Stray dogs and Taipei go hand in hand like pigeons and London’s Trafalgar Square or wildebeest and the Serengeti, but this is freaking ridiculous. This is just down the street from where I live, in Taipei City, not some rural village or small town mind you. I see these mutts all the time, but somehow they’ve banded together to form quite a pack. I’m not sure, but I think there’re 10 dogs, and all of them black, which is common in Taiwan.* Needless to say, dodging dog crap, whether whole piles or just smeared by passing cars, has long ago become a daily occurrence when walking the streets near my home, or at my company for that matter. However, I don’t know if our situation is worse than New Taipei City (formerly Taipei County). The proliferation of strays has to do with several reasons – irresponsible dog owners who abandon their pets, city dog-catchers who aren’t doing their jobs well, and the casual tolerance of many Taiwanese. A lot of people here think dogs are cute and don’t mind stray dogs too much. One might be forgiven for thinking of cattle in India, who roam city streets because they’re revered and thus, can’t be killed or driven away. For instance, I’ve seen dog food being strewn on street corners for stray dogs. But lord, I wish people would heighten their sense of civic pride and general cleanliness.
*I had a dog when I was in Trinidad who was all black, and his name was indeed Black Dog (黑夠) because this was unique.