Conan, the Praying Chihuahua

March 25, 2008

By Fred

When it comes shameless sucking up, no animal can top a dog. Conan, an 18-month-old male Chihuahua, is the mascot for a Zen Buddhist temple near Okinawa, Japan. He’s hit upon an ingenious scam to get attention and treats. By striking poses like his master, a priest named Joei Yoshikuni, the dog seems to be praying.


Standing on his hind legs with paws clasped reverently, Conan gazes up at the altar with his soulful Chihuahua eyes like he really means it.

I’m guessing he knows some Beggin’® Strips are stashed up there.

Yoshikuni said it took Conan only a few days to perfect his pose, and now he has his own little prayer rug. They say he gets upset if anybody tries to sit in his spot. The last thing people want is to rile a yappy, hyper little dog because he’ll never let you hear the end of it.

What do dogs pray for, anyway? Yoshikuni says Conan’s pose is a Buddhist gesture of appreciation, so he thinks Conan may be expressing gratitude for “treats and walks.”

Fat chance. I think Conan’s just a cute con artist.

Nevertheless, his act has been good for temple business. Attendance is up by 30%. But you have to wonder how pleased Buddha is to have his house filled with gawkers snapping pictures of a praying dog.

Yoshikumi would like to teach Conan to meditate to give himself more peace and quiet, but concedes that Conan may never be able to master sitting cross-legged.

But don’t be surprised if Conan turns up next in a little doggie robe with his head shaved.


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