Commanding Respect

Last Sunday, I went to the beach. And even though I absolutely hate going to the beach on weekends, we found a quiet, simple little place where only others, like us, go for some peace and quiet; sun, sea, and sand.

Lebanese shore

As we were making our way back from Jiye (south of Beirut), we were expecting to see the regular vendors of ears of corn, watermelons, and whatever is planted in the vicinity. We sometimes stop by and buy really beautiful ears of corn – you know, the kind you don’t find in even the most prominent supermarkets – before heading home. However, as we drove through the area where they usually set up their little stands, I was shocked to see the first three stands empty, with a few ears of corn laying on the floor. The next three stands seemed to have been the object of a massacre.

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Stand-in Pet Shop: the Direct Product-Exposure Marketing

Is this YOUR dog?

Pet-Cart of Dogs

I was driving in Beirut today, and I saw this.Now, it is not the first time I see this pet-shop stand-in, or perhaps, pet-cart is a more accurate term. Regularly, this man parks his car – it is not always a Jeep – to display small-sized white dogs, for sale. Take the upper road parallel to the Ramlet el Baida coast, and chances are you will know exactly what I am talking about. On the days our salesman declares as business days, the dogs spend the whole afternoon, if not the whole day, come rain or sun, on a car’s roof with no food, no water, and without the ability to move much.I have heard from reliable sources that these dogs are stolen. Now, before jumping to conclusions, let’s analyze the odds:

  1. the dogs reportedly seen are all white – which is, as far as I understand, a very sought-after color for animals,
  2. most of them seem to have had some kind of haircut in the past
  3. most of them are bichons, or bichon-type dogs,
  4. they are sold without any kind of documents, and no hints as to where they are from or if they have had their shots.

As much as I would like to have faith in this man and his honest possible intentions of joining pet-less households with houseless pets, the odds seem very likely that these dogs are, indeed, stolen.In the past few months, I have heard of dog thefts – dog snatching – occurring at an increasingly alarming rate. Dogs are perceived as an easy ‘product’ when it comes to turn-over and traceability, and this follows from an opinion of animals shared by the majority of the people in this society as ‘products, goods, stuff you own’. When paralleled with these people’s idea of walking dogs as included in a foreign housekeeper’s job description, it is easy to make some inference*.

Please help return these pets to their loved ones by sharing…

* an increasing number of people have been reporting their dogs being stolen, and it is especially the case when these dogs are usually walked by a housekeeper who is, one must agree, less likely to be thought able to defend herself as she does not speak the language and is not in her comfort zone.