Anyway, I'm quoted as saying the following...
"Why did Mrs Wang pay £350,000 for Yangtze River Number Two? It is difficult, even for a dog lover, to know what makes a dog worth so much. Most dogs sold for extremely high prices are skilled — a highly trained sheepdog, for instance — or have won the Best in Show prize at Crufts, for example. Perhaps Yangtze Two was sold on mythology: is the dog the reincarnation of a Tibetan monk?
The Chinese attitude to dogs is varied. At one end of the spectrum dogs end up on the menu. You can buy dogs on eBay, and owning dogs as pets is still an emerging hobby. At the other end, rich dog owners bring in overseas trainers to ensure that they get it right. But one of the most unfortunate developments is that the Chinese seem to be adopting the Western, and many would say dubious, practice of dog showing. Dogs Today has campaigned against inbreeding caused by the pedigree dog show system for almost 20 years.
If you inbreed and close the gene pools you are destined for disaster and dogs with endemic health problems. This is a worldwide issue, but invented in Britain: the Victorians created the concept of the purebred dog, and that was also the era of the freak show. Until then dogs were bred for a purpose.
We must also dissuade people who are breeding just for the cash, and ensure – whether a dog is purebred, crossbred or a mongrel – that it is healthy and the owners go into it with their eyes wide open. This is beginning to happen in Britain, and it must happen in China, too. Let’s hope it is the case with Yangtze Two.
I can think of one dog, and only one, that is worth £350,000: Endal, an assistance dog who belonged to the badly injured Gulf War veteran Allen Parton. He could put his owner in the recovery position, use a cash machine and order drinks at the bar. According to Mr Parton, he even saved his marriage.
One of my own dogs, a bearded collie, cost £650 and the other £75, for a rescued springer spaniel who had been abandoned in a Tesco car park. They have both been excellent value. I wouldn’t sell either of them for £350,000.
Beverley Cuddy is Editor of Dogs Today"
Click here for the Mrs Wang story in the Times in full. (A motocade of only 30 limos.... I'd have the thought the neighbour's would have made a bit more of an effort!) I think Pedigree Dogs Exposed may need to air in China some time soon...