Meet the Panda Dog

Gbooza Nigeria/Flickr

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The Chinese have surpassed us as the world’s biggest auto market, bested us at the renewable energy game, and are years ahead of us on high-speed rail technology.

Now they’ve beaten us to the “Panda Dog.”

There’s a new fad among Chinese pet owners that involves taking your domesticated canine to a grooming salon and having it washed, trimmed, and dyed to resemble an exotic animal. Think fluffy chow-chows as baby pandas and golden retrievers as mini-cheetahs or micro-tigers.

Photos currently making the rounds on the blogosphere include images from a dog pageant in China’s Henan Province. The dogs on display look confused and not particularly ecstatic.

This follows a rising trend in China that encourages extreme pampering of house pets, according to the Daily Mail:

Recent figures show money spent on pets across the nation has seen nearly a 500 per cent increase between 1999 and 2008—but, arguably, at the cost of their pets’ dignity. Quite what the animals might think about it is another matter.

Since Americans can potentially be fined hundreds of dollars for just coloring their dog’s feet pink, this seems, at least for now, to be a strictly Chinese market. Lucky them?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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