging grizzly bears with names like Rover and Buddy may find it an unpleasant surprise.

Some Chinese zoos exploit this unfamiliarity. In 2013, a zoo in the People's Park of Luohe, Henan province, displayed a suspiciously small creature in the enclosure labelled "African Lion". When visitors approached, it started barking – revealing itself to be a dog with its fur trimmed to look like a mane.

The zoo's leopard was a fox and its wolf a mongrel. Is your dog a bear? To know for sure, just listen to it. Bears, like married men, communicate entirely by grunting. Dogs bark - but having travelled a lot, this writer knows that they sound different depending on where you come from.

Indonesians say hounds go: "guk-guk". In Hindi, it's "bow-bow", in Sinhala "buh-buh" and in Thai "hong-hong". Americans hear dog sounds as "woof-woof". I think I would give the prize for accuracy to the Chinese, who claim dogs say, "Houh! Houh!" and the least accurate to the British, who hear hounds going: "Bow-wow".

Meanwhile, my daughter's temporary dog-like thing spent the evening trying to gnaw on a large bone. Unfortunately, it did not seem to realise that my left tibia was still in regular use. Tonight this writer may have to replace it with a cunningly selected deciduous shrub.

Show Full Article
Print Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
Subscribed Failed...
Subscribed Successfully...
More Stories


Top