16 January 2019
John Tsang (left) and Regina Ip seem set for a tough fight in the upcoming chief executive election. Photos: HKEJ, CNSA
John Tsang (left) and Regina Ip seem set for a tough fight in the upcoming chief executive election. Photos: HKEJ, CNSA

Major upset throws the 2017 SAR People’s Dog Show into confusion

One thing you learn as a dog owner is that dogs acutely like being obedient; the longer you live with your dog, the more you learn that they not only like to obey but have an enormous capacity to anticipate what you want them to do.

All you, the dog owner, need to do is offer minor encouragement in the form of a scratch behind the ears or maybe a quick tummy rub. They just love it, almost as much they fear incurring your displeasure.

And my, oh my, when you have more than one dog they vie for attention most shamelessly and have no compunction when it comes to jostling for proximity to the dog owner.

These reflections, as you will have guessed, are prompted by the new levels of farce being scaled in the race to become Hong Kong’s next chief executive.

This farce, which seems obscure, becomes more understandable seen through the prism of the 2017 SAR People’s Dog Show.

This dog show, as every patriotic dog owner knows, has quite distinct Chinese characteristics and although it is usually very well organized before it takes place, there can be hiccoughs.

Readers may recall, for example, what happened in 2012 when the kennel housing the Lap Dog called Henry suddenly sprung an enormous leak and poor old Henry went missing.

This year there’s been an even bigger upset because the judges suddenly told the big dog that was set to get the Best in Show Prize that he no longer qualified.

That dog, as everyone knows, goes by the name of CY Rottweiler.

It looked pretty certain that he would win because there is no doubt that he can bark louder than the other dogs and when it comes to yapping and snapping at the ankles of those nasty people who his master does not like, he has demonstrated just what he can do.

Yet somehow his winning ways at barking and the like seem to upset some of the people he has bitten.

In truth there are quite a lot of them but, hey ho, and here we need to reach for a cliché: “It’s a dog eat dog world.”

But wait, it’s not as if the dogs in the show are no longer supposed to bark.

Indeed, who would have thought that the normally passive poodle with the adorable mustache would have learned to bark so loud?

But bark he did because John Poodle is really desperate to gain the master’s affection, as there is a big and juicy bone about to be handed out.

Someone must have told little Johnny dog that being just the nice Poodle was not going to be enough if he really wanted to come out on top in the show.

So this week John Poodle not only barked but snapped at some very nasty people.

But it’s still not absolutely clear whether he will win the coveted Best in Show Prize because still in contention is that annoying hound who’s been sniffing around for literally years.

She’s a thoroughbred Pug called Regina, who has tried to snatch this bone many times before and on this occasion thinks that she too needs to be out and about barking.

But she’s confused because she tried barking before and had been planning on doing a whole lot more licking and making nice this time around but her owner appears to have told her that the time for licking has well passed.

Most owners are not that keen on seeing their dogs fighting but this particular owner, who comes from a northern climb, seems not too bothered about a bit of biting and bloodletting.

After all, this sort of thing is pretty commonplace where he comes from and he is really looking for a big strong dog that can protect him from all those nasty folk who are threatening … well, whatever it is that they are threatening.

So the dogfight has now drawn blood and it’s not a pretty sight because the Rottweiler has been left licking his wounds and the Poodle is trying to act tough, although it just doesn’t suit him.

Plus both the Poodle and the Pug are now worried that other fighting dogs will suddenly be able to enter the contest.

The problem facing all the competitor dogs is that while they really want to be obedient they are not exactly certain what their owner wants from them.

Surely the time has come for the master to make his intentions clear but, apparently, even among masters there are disagreements so this further complicates matters.

However, clarity should emerge as a big dog show has been scheduled for 26th March, forcing the dogs to step up their grooming activities.

The dog show judges are being selected right now and you would not believe how keen they are to perform this task.

Most of them wait until the Chief Judge has made his preference clear and then enthusiastically endorse that choice.

Of course, they deny that this is how things work but no one takes these denials seriously.

The dog show is also slightly complicated because not all the judges are quite so compliant.

Some of them insist on making up their own minds. However, they are reminded that the National People’s Dog Show Standing Committee is not only the body that makes the rules but has sole jurisdiction over how those rules are interpreted.

Frankly, this makes life a lot easier because were it otherwise people would be forced to think for themselves and we all know where that sort of thing leads.

As we say in doggie competition circles: May the best dog win!

N.b. Any resemblance to dogs living or dead implied by the above is purely coincidental and resides solely in the minds of readers.

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Hong Kong-based journalist, broadcaster and book author

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