Our house is considering getting a goat to eat our lawn so our gardener doesn’t have to hand cut it. Other possibilities are the purchase of a cow, water buffalo or ducks. It is quite common to see unleashed animals randomly walking along the streets of the city. Stray dogs and cats are quite common.

One volunteer has a Korean friend that works as an IT expert in a Lao Mushroom factory 30 minutes bike ride from Vientiane. He had a stray dog at work that he would talk to and tell his feelings to. Sadly the dog was run over last week. His Lao colleagues told him that he shouldn’t worry as they would make use of the dog and cook it.

Eating dog is not a long held Lao tradition but something that has been adopted from Chinese and Vietnamese influences. One Lao man I met told me that his family no longer keeps dogs as his mother became too upset from them being continually stolen, almost certainly to be placed on someone’s dinner table. Dog meat is thought to have special properties that make you strong.