With its “E-mail From Shanghai: Return of the Bourgeois Dogs,” TIME magazine points out one of thousands of examples that China today is nothing like it was 30 or 40 years ago — many people own pet dogs, animals that were outlawed and slaughtered by Chairman Mao’s Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. The fact that many Shanghainese own dogs (if that’s what you choose to call these tiny creatures) is nothing new, and thanks to Taco Bell, Paris Hilton and — we’d like to think, at least — Triumph, little yippy pooches are all the rage the world over now. Hell, even future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens has one — although he’s not entirely sure why. “I guess it’s trendy to have little dogs like this,” Clemens said earlier this month at baseball’s All-Star game.
But TIME‘s story did tell us a few things we didn’t know (largely because we decided a long time ago that Shanghai, with very few patches of grass open to any of Earth’s creatures, would be a miserable city to be a dog … a normal sized dog, anyway):
- Annual dog licenses cost RMB 2,000 ($240) in downtown Shanghai. Price is half that in outlying areas.
- More than 100,000 licensed dogs reside in Shanghai. And sources close to Shanghaiist say the government routinely rounds up unlicensed dogs and kills them.
- Shanghai is home to at least one Saint Bernard.
- Shanghai has pet salons that guarantee dogs “relaxing and comfortable fengshui.”
- There is a law in Shanghai that bans dogs from walking the streets during daylight hours — can this be possible? — but it doesn’t matter much anyway because many dog owners carry their precious pooches under their arm or sit them in the basket attached to their bicycle.
- You can buy a Welsh Corgi in Shanghai for $1,800.
Only, $1,800? Then this Louis Vuitton dog carrier (pictured) would be a perfect match. It’s only $1,400. And, indeed, it looks like a really nice bag … for me to poop on!
Getting a pet in Shanghai (ShanghaiExpat.com)
Expat organization finds pets home (Shanghai Daily)
Puppy love (CityWeekend.com.cn)