Ruffin’ it.

This blog will be about the dog situation in China. (The titles clever, right? ;D You’re welcome)

Yes. The rumours are true. People eat dog in China. However, it’s not mass-produced and served on the street or at every local restaurant (that includes cats as well!). There are places you can go where they serve you dog meat, but they are rare…particularly in Hohhot. Actually, eating dog is much more of a Korean cuisine, and while the odd Chinese person will indulge, they tend to prefer pork and lamb over canine. Would I try dog if it was offered to me? Well, that depends. Like any meat, I would make the decision based on where I was and how it was served. If it was on a stick off some guys truck..then no. But say, for instance, I was at a restaurant with friends in Korea, or if I happened to be at a friends house for dinner and they just so happened to be serving it as one of the courses…then yes. It would be extremely rude to turn it down in that case. I’m in China and I vowed not to enter this experience with the word “NO” routed in my mind. It’s not bad or wrong, it’s just different. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying and deciding whether or not it’s for you. That’s part of the experience!! So yes, I would probably sample some tasty dog if the chance ever comes up. However, I was very thankful to find out that dog is not as common in China as KD is in Canada.

In fact, from what I’ve seen, many of the locals love keeping dogs as pets. You wouldn’t believe it at first, considering all of the loose dogs that wander Hohhot’s underbelly. But these dogs actually do belong to people, they just live outside. I have a feeling that they are kept inside at night…but that’s just a feeling. I don’t blame people for leaving them outside 24/7: every dog I’ve seen is filthy. People tend to avoid wandering dogs out of fear…fear that they might jump up on them and spread the filth. This arrangement appears to be fine to the dogs, who avoid the random people right back. Awesome. It does, however, concern me that they aren’t leashed and are left to scamp about on their own; if I risk getting hit by cars everyday, what chance does a mutt the size of my shoe have? A lot of chance, apparently. I have yet to see one squashed dog on the side of the road. I’ve even seen a dog dodge traffic like I do, and the drivers seem to treat dogs like any other person or car: just another obstacle to swerve… like in Mario Kart. And none of these dogs appear to be thin or bony. Quite the contrary, most of the dogs seem to be chubby and well fed. And I have to take into account that when a dog is happily jaunting down the street, its possible that its owner is one of the people passing by and just hasn’t put a leash on the fella. Things that make you go hmm….

Also, I was surprised about the breeds of dog here. I thought that I would see a lot of shitzu’s (like mine at home!) and Chow-Chows…but none. I haven’t seen any. I’ve seen a lot of pugs, pomeranians, chinese foos, shar-pei’s, corgi’s, chins, and poodles (many of these are crossbreeds and mutts). Occasionally I see bigger dogs like retrievers and german shepherds, and the bigger ones are always on leashes. I saw a puppy the other day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost died it was so cute. I played with it for 5 minutes and considered stealing it…but Tamlyn wouldn’t be too impressed if I brought a puppy home. And lets face it, no way could I take care of a dog while I’m here. Too busy! I barely remember to water the plants in our apartment. To be fair, they were here when I arrived so I never asked for the responsibility! But I digress…

The dog situation and attitude here is pretty straight forward: Dogs are allowed to wander aimlessly and leashless, shat wherever they want, stay outside all day, eat scraps from restaurant garbages, and never take baths. To us at home, thats inhumane and uncivilized. But I’m sure to dogs in China, it’s like going on permanent vacation.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lois Christianson
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 23:44:45

    Hi Steph
    I am once again up to date on your blogs. I find them so interesting and educational.
    I take it you are coming back to Canada shortly for your Visa. Will you be going to Thunder Bay? To-day its 37 C here and with the humity its closer to 45. My window air conditioner doesn’t quite cut it.
    You seem to be enjoying your experiences which is wonderful.
    I hope to get to Keewatin on the long week-end in August. for a few days.
    The boys have finished soccer and now are taking swimming lessons, in a pool, not like you kids did in the lake.
    Its always good to hear from you.
    Take care
    Love Auntyxxxxoooo

    Reply

  2. Blaine Copland
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 05:09:55

    If the right circumstances present themselves chow down on the Chow-Chow. I’ve had horse meat and it’s good. What about rat? I saw a special about rat restaurants in some Asian country but I can’t remember what one. We used to eat squirrel when I was a kid. And, really, when you think about it, they are just rats with fluffy tails.

    Reply

  3. maryanne
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 05:38:12

    don’t eat the road kill

    Reply

  4. My-Tien
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 11:49:43

    Kim & Lam will be impressed with your openness to foreign cuisine.

    Reply

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