|A Dog’s Life 狗的一生|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/05/14 17:59 视听英语Ladder AI杂志|
Compared to just a few decades ago, now is a good time to be a dog in China. With bans on pet ownership gone, and eating habits changing, puppies today
The result has been a huge increase in dog ownership around the country. For young people, especially in the larger cities, dogs have become a must-have fashion accessory, while older people are turning to dogs for companionship.“He’s like a child to me,”says one Beijing pensioner of the tiny dog she carries with her at all times.“I’d be very lonely without him.”
Over 130,000 dogs have been registered in Beijing, but police estimate the total number of dogs kept as pets in the capital is closer to 650,000. The flipside is that dog bites have also reached record numbers, with tens of thousands of incidents reported annually in major cities.
For these animal owners, no expense is too great, and the pet supply business is booming. Pet stores in Beijing sell fashion outfits for dogs and bottles of pet perfume that cost up to $110. Feasting on imported dog food, some dogs eat better than many people. And for those dogs that overdo it, spas in Shenzhen cater to overweight dogs and offer special training programs to help them slim down.
But this new love of pets hasn’t kept all dogs from winding up on the menu. Animal rights groups estimate that over a million dogs a year are eaten in China. But they hope that, as more people keep dogs as pets, fewer people will be interested in having them as a meal.
“I used to be scared of animals, but now I find that they bring me much happiness,”said one pet owner.“People sometimes make you angry, but pets never do.”