Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Chinese Dogs are Shy

Every time Sue and I took our early morning walks around the little town of Reedley, California, dogs fences barked and howled and frothed at the mouth, pawing at the wood or chain link fences, ready to attack; one little poor excuse of a dog did chase us down, nipping at Sue's heels--even as the owner watched and smiled.

But dogs aren't so vicious here in China--at least in Xiamen. Some bark and howl, but it lacks the vicious undertone--perhaps because Chinese dogs know their place. Unlike arrogant, American dogs, Chinese dogs know they could just as easily end up in the kitchen as in the SPCA (Click Here for Canine Cuisine).

In America we say it is "raining cats and dogs," but not in China, because dogs would hit the woks long before they hit the ground. A Hakka man told me that during the war with Japan, Chinese soldiers so craved their potatoes 'n puppies that they'd sell their sleeping bags or tent for a feast of canine cuisine. (Probably sold their pup tents).

Chinese often ask why I came to China and I often reply, "Because Chinese food is too expensive in America." And I do delight in having, daily, great Chinese food that doesn't cost and arm and a leg (though the Taiwan headhunters 100 years ago might have charged that). And I've eaten almost everything imaginable, it seems, including Xiamen people's favorite--jellyfish and seaworms. Chinese eat anything edible, and if it isn't edible, they ingest in anyway and call it medicine. But I've never eaten dog, and never will. My sons Shannon and Matt have. They've even ordered it (poor guys have been here too long). But I draw the line at dogs--and cats too.

But let it be known back in Reedley, California, that the next time my wife and I go for a walk, I'm taking a wok and cleaver with me. There's a first time for everything, and pit bull might be just fine as barbeque pit bull.

Enjoy Amoy!
Dr. Bill

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