Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Anyone who's lived in or been to Taiwan recently could confirm the glaring prevalence of stray dogs roaming around. This is a problem that's persisted for over 15 years or more. It's one of the things that I noticed during my first trip to Taiwan as a high school student. At first glance these beasts seem wild, untamed, and diseased. Naturally, passersbys, unaware of the origin of these ghastly creatures, would likely approach them with trepidation, or just turn and run the other way. Take another look and you'll see the lackluster coats, downtrodden postures, and limp tails of these poor, sick dogs. And you'll see that they are probably more scared of humans than anything else and more deserving of pity than apprehension. Most of these dogs are the product of abandonment, hasty decisions and a lack of committment (sounds like excuses for failed marriages!) on the part of dog owners. It is a well known occurence that anyone living in Taiwan can confirm. It really is a sad, troubling sight to see these limping ghosts of a dog, limping along on three good legs, dragging along a useless long injured fourth leg, or worse yet, dogs with only three legs, dogs sprawled on the side of a road, on a sidewalk, dogs wandering about into the middle of a busy road- but amazingly I've never seen one hit or run over. Despite the manic driving habits of the motorists (cars, scooter, motorcyles, bicyclists, etc.) in Taiwan, they do manage circumvent a lot of collisions.

As a result, it's common to see many mongrels and strange looking crossbreeds. Even more oddly, is that by a large, many of these dogs look like a cross between a dachshund and an Irish settler, German shepard, Labrador retriever- you name it. The long, extended body and disproportionately short legs characteristic of dachshunds are unmistakable. It's quite freaky to see various breeds of dogs with the physique of a dachshund. Very freaky because I haven't see many dachsunds running about in Taiwan. Or is there something more sinister going on that I haven't thought of? Like some madman deliriously crossbreading dachsunds with every other possible breed of dog...

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