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How much is that doggie in the…YOU’RE KIDDING!


¥269,800? For a puppy? At first I thought I was suffering from some kind of rare double vision only affecting zeros, but nope. That little white shiba-inu pup really is selling for over 2,700 George Washingtons. Do you think maybe it can perform amazing magic tricks? Or it’s a Mozart prodigy? Maybe it’s already been recruited to replace that girl in AKB48!

But sadly, I see there’s no way I can afford a puppy. What about a nice little kitteh?


Oh no! AIEEEE!!! The Maine Coon is going for almost $2,800 and the Ragamuffin is a whopping $3,300! Of course, the store offers a convenient 30-installment payment plan – just as if I were buying a major appliance – but last time I checked, washers and dryers don’t need to be fed, and cats don’t exactly help out with the dirty socks. No wonder everybody goes to cat cafés and rents a kitteh by the hour!

Okay, let’s think again. Forget the pet store. What about a nice adopted animal from a shelter? People move, lose their jobs, get old, etc. and can’t care for a pet anymore,  just like in the rest of the world, right? So they must have a shelter full of animals just waiting to be adopted! Well, sort of. There are shelters, but not that many. The chances of an adult animal getting adopted are really slim, I understand. I was told it’s because nobody wants a “used” pet. ( ; _ ; )

Read a novel set in Tokyo

The #1 hostboy at Club Nova makes a handsome living, whispering sweet nothings in the ears of women who pay him a fortune for the privilege. But the party’s over when Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate the death of…read more




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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

10 thoughts on “How much is that doggie in the…YOU’RE KIDDING! Leave a comment

  1. I had heard there’s a practice of euthanizing cream shibas because they’re considered bad luck. Do you know if this is an old wive’s tale?

    • I certainly hope so! I can’t bear the thought that any shiba would be euthanized, especially for such a terrible reason! ( ; _ ; ) And actually, the super expensive one in the picture above is a cream shiba, so they can’t be too unlucky if they’re going for that price, don’t you think?

  2. Fascinating, and also kind of depressing, about the lack of shelters. That’s one cultural difference that wouldn’t have occured to me.

  3. So, I heard something interesting at dinner tonight from the friend who took me to the doggie hot spring resort with her Norfolk terriers. She said that to combat the problem of people not wanting to adopt “used” pets, shelter workers are now writing dog and cat resumes, to tell people why the pet was abandoned. If people understand that it wasn’t the pet’s fault, that maybe the owners died or got too old to care for it anymore or had some other sort of hardship, they’re much more likely to adopt the animal. She also said that shelters are getting more popular as a way to own a pet, so there’s hope that things are changing here!

    • AH, ok — that actually makes a lot more sense, and I can almost see why “used” pets aren’t popular. It sounds like it’s not necessarily that they were owned before but WHY they may have been given up. In America, we often have to trust the word of the shelter staff, meaning that you could end up with a sick, agressive, or otherwise dangerous dog.

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