No today I won’t be writing about the general well-being of animals but about what my crazy Chinese mother-in-law things is best for them. Her thoughts about this topic are rather different than what the average person has in mind when it comes to taking care of animals. Besides you might still remember that she is not the best when it comes to identifying animals.
You all probably heard and read all kind of horror stories about the sad life many animals have to suffer in China. In case you haven’t thus far you just need to do a quick google search and you shall be horrified. In a country where many people just buy a new pet once a while because the old one died due to wrong care or even wrong living conditions (yes, there are people who throw a tortoise into an aquarium filled with water) it is no wonder that people might develop strange ideas about the perfect care for their pets. Dear MIL is such a case…
She has currently two dogs and I say currently as there are in between always all kind of animals she wants to take care of. Those poor little dogs, one Pomerian and one Poodle, are living the majority of their time in a cage which measures around 1m X 0.5m X 0.5m. In this cage they can’t even stretch or get some real rest. Everytime my wife is telling her mother to let them out or at least get a much bigger cage (our little bunnies even have a cage multiple times bigger than the dogs) she just blocks it or tells my wife that the dogs just feel like her stucked in the tiny 55sqm apartment, yeah right. When MIL was for the first time in Finland she was shocked about the people taking their dogs out three times a day no matter the weather conditions as she used to do that more like once every full moon. This thankfully changed due to the pressure of my wife and she takes those poor animals twice a day out for a little walk.
Another thing she she is doing could be actually a good thing if done properly. She takes care of the stray cats and dogs in the area. She brings them food, water and on rare occasions gets even some cats neutered. However the food is not exactly what you would serve your pet. Sure she does have some special cat and dog food which she sometimes gives them but the majority of the food are the leftovers from the restaurant. What dog doesn’t enjoy the occasional Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 or leftover meat from a Hotpot which more often than not sends a poor tourist running towards the nearest toilet as the stomach cannot take it. This kind of mindset she brought also to Finland and Germany where she told us with some little proud how she feeds those poor ducks in the lake. Most people might feed ducks some old dry bread which itself is already not good for their stomachs but MIL goes 10 levels beyond that. Once again she collects the leftovers from her cooking, let it soak up all kind of stuff a couple of days placed in a plastic bag hanging in the sun and theeen brings it to the ducks. By now I wonder just how many animals she might have already killed through this feeding style. She is also always wondering how wild animals can survive in the nature when there are not people feedings them, she does not believe that animals are rather good in surviving without her food.
Remember that I mentioned that she has currently just two dogs? In between she brings home a wide variety of animals from more common things like birds over turtles to tadpoles. Needless to say none of those creatures ever had a long life with her. So what motivates her for such behaviour or lets say why she keeps on doing this? One thing are the news shared on social media in China. She actually believes whatever is written there so when there is a story that water is very bad for bunnies and that you should cut their teeth with scissors (true story…) she believes it and tries to convince us to do the same. Another point is that she believes that animals need a lot of cuddling, taking a walk with a dog is not really necessary as long as the dog is cuddled enough. She also has a good way of telling when a dog is happy! No it is not the wagging tail but it is the tongue! When she was in Finland she was not only shocked to see people taking their pets so often out for a walk but also how unhappy they were. Why unhappy? Because the tongue wasn’t hanging out like her dogs have all the time. I think we know why dogs have their tongues out during hot days but MIL is not convinced of that science and calls it just a rumour.
The thing is I could go on and on and on but I need to stop myself before writing an entire book about this topic. Last but not least I have to add that she wanted to catch in Germany some jellyfish from the ocean when we were at Flensburg and settle them in one of my fresh water tanks.
P.S. all these pictures are from my wife’s old laptop, some of MIL’s pictures are so shocking (makeup gone wrong) that I can’t even allow them to be shown online!
Do you have pets or are involved in programs to help animals in need?
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