An Exclusive Interview With Ling-Ling

In 1994, a young white poodle's head was severed and stolen from an upwardly mobile Asian couple in the Southeastern United States. Named Ling-Ling, the poodle was a cherished pet that meant so much to the couple that they went on an all-out campaign to try and locate the dog's head. They traveled the United States and abroad putting up posters to inform people of the tragedy.

The couple continued in their diligent efforts despite some in the media who have accused them of being frauds. They have also been accused of using the unfortunate events surrounding their pet's death to draw fame and attention to themselves.

In an unexpected turn of events, we recently received a personal phone call from Ling-Ling itself. In this exclusive telephone interview, many details of this baffling case now come to light. Somewhat shy and careful about its choice of words, the dog seemed basically open, candid, and alert.


So how you are doing, Ling-Ling?

Basically all right, I guess. Things are very different now than they once were, but I guess that's just how life goes.

Different how?

Well, lots of things have changed. I used to live a safe, happy, virtually anonymous existence. My days were spent running around the yard sniffing at stuff, eating, and playing with my masters. I guess it all seemed too good to last because it was. Nowadays I spend almost every waking hour in a dark, lonely basement. I'm fed and taken care of, but that's about it...

Where you calling from?

I'm in the basement now, but I have no idea what city I'm calling from. A close friend slipped a cell phone to me through a hole in the wall. It's been my only lifeline, I tell you. I called my masters and let them know that I'm still alive...

But that seem...impossible. I mean, story was that your head remove and all.

That was actually true. My abductors did cut off my head. But shortly thereafter they decided that I would be more valuable to them alive, so they rushed my head to a veterinarian who sewed me onto another dog's body.

Come on. Cannot be real!

Oh, it's real all right. Too real. Every time I try to scratch, it's real. Every time I try to run, it's real. Do you know what it's like to suddenly have your head attached to the body of a cocker spaniel? It's a living Hell, I tell you. A regular living Hell.

Who did to you in first place?

Good question. It's this elderly couple...Edna and Jerome are their names, I believe. Taken at face value, you'd think they were someone's kind old grandparents or something. When they found me, I was sniffing at some bushes beside the road. I think they thought I was lost, so they stopped their car and picked me up. I figured they'd notice the address on my collar and that'd be it. Then it happened.

What happen?

Before I knew what was happening, the old guy pulled out an axe and brought it down on my neck. I was conscious for a few seconds as my head rolled around in the dirt. I kept thinking "This can't be happening. This can't be happening." Then everything started going black. The last thing I remember is Edna...or whatever her name is...stroking my brow, and putting me into a sack.

That very bad.

It gets worse. Of course I was completely unconscious by this time. Brains don't function too well when they're completely deprived of oxygen and blood, you know. So I saw the whole white light deal that you're always hearing whole life passing before my eyes... I knew it was all over. I just kept trying to think about all the good things that had happened during my life right at the end.

Then what?

The next thing I remember was waking up in a kennel feeling really, really weird. I kept wondering if I had come back as a different dog or whatever, and there was this weird tugging sensation around my neck. I figured it was just some new collar or something. Then I started barking. Softly at first, but then I began to panic. When I looked down and realized my head was attached to the wrong body, I completely freaked.

Yes? Yes?

Then I crapped all over myself. I couldn't help it. The confusion, the excitement was just...too much. Some teenage kennel boy ran over to the cage and kept shouting, "BAD DOG! BAD DOG!" He threw some choke chain around my neck and dragged me out of the cage and just kept kicking me...over and over and over... Blood was running out of my nose so badly that I could hardly breathe. I just kept thinking that I wanted to be dead. Everything seemed so screwed up that it just didn't seem like life was worth living.

I know feeling you describe.

You do?

Yes. I feel like this every day of living.

What are you...kidding? I hope you're kidding, because this whole event ended up making me realize how precious and rare life really is.

You call being held captive in dark, damp basement living?

Well, I know it's not an ideal situation...but it's better than being dead.

Go ahead with story.

Oh yeah. So anyway, eventually Edna and Jerome came and picked me up from the vet's office and stuck me down here. It's been about three years now, but I've finally learned to adjust to it.

Why you not call police for rescue?

Duh? Don't you think I'd do that if I could? The problem is that I don't know where I'm at. I haven't seen daylight since I came here. I don't even know what the temperature is like outside. Besides, I called the police department several times and tried to explain my story to them...

They not wanting to help?

They laughed. I guess they thought it was some kids pulling some kind of a prank or something.

Oh, I see..

I can too, but it's aggravating. It makes me feel nobody cares. [Ling-Ling begins to whimper...]

Please not cry, Ling-Ling. Your masters still try to find you. And there many people out here in real world who have very much for caring.

Thanks, that's really kind of you. My self-esteem has just gone down the tubes. I know I must have tons of ticks and fleas. I haven't been clipped once since I've been here, and now one ever brushes me. Thank God there's not a mirror down here. I'd probably kill myself if I saw what I look like...

But I thought life very precious to you...

See? That's another thing. I forget things. I can't remember shit anymore. But that's not important. I just want to get the word out that I'm still alive...that I'm still hanging on. I'm not just your average poster dog that was invented by the media. I'm real. And the best news is that I've finally found a way to escape.

Really? You serious?

I'm always serious. That's the nature of poodles, you know. We're very serious creatures. My eyesight may be fading, and my paws my be cracked and dry. I admit that I can't run like I used to, and my sense of smell is a fraction of what it once was. But I'm strong, though, I really am. And I want people out there to know that I'll get through this...someway, somehow. I'm still a good dog, I swear to God I am... And whatever matter what...I will survive.

©1998 LMNOP

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