Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Suddenly, all the Dogs are Dead

One of the fascinating things about institutional Authority on the Beautiful Island is the way it feels it can appropriate the property of others without their permission, since it is Institutional Authority and they are Little People. Authority regards all those not in Authority as serfs...

Our neighborhood experienced a very sad example of this disturbing sense of power when I looked around today and realized that our neighbor's dogs had disappeared. A large local charity has taken over many of the houses in the neighborhood and feels, since some of the houses belong to it, that the neighborhood belongs to it. And like all institutions, everything is presentation, not content, so the neighborhood had to be "cleaned up" because otherwise Life might intrude on the difficult business of presenting the best face possible.

Our neighborhood is in a spot that locals feel is very isolated and so we constantly have dogs dumped here. Some are ignored and soon vanish. Some of them have been adopted into the neighborhood as sort of neighborhood strays that everyone feeds, while others have been formally adopted, named, and collared by specific families. Nevertheless, the charity called the disposal people and had all the dogs on the street swept up -- including the collared dogs who cannot legally be taken (another disturbing aspect of the implicit Authority of Large Institutions is that they are frequently able to give orders to overrule the law, which has no normative force in local culture, and they are frequently able to give orders in areas where they have no formal authority). Females first, they said, as the charity was afraid they might have pups. As a result, a large number of local dogs have disappeared, including several very nice dogs that I loved. That was bad enough.

What was worse, however, was that the charity, wanting to have the dogs killed (and this is a Buddhist charity) slyly didn't inform the people around us who had lost their dogs so that they could go claim their animals back from the dog pound. Our neighbors searched for several days, until one of them had the bright idea of asking the representatives of the local charity if they knew where the dogs were. But by then, the seven day period had passed....

My neighbor says her heart aches. So does mine. And now I live in fear that when we're away someday, the charity will have my three dogs disposed of.... "but the door got open and the dogs got out. Sorry! We didn't know they were yours...can't imagine how that door got open..."

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Which charity Michael? 大爱?

Michael Turton said...

I forgot. :)

Michael Turton said...

vvv you are right, but I can't post that here.

Michael

Anonymous said...

that is the most horrible thing I've heard...I wouldn't have thought something like this is possible in Taiwan.

Chip your dogs, michael.

Prince Roy said...

Michael,

Are you at liberty to name the Buddhist charity? If not, email me.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be a well-known charity that is building a large medical facility in the area by any chance?

Anonymous said...

Really battlepanda? You haven't noticed how animals, especially dogs, are terribly mistreated on a routine basis in Taiwan?

Michael Turton said...

PR, you're right, but I'm not posting any names here.

Michael

Anonymous said...

That's unfortunate. At the university across the street in Taipei County they have dogs that live on campus and are fed by students and departments, etc. Some are so nice. But when the number of dogs builds up too high there's apparently a 'sweep' and they all disappear. I suppose the uni has no choice..... But what happened to you guys thanks to the local "charity" group is really despicable......
TPEDawg

andres said...

dogs tend to "disappear" more often during the winter... yes, some folks in taiwan do eat dog, especially during the winter because they believe it warms them up