2018 the Year of the Dog? Of course it is!

February 16, 2018

Come this Friday, we start an entire year that is about ME. If last year was the year of the Donald, this one is the Year of the Dog.

And I have 1.8 billion Chinese people almost entirely focussed on me and my extraordinary qualities, to which they all aspire, according to The Boss. While it might seem, at first blush, that so many people hold me in awe and admiration, if The Donald has taught me one thing, it is that one should assume this is the natural order or things.

The Boss tells me the dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac and is the symbol for loyalty and honesty. This shouldn't surprise you. People born in the Year of the Dog have a shot at acquiring the finest of human qualities - qualities that my friends and I possess in abundance: apart from being loyal and honest, we are faithful, friendly, straightforward, smart, venerable and have a deep sense of responsibility.

No point going into weaknesses when one has so many strengths.

So the Chinese get very excited about having siblings and relatives being born in this year - and they also covet their dogs. 

I figure they are collecting this lot together to go to a New year party, right?

I mean, ever since The Boss mentioned it I have been reflecting on what special treats might be in store for me. A bone a day - for a year? A regular lunchtime biscuit? Or some more meaningful changes, like, with the season opening coming up, The Boss swimming out to get the ducks and bringing them back to ME. That would be worth watching.

Perhaps I let my thinking wander, because The Boss tells me they may not be going to a party after all. Well, not the sort of New Year's Eve party we imagine.

The Boss says he once saw a Chinese restaurant inviting customers to bring in their dogs and they would cook them! The eldest Young Boss sent him this picture from western China a few years back.

Well, it could just be a dog-minding centre, couldn't it? I mean, who would ever eat a dog? Then again, this dog looks remarkably like the Golden Leave-it-There, and no-one would be sorry if they ate him. Least of all me. He's the one who has bad dreams, wakes up suddenly and takes a piece out of me as if I'm about to murder him. 

But it's not just the Chinese, The Boss insists. When he was in Vietnam a few years back, a taxi driver told him that blokes scouting for edible dogs ride around on motorbikes, holding a long stick with a fish-hook in the end of it. They try and snare any likely hound in the corner of the mouth and make off with him. Lovely.

Then he showed me this shot of a Vietnamese "food delivery."

This is enough to turn your stomach. Even mine, and mine will put up with a lot.

So, I've decided that, while I feel compelled to make a fuss about the Year of the Dog, I will do that right here, in my own patch, along the Goulburn River - and keep an eye out for suspicious motorbike riders.

But no need to think about this picture when Chinese New Year starts tomorrow - just think of ME. It's my Year, after all. Woof!

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