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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dogs go on sale in market

Dogs go on sale in market

GOGS are now on sale! A dramatic change. In the past we could only acquire man's

best friend through luck - asking friends whose doggies were expecting pups.

First official dog trader in the country, Cha Cheng Chay said: "I

started the business nearly a year ago when foreign investors began to come.

"These people are my main customers, they love to order dogs from

overseas."

The dogs he has on display at on the northeastern edge of Psar

Thmei or New Market are all half-breeds, mostly from Vietnam, but Chay says the

customers could browse his catalogues and order any breed of thoroughbred dog

which he can get in from Thailand.

He said: "Nearly all of the ten

catalogue dogs I've sold have been ordered by foreign investors, Cambodians

prefer to buy the half breeds which sell for around $50, many times cheaper than

those from Thailand."

Despite the fact that there are very few, if any

other places that sell dogs, Chay says: " I can hardly survive on this career,

sometimes I can't sell a dog during the whole day."

I watched his sales

pitch when a potential customer approached.

"Madam these are good

Italian dogs."

Customer: "I think they are secondhand."

Chay:

"Come on, if you buy a dog it's like having ten guards for your

house."

Customer: "No, these dogs are only good for soup."

Poor

sales turnover has led Chay to turn in desperation to a fortune teller who

recommended he hold a special party for the dogs' equivalent All Saints day.

Along with daily meals, Chay says the special parties which take place

four nights a month cost a lot of money.

"The parties have not saved the

business from going bankrupt, I owe some $500 to middlemen."

Speaking of

dogs we should clarify the proverb 'Its bark is worse than its

bite'.

This may apply to Western dogs, but not Cambodian ones, they love

to practice the two activities together.

Wise old men advise the young

to: "Stop and sit down when a dog is chasing you and he will not

bite."

However, a veteran dog handler who requested anonymity, advised:

"It's much safer and wiser to show a clean pair of heels than surrender, but

only if you think you can run faster than the dog."

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