Chen Hong
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Department of English, NTNU
A rapid increase in the number of pet dogs in Chinese cities since the late 1980s, ant the prosperity of the pet industry as a result, seem to indicate that dogs have been accepted as worthy companions for humans, and that pet dogs have thereby become a comfortable part of the Chinese dream of a prosperous and harmonious future. Yet just outside the frame of this bright and hopeful picture looms another huge group of dogs who have been removed from rather than accepted into the human world, often in ways that are extremely cruel and barbaric. This article examines this perplexing contrast in connection to Chinese modernization and urbanization, which is situated within the larger context of the Anthropocene. By placing the situation of urban stray dogs-and the prosperity of the urban pet industry-alongside the deteriorating condition of country dogs, the artical looks at the condition of dogs in relation to the serious internal an external social inequalities involving humans and dogs in today's China. Reading Chinese dog narratives across genres, it argues that the promise of prosperity, security and harmony is hust part of the myth of modernization and urbanization.