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|Dogs are popular as pets, but also as racers and show animals|
For many households in Vietnam, dogs are beloved as a member of the family, and believed to bring good luck, happiness, and stability to their owners.
The animal’s loyalty has also been described throughout the country’s history, with plenty of examples of dogs protecting their deceased owners’ graves until they died.
Statues of dogs are also found in various Vietnamese pagodas and temples. Often placed at the entrance of these spiritual locations – such as those in Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, and Hung Yen – the stone statues bring about a sense of calmness.
However, though considered a good friend, the dog is also a source of good food. In various regions in Vietnam, especially in the northern provinces, dog meat is a speciality. Recent years have, however, seen a movement against the use of dogs as food.
Meanwhile, in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, dog racing has been a popular attraction for years, having been introduced there in 2001 by Sports and Entertainment Services JSC (SES).
The province is currently the only place in Vietnam and the whole of Southeast Asia where people can watch the sport.
The dogs used in Ba Ria-Vung Tau are greyhounds, a hunting type bred in Ireland, and imported into Vietnam. SES breeds this species of dog on a farm, with the number of greyhounds now totalling about 800.
The province’s Lam Son Stadium serves as both a racecourse and a dog training centre. Races are usually held on Saturday, so it is convenient for flocks of excited tourists visiting Ba Ria-Vung Tau for the sport.
|A year’s love for people’s best friend|
The dog is the 11th out of the 12 animals in the eastern zodiac.
Those with the dog as their zodiac animal were born in years such as 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006. They are thought to be loyal, devoted, responsible, and sincere, though at times they can appear intimidating towards others.
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump were both born in a Year of the Dog, and so were George W. Bush, Sylvester Stallone, and Justin Bieber.
This year, the dog is believed to bring about a great deal of luck to those born under the sign. Promotions at work might happen, for instance; on the other hand, the relationship front might prove more challenging.