One man was working away from home in China and had decided to eat his dinner out. Naturally, he then began to head to a restaurant at which to sate his hunger. But upon doing so, he spotted something that instead completely turned his stomach.
The man in question is the father of Singapore native Xingyi Danielle. She studies hotel leisure facilities management at Singapore Polytechnic and, in order to gain hands-on experience, also works in a hotel.
Aside from which, the student is a self-confessed “daddy’s girl.” Unfortunately for her, though, her father actually works away in China, so the pair don’t get to see each other all of the time. However, they do keep in contact during his trips away.
And in April 2017 Xingyi’s dad was back in China on business. While there, he made that decision to go out for dinner and, as a result, began walking through the local market on the way to his chosen restaurant.
However, that’s when he noticed an item for sale that stopped him in his tracks. The product in question was, in fact, a living creature. But the thing that worried him most was that the stall the animal was on wasn’t selling pets.
Instead, it had live dogs up for sale. And rather than having them free to roam, someone had cruelly tied the creatures up in bags. Unsurprisingly, this set alarm bells ringing in Xingyi’s father’s mind.
So, he asked the market stall holder why they were selling the dogs. That’s when they said that the animals were destined to be killed for meat. And although the answer sickened him, sadly it wasn’t a major shock for Xingyi’s dad.
That may be because, even if the majority of people in China don’t consume dog meat, millions of dogs are killed for food in the country each year. The practice has caused outrage worldwide, with the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival provoking the biggest fury.
The festival takes place in the summer, with some people believing that consuming dog meat will help them cope with the heat. Shockingly, in previous years visitors typically consumed up to 15,000 dogs at the festival annually. However, thanks to international backlash, that figure had dropped to 1,000 by 2015.
And one main concern among animal activists is the way in which the canines are slaughtered. Some people believe adrenaline makes the dogs taste better, so they are often killed in full sight of one another. Furthermore, butchers sometimes boil them alive or even beat them to death.
As a result, it’s hardly surprising that Xingyi’s dad felt uneasy about leaving the dog he’d spotted behind. So, he began bartering with the market trader. And, eventually, he agreed to buy the animal for $90.
Because the dad was away on work, he was unable to purchase more dogs. “His environment isn’t dog-friendly, so he couldn’t buy more,” Xingyi told The Dodo in May 2017. “But [he] at least got to save one.”
Yes, when her dad had sealed the deal, he transported the dog to safety. Once there, he took a picture of the animal to illustrate the inhumane conditions he’d suffered. In the photo, the dog lies curled up in a tied, netted bag. He looks more like a commodity than a living creature.
Yet Xingyi’s dad released the dog from his prison and started to treat him like the animal he is. He fed him and even gave him a name. “It’s basically Doggo pronounced in Cantonese, actually,” Xingyi explained.
But as her father’s apartment didn’t allow animals, Doggo is currently living at his office. Regardless, the canine seems to be enjoying his new environment. And now that he can finally stretch his legs, the young pup loves nothing more than to explore.
Still, not everyone is a fan of their new office mate. “My dad’s colleagues are complaining about the mess Doggo is making,” Xingyi explained. “But he’s still trying his best to provide a good environment for him.”
And Doggo will remain at the office until Xingyi’s dad can find a more practical solution. That may not mean he stays with Xingyi; she already has two furry friends at home, so there may not be room for him there. For the moment, though, she’s just enjoying watching the dog flourish.
In May 2017, moreover, the avid tweeter took to social media to share an update on Doggo. And in the images she posted, the animal seems much happier. Letting his expression speak for itself, Xingyi simply wrote, “Look at him now!”
“My dad hasn’t brought him to the vet yet. So, we don’t know how old is,” Xingyi added below her tweet. “[He’s] so beautiful when he’s healthy! How can anyone think of eating him?”
It doesn’t bear thinking about what may have become of Doggo if Xingyi’s dad hadn’t stepped in. Thanks to him, though, the pooch will now enjoy an ordinary life as someone’s pet rather than on someone’s plate. “I was quite proud, to be honest,” Xingyi has since admitted, speaking of her hero father.