NPR’s Scott Simon took up the subject of dogs today — specifically, those two tsunami survivors we first showed you four days ago. (Here they are again, above.)
They were caught on camera by Fuji TV in Mito, Japan — the brown and white dog seemingly guarding over the apparently unconscious other one, and placing its paw on the other’s head when it finally stirs.
The heart-wrenching images quickly spread around the world on YouTube, and the lack of any confirmed reports on what became of the dogs left many wondering, and trolling the Internet for information.
Simon reports, as others have — based primarily on a Facebook posting by Kenn Sakurai, the president of a dog food company, who has been among the volunteers –that both dogs were rescued and are in a veterinary clinic in the Ibaraki Prefecture.
Simon’s interpretation of the scene, like most, was: “The dog was sticking by his friend, and asking for help.”
It was similar to what he saw with humans, he says, while covering Hurricane Katrina: “…It seemed that the commonest reason people who stayed through the storm gave for refusing to evacuate was, ‘I couldn’t leave my pet.’
Simon goes on to say: “Among the thousands of volunteers who have been mining the rubble of the earthquake are Japanese Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, who look and listen for dogs and cats among the ruins. To those who might find such relief work frivolous when so many people are hungry and homeless, Animal Rescue and Support says, ‘helping the pets in Japan is to help people. All of us who are animal lovers can relate to what it would feel like to be reunited with a pet after a disaster.'”
While dogs go homeless in Japan, Simon notes, it’s business as usual in China, where Tibetan mastiffs continue to bring in huge bucks. An 11-month old Tibetan mastiff puppy named Hong Dong, or Big Splash, sold last week for $1.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a dog (unless you count cloning).
In China, Simon says, “Tibetan mastiffs are massive, fluffy status symbols … Hong Dong has been raised on beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber. His breeder told Britain’s Telegraph, ‘He is a perfect specimen.'”
Simon concludes the piece by asking this question: “The million-dollar puppy that’s been fattened with abalone, or the grimy dog with brown and white splotches who stood over his friend until he found help: which do you think of as a perfect specimen?”
I’ll have to go with the grimy, wave-tossed mutt who has made a far bigger splash than Big Splash — and who is a symbol of something far more important than status.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, big splash, china, cloning, dogs, dollars, earthquake, facebook, friendship, fuji tv, hong dong, japan, japanese, kenn sakurai, loyalty, million, mito, npr, pets, rescue, scott simon, simon says, status symbol, tibetan mastiff, tsunami, tsunami dogs, two dogs, two dogs in japan, video, youtube