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"Panda Puppy" Craze Hits China
via the Daily Mail:
It's all the rage in a country that once would've considered these dogs dinner. Many pet stores are now offering dogs for sale that look like pandas. Pandas are China's national animal.
Most of the dogs are chows. And demand among the middle class is through the roof. In the past dogs were considered part of the cuisine. But now that China's economy is growing, many in the middle class are enjoying their companionship. A resemblance to panda bears only seals the deal.
One pet shop owner told the Daily Mail, "With a bit of careful grooming and colouring it is easy to turn a chow into a panda dog in about two hours. Then the look will stay with the dog for around six weeks and the owners bring them back for some touching up. There are no chemicals or cruelty involved. But the price of the dog does rise significantly because of the amount of grooming that goes into it. People don't mind paying the extra though - they like the fact that heads turn in the street and they can tell their friends: "I have a panda dog".'