SPECIAL NOTE: READ MY personal response to the article about why people in Hong Kong hate dogs, ahahahaha! Enjoy my response at the end of this article. Steve, USA, August 16, 2018 stephenehling@hotmail,com weChat 1962816801
Why few dogs in Hong Kong have their day, even as China is changing
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 August, 2018,
The story, “Golden retriever proves woman’s best friend” (August 14), in your China Digest was heart-warming. What a contrast to the policy in Hong Kong. No pet dog would be allowed to board an ambulance here, let alone wait faithfully inside the hospital while the owner was being treated.
Unwelcoming “no dogs allowed” signs are everywhere in this dog-unfriendly city. Of course, owners who don’t clean up after their pets need to be brought to book, for which the use of QR codes in eastern China with a demerit point system sounds like just the ticket, both brilliant and workable.
Owning a dog is a wonderful experience, they truly do give total love and devotion, asking nothing in return. Many of those who oppose people keeping dogs do so from their own personal fear or prejudice. They have to understand that it is selfish to deprive anyone of the freedom to choose to enjoy dog companionship.
How can children ever learn to appreciate dogs or have compassion for animals if they are prevented from ever encountering and learning about them? Empathy seems to be in short supply in our money-driven society. We prohibit dogs almost everywhere, despising their right to exist. Does lack of empathy towards animals eventually lead to lack of empathy towards each other?
And here is my response to this article in South China Morning Post…August 17, 2018
Why few dogs in Hong Kong? I spent 7 years in China as a visiting professor. Within the last year or two, SHARING ECONOMY IS BOOMING AND FLOURISHING IN CHINA. Some in Shenzhen started renting cats to people for any length of time. I see more and more Senior Citizens (in USA we do not use Old People!) are investing in small dogs as companions because more and more Adult Children are forgetting Filial Piety to their aging parents, many feel unwanted, neglected and forgotten by their adult children. Dogs are more than pets to these Senior Citizens in China…like the Americans, dogs are taking the place of their children! So maybe Hong Kongers are getting younger through modern medicine and they continue to live fruitful lives with or without their adult children. Maybe Filial Piety is never a Chinese tradition on this island. Maybe crowded apartments have no room for animals. With urbanization across mainland China, more and more people are living in cages, to me and yet animals, especially small dogs, are everywhere in mainland today because we have neglected our parents and they are now showering their love for their dogs. In Japan, they use modern technology to solve this LONELINESS PROBLEM for the elderly and those without adult children…they have created robots to talk to Senior Citizens and many seem to enjoy the company, the voice of robots in their lives…as they continue to age gracefully in Japan! Lest we forget, some senior citizens in countries like South Korea, Japan and Singapore, feeling isolated, unwanted, hopeless, helpless and abandoned by the society and grown up adult children are ending their lives by committing suicide. I hope people in Hong Kong will NEVER grow old!
Stephen Ling, author