I want to prove to other pet owners that Chow Chows are not aggressive but very friendly,” Carla Eusebio stresses as she and her eight-month old Chow Chow named Moskov. Carla, 22-year old college graduate with a degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs, is one of the scores of pet owners attending the Pet Party at SM Bacoor.

“On the contrary, total strangers can touch Moskov or hold it even though it doesn’t know them,” she says as people of all ages mill around Moskov for selfies and groufies. A little girl cheerfully cuddles the friendly cream-colored Chow Chow, belying its scowling expression with its deep set almond-shaped eyes.“

“{It just looks like a] bad dog…That’s the misconception,” Carla sighs.

It is said that Chow Chow is originally from northern China. Aggression is the biggest issue of Chow Chows, though it is a problem that can be avoided. Chows are naturally aggressive toward dogs of the same sex. They are impatient dogs, and don’t like to be teased or treated harshly; however, a chow will be loving and respectful in return if treated the same way, as what Carla and Moskov prove.

An animal lover Carla has had a beagle named Bella, guinea pigs, rabbits, and lovebirds. “I’m not into cats. [They scratch]! (laughs) I acquired Moskov through a newspaper classified advertisement. Manila Bulletin, I think. I wanted a new dog worth R 10,000 to replace my Siberian Husky named King, which had a puzzling death. A neighbor borrowed it for stud purpose and after two weeks he had bloody stool and died of diarrhea. My neighbor said he unwittingly fed it with fish,” she sadly recounts.

The arrival of Moskov lessened Carla’s grief after the untimely death of King. As a pup, Moskov’s early socialization proved beneficial, checking its aggressive behavior going to adulthood.

“Moskov is the baby of the family. It sleeps in our air-conditioned bedroom, mindful of its thick coat. It wears [a] baby diaper every night,” she laughs. “One challenge for me is to potty train it. Kitchen is its favorite spot. Moskov has its favorite white towel, its security blanket of [sorts],” she adds. Chows are exceptionally easy to house train, and many Chow owners say that even as puppies, their dogs never have “accidents” in the house.

“Moskov loves to play ball. My playful pet is a stress reliever. After a hard day’s work at the law office, its friendly bark and enthusiastic greeting erases the fatigue,” she says. “Sometimes it sleeps with my younger brother.” True enough, Chow Chows tend to attach deeply to one or two members of the family. “But Moskov is afraid of my mom. She yells whenever it becomes unruly. [And it is]!”

“It’s easy to maintain Moskov. On the average, I spend R 500 for its food. We visit the vet every 3 months. Yes, it has complete vaccinations. It loves pizza, chicken, but no chocolates,” she warns. Which brings to mind the anecdote of a famous Chow Chow owner — US Navy Admiral George Dewey, who got a Chow Chow in Hong Kong in 1898 and named it Bob. Bob rarely left the admiral’s side and had the run of the cruiser USS Olympia. Bob died in 1899 after eating chocolates given to Dewey by well-wishers upon Olympia’s arrival in New York City.

The booming voice of the Pet Party emcee, the loud music, and the barking of the dogs fill the activity area. The party begins as I take a couple of shots of Carla and her chummy Chow Chow Moskov. Its unusual blue tongue is sticking out — an ancient dog breed and an anachronism in a hot, humid country.


This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s June 2018 issue.