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November 10, 2006 - Guyuan, China

Phil the Runt

Imposing Knockers

There’s no good way to describe where I live other than a compound.

High brick walls topped with broken glass. Check.

One gate. Check.

Gatekeepers. Check.

Runt dogs. Check.

That’s right, plenty of runt dogs. Although for Guyuan standards I can’t really call them runts. I have yet to see a dog bigger than an overweight bulldog. Lapdogs are the dogs of choice here. They usually run cowering from the street-savvy cats.

Emphasis on the run cowering, especially one of them.

This dog does mutts a disservice. Head comically small, froggish eyes bulging to the point of bursting, rat-like body that still manages to be pudgy and the spine of an ameoba. An unholy union of an oversized mole and a small sack of rotten potatos.

Soon after moving in I noticed the mutt peering around the corner of my alley at me while I opened my gate. No sooner would I turn to look at the movement in my peripheral vision - then POOF! Gone.

For some reason I named him Phil. Don’t ask why. Phil was just right.

I forgot about the him for a week or two until late one night coming back home. I turned the corner towards my alley and had barely taken a step into the dim light of an overhead lamp when I heard a yelp.

A small brown flash tore past me and down an ajacent alley.

Phil was utterly terrified of me. I had come within 50 feet.

Every few days a tiny muzzle would warily peek around a corner and disappear just as fast when it saw me. No amount of whistling or cooing or lip-pursing seemed to put the poor beast at ease.

As an aside - what do you call that sound you make to animals? It’s like kissing but noisier. No smacking involved, just loud squeaking. Hmm. Anyone?

Tonight didn’t help matters.

My small alley is a dead end - my large metal doors the second to last - and I rarely see much else than a few cats this far down.

In the dusk after class I fumbled a bit with the keys to my lock and that’s when I heard it.

A desperate low moaning wail. Pitiful. Weak.

There, in the corner of the high brick wall, was Phil. His eyes filled with an expression of doom. Quivering, his tiny muzzle barely registered the death-rattle I heard.

My meer presence justified this reaction to him. It was by far the closest I’ve even been - probably fewer than 15 paces - so I can’t imagine he thinks I’m going to step on him.

A pang of guilt struck as I quickly unlatched my door and crept inside.

What can I do? I can’t very well try to pet Phil - his small heart would undergo meltdown.

Maybe somebody should send me a bell so Phil knows when to hightail it out of Dodge.

» Link lovin’

Truffles - Want to grow truffles? Need some infected acotns first…

Pretty Potty - Pee in style. Actually I htink they’re pretty ugly and way too expensive.

Two Balls - Multitasking horrors.

Baijiu - The infamous white liquor.

Fugly Your Car - Want to Fugly up your car? Get a set of these puppies.

» The Jetsam of Note

So the Dems did it. Now we just have to see how magnificent their fall from grace is before 2008. Cross your fingers they don’t muck it up too bad.

Oh man, poor Phil. Gee, and to make his miserable little life worse, he's got to be butt ugly too? Wow.

Speaking of ugly dogs, is it any coincidence the world's ugliest dog is a Chinese: See

ugly dog

(dang, that's a long url!) Funny, he even has his own blog.

OMG, those urinals! That's what a politician's toilet must look like. They should have made one called "the FLY trap".

- Siobhan on a Saturday

i think you are trying to woo phil with clucking or crooning? perhaps those aren't the right words either. anywho's i would think giving phil some food would win his heart over to your side (even just a chicken bone would do). he obviously likes you b/c each time you see him, he seems to get a lil closer. soon enough, you'll have your own chinese lap dog ;)

- naree on a Saturday

yeah - poor phil.

i dunno about him getting closer, i think he's just not very good at getting away. the fact that his distended little belly barely clears the ground probably makes it pretty tough. thats what happens when youve got runt legs.

a chicken bone? isn't that how you're 'sposed to kill dogs?

- allister on a Saturday
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