I guess by now, many of you would have seen that crazy news report about how a foreign couple in Singapore is offering their ‘Panda Chowchows’ for rent.
Seriously, this is a new low in exploiting animals. Let’s not even discuss the obvious point about how these dogs are being subjected to dyes (though the owners insist are safe). They would be especially harmful / uncomfortable around the eyes, I’d imagine.
The big issue here is this: Chowchows are naturally aggressive dogs. They are NOT lap dogs who lap up attention. They were bred to be guard dogs.
As my family and friends know, I have a 2-year-old chowchow named Optimus (obviously, a name chosen by my son Ayden ?). Optimus looks like a lion (above) before grooming, and a bear (below) after grooming.
I think Optimus (and all his fellow chowchow pals) are cute enough in their natural state. This is why I really don’t understand why this couple feel the need to turn their already adorable dogs into pandas.
I am also shocked that they are charging a fee for people to take photos with their pets. Can we even call them that? Or are they simply their investments?
I am proud to say that my chowchow Optimus is well socialized and very friendly with adults, kids and dogs alike. We have signed him up as a volunteer for pet therapy with a local shelter which works with the elderly and kids, because we know he is gentle and good with strangers.
But that took 2 years of very, VERY dogged training. Chowchows are meant to be guard dogs and don’t take well to strangers usually. This is a fact. Look it up in any dog encyclopedia.
Despite being very experienced with dogs, I was recently bitten in the face by another chowchow, through no fault of my own. She was happily licking me as I petted and massaged her but she was also very territorial. She intended to bite another dog that wanted some of my attention but unfortunately, she accidentally caught my face instead. It required 11 stitches and cost me $7k (and counting) in plastic surgery fees.
I know another chowchow who bit a stranger while out on a walk. This stranger insisted on touching him although his owner warned her not to — and that led to a vicious bite and landed the poor owner with a lawsuit.
Those panda chows may look cute — as all chowchows do — but they are animals, not soft toys. They may be traumatized and terrified when handled by inexperienced strangers, though their owners and the oblivious customers may not be able to spot the signs.
I hope they have a Plan B (or good insurance coverage, or just very, very deep pockets) should those cute Panda Chow puppies suddenly turn aggressive and attack their paying customers. I can imagine the medical bills may be astronomical.
I wrote the above on the husband’s and the Panda Chow’s Facebook pages, and implored them to rethink their business plan.
“Please, for the sake of both the dogs and the humans’ safety, think twice. You may think you know your dogs well, and that they enjoy attention etc. You don’t. None of us do since we are not them. But as responsible dog owners, the one thing we know, and should enforce, is to keep our pets safe and free from harm. Their adoring fans may be causing them more harm than good.”
And guess what? My comment was almost instantly deleted from the Panda Chowchow’s FB page. Ahahaha! I guess my little tale is not good for business, eh?
Never mind, my Optimus is friendly and free for everyone to pet, as long as you promise not to call him a panda. But if you’d like to donate some $$ to your favourite dog shelter as ‘payment’, I’m sure that will be much appreciated by the shelters ??.
Actually, can all owners of cute and friendly dogs unite and offer our dogs for free petting and pics? Chowchows, cocker spaniels, Singapore Specials… All friendly and pet-able animals are welcome to join our alliance, regardless of breed, colour and nationality (and race, language and religion)!! Let’s put these Panda Chows’ owners out of business!
Meanwhile, here’s a shameless avalanche of videos and photos of my Optimus who is forever adorable to us even though he doesn’t look like a panda.
If you can’t get enough of Optimus, feel free to follow me on Instagram @stellar_comms_consult.
Seriously, my dog is awesome!