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A Lavish Funeral... for Pet Friend
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A funeral home in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu recently received a big contract -- preparing a 100,680-yuan (US$13,313) funeral -- for a deceased dog.

On Sunday before the two-day funeral began, Lin, the dog's owner in his late seventies, signed his name on the agreement which details every expense of the amount, the local West China City Daily reported.

According to the contract, Lin will pay 4,000 yuan each day for renting the funeral space and another 4,000 yuan for workers. On Monday, a luxury Cadillac will take the dog to its final resting place -- rental of the car will cost 10,000 yuan.

A senior staff member of the funeral home was quoted in the report as saying that at first they refused to arrange such a luxurious funeral for a dog, but were later moved by Lin's story.

The report says that the retired professor met the stray dog three months ago when he came to live in Chengdu alone from the northeastern city of Dalian. Lin suffers from high blood pressure and is a frequent visitor to the hospital. His children are all busy with their work, and the widower's only companion was the dog.

The lavish pet funeral inevitably raised eyebrows among locals, many of whom complained it was unnecessary.

However, Lin told the reporter that the dog, which died of an unknown disease, was a sympathetic and loyal friend, and that all he is trying to do is express his great grief over its passing.

(CRI.cn July 24, 2007)

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