Today was pretty dull in comparison to the rest of my time here and was spent predominantly getting supplies for the flat with help from Yuri, Zhoyu and the eternal friend Wal-Mart! I am now completely stocked up on bleach, giant pot noodles and most importantly..... Beer! So all is right with the world!
I did have one incident today, again inspired by animals. As I was walking past a university building I saw some children with a puppy wrapped in a blanket trying to climb a ladder to the roof. I was surprised because of the danger it represented to the dog and the child simultaneously and couldn't just walk by (it is important to note I was significantly more worried for the dog).
My first impression was that this was cruelty, some horrible prank or abuse they were forcing on the dog and I regret to say that my approach was somewhat unsubtle. Considering my size compared to most Chinese men, my strange features and the sound of voice shouting at them I must have pretty terrifying! And they looked absolutely shell shocked as I marched toward them with a face like thunder.
Luckily Zhoyu was with me and so could translate what they were saying. I am ashamed to say that I was wrong. The children had found the puppy wandering lost in the area but none of them were allowed pets. in China stray dogs are killed when caught (often by people intending to eat them) so these children had taken it upon themselves to feed the dog and now intended to hide him where hungry dog snatchers would not look.
I simply cannot fault this. I tried really hard to think of some argument to prove these children that putting the dog on the roof of a university storehouse was simply wrong, but when forced to choose between roof or wok the decision is easy!
On the roof they had erected a makeshift Kennel with tarp, sticks and bricks and had cut out the base of a plastic bucket to make water bowl. I told the children that this was good but that they could not forget about the dog or he would die of thirst or starve. They looked at me like I was stupid when Zhoyu translated this and assured me they would look after the puppy until it was old enough to look after itself.
I informed them I would be checking on it and left. I checked back tonight and the dog was sleeping comfortably next to its kennel apparently missing the point of it's shelter. It was skinny but not starving and i topped up its bowl with a bottle of water, for a stray dog in China this roof could be nothing short of paradise and at the very worst it beats the alternative!