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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Battle Hymn of the Chinese Pet Pooch

A lot of foreign pooches I meet wonder how Chinese pooches have such doting owners. They wonder about the dynamics of these relationships that produce owners who are attentive, adoring, and even willing to sweep up every bit of shed fur. Often, these foreign pooches wonder whether they will be able to have such owners too. Well, I can tell you that anyone can be a Chinese pooch, if you are able to enforce some basic rules. Here are some of the things my owner is required to do:
  • produce 1 pair of new Adidas track shoes for me to chew every month
  • not complain about the chewed up Adidas track shoes
  • appear on that thing called a laptop every night when travelling, to skype me
  • spend the weekend and every weekday with within 2 metres of my presence
  • cook exquisite meals with liver/beef/salmon/mutton/duck with green vegetables
  • buy me a toy every month
  • bring me their socks immediately upon entering the house
  • let me use them as couches
  • greet me the moment they come home
  • open their mouths wide every time they greet me so I can smell whatever they have been eating
  • let me smell their crotches
  • provide expensive plants for me to murder at will

I’m using the term “Chinese pooch” loosely. What I mean by this term is me, Milo. I just like the idea that I represent an entire population of pooches because I have the best owner in the world. Just take “Chinese pooches” as “pooches who act like I do.” I also use the term “foreign pooches” loosely. It just refers to “pooches who don’t act like I do, because they grew up somewhere else, so are less likely to know how to act like I do without these specific instructions.”

When foreign pooches think they have their owners under control, they have no idea what control really means. For example, my foreign pooch friend who thinks he is rather strict with his owner (who lives in the apartment next door) requires that they feed him twice a day. They must also walk him once a day. My response: Are you kidding me?! This is what I require from my owner:
  • Feed me whenever I whine
  • Feed me WHATEVER they are eating, be it stalks of celery, carrots or pistachios
  • Break the speed limit on highways to come home and feed me on time
  • During walks, find a large field and let me off the leash so that I can drink from dirty puddles of water and disappear into the undergrowth

Foreign pooches are extremely obsessed with the notion of “obedience.” In my own small-scale study, a comparison of my 1 foreign pooch friend and 1 Chinese pooch friend, 100% of the foreign pooches said obeying their owners was paramount. By contrast, 0% of the Chinese pooches had even heard of obedience school. Instead, the Chinese pooch friend argued that obedience was completely unnecessary to a healthy relationship between owner and pooch.

When I told a foreign pooch friend that I only obeyed my owner if I felt like it, she looked really upset, her tail went right between her legs and she gave off a smell I can only describe as distressed. She actually had to leave the big field we were in to go home and mope. Poor poochie!

What Chinese pooches understand is that for any relationship to succeed, the owner must be putty in our paws. Sometimes, it seems like clinginess, insecurity, and neediness to foreign pooches, but it is actually good for Chinese owners’ psyches. A disobedient pooch is a pooch who cares. You see, Chinese pooches are disobedient but they also do not expect complete obedience from their owners. I am willing to do things that many foreign pooches find uncomfortable, such as howl and whine like Pavarotti, let my tongue hang out slavishly, grovel, paw, lick my owner's feet, smell her crotch and roll on my back in absolute bliss when getting my tummy scratched. But all this is for my owner's confidence; it shows that she means the world to a loyal poochie. She is an all-important owner capable of provoking doggy passions.

Chinese pooches can order their owners to pay attention to them. Foreign pooches can only hope that their charming qualities, patience and understanding will instill such devotion. They have to tip-toe around their owners like good and obedient pooches.

Foreign pooches care too much about respecting their owners' territory. By contrast, Chinese pooches believe that the best way to nurture a relationship is by intruding into every aspect of an owner's life, because without this, the owner would feel unloved.

Ok! I know this is bad... but I couldn't help myself! And my apologies to Ms Christine Tan for having borrowed so many of the words in her well-written satire here.


Anonymous said...

Hi Milo, my name is human Mom lives with ME in the USA...however, I think I must have been a Chinese Pooch in a previous life. I'm certainly close to being one in this the way what's an obedience school? I've been trying to yank her right arm out of the socket ever since I was a puppy (when on a leash)...I sometimes poop on the floor (she picks it up and puts it in the toilet, rarely says anything), when she takes me out I act like I'm nervous and scared so she takes me back's a dogs life but somebody has to live it...why not me! Have a Happy Chinese Pooch day Milo...I'm going to have one too!

petunialee said...

Theanne - Hi Baron, a very merry Chinese Pooch Day to both of us!

Blur Ting said...

Haha, this is so cool! Rusty is definitely a Chinese pooch!

petunialee said...

Ting - Heh! Dear old Rusty!!

Malar said...

This is really funny!
Milo is really having wonderful life!

petunialee said...

Malar - Yeah, he's a big hassle. But he's worth it!!

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

now i get the joke. ahehehehe.....