Certain news stories crop up over and over. A young bearded Belgian guy cycling around the world has reached the Tsimshatsui waterfront. The Japanese have invented a human-looking robot that polishes salarymen’s golf clubs. Some unhinged loser in the US has walked into a public place and shot a load of innocent bystanders. This week’s Indonesian ferry disaster was off [insert name of island].
In Hong Kong, someone has had it up to here with barking, defecating animals, decided to do something about it, and the local anthropomorphic community is now weeping as if over deceased children. For some reason, this story – normally a South China Morning Post standby on a slow day – appears in China Daily. Maybe the propagandists want to take our minds off the embarrassing juxtaposition of a democratic Presidential election in the US and the secret rituals ushering in a new leadership in Beijing. (It is the SCMP that goes all arcane-Mainland on us, solemnly reporting that “General Liu Yuan, the political commissar of the People’s Liberation Army’s General Logistics Department, has failed to retain his membership of the presidium of the Communist Party’s national congress.” What can we say? Poor old General Liu.)
The ‘silent serial-killer’ action takes place on Lamma, and the victims are dispatched with the herbicide paraquat. One of the bereaved comments: “Maybe it is someone who doesn’t like … the mess [dogs] leave.” But maybe that’s what the perpetrator wants you to think. Maybe he is really one of the millions who adore dog shit smeared all over the place. Another, who doesn’t seem to get the hint, has lost three canines. One supporter of the rights of dogs to rule over men reluctantly concedes that the beasts can be a ‘nuisance’ and “roam free and … make a mess everywhere and run across people’s vegetables, ruining their produce,” but blames irresponsible owners.
Let’s do an experiment. Take one of these irresponsible owners and feed him enough paraquat to kill him. Then stand back and see if the dog continues to bark, go poo-poo and wreck people’s property. If, as I suspect, it does, the ‘blame the owner’ theory can be laid to rest. It is the dog that is the problem. This is what dogs are and it is what they do.
Humans do not walk around leaving excrement and urine on the sidewalk. They do not frighten small children. They do not make sharp, repetitive, ear-splitting noises in the apartment just above yours at all hours. So why has someone brought a life form that does do these things into our midst? Dog owners who insist on living among non-dog-owners are imposing upon everyone else. Humans do not have a duty to accommodate the noise and mess. Most people suffer in silence, but eventually someone will snap. They have a right to defend their vegetables, not to mention their sanity. The answer is: either dog owners should live well apart from quiet and clean society (or organize an all-doggy condo), or do as the rest of us do and get by without a furry, yappy pack animal leaping excitedly around all the time and being one of the family.
I am sure Bowen Road residents are demanding extra police patrols as we speak.
Come back Lau Nai-keung, all is forgiven – yes, that is a tasteful skull and crossbones China Daily have put its eye…