Interview with Guan Shen Diting

Today I sat down with Diting and did an interview with her. I'm often asked questions about Diting, and today I wanted to give her a chance to answer them for the general public.

Diting, you have a very special name. Do you know what it means

Well, you've told me that story many times, but I have to admit that I don't always listen to you carefully. And that's ironic, because I know you told me that my name Diting (谛听) translates to "listens carefully".

Diting, source: Baidu

Diting was probably a divine mythical creature from Chinese Buddhism. The original Diting incorporated features of many beasts into its body: a tiger's head, a dragon's body, a lion's tail, a single horn like a unicorn, and ears like a dog. I always like that part of the story.

But the myth is probably based on the story of a young Korean prince who thought his late mother was reborn as a white dog. He searched and found this dog, which then became his constant companion. The prince wanted to become a monk and moved to China, to Mount Jiuhua with his dog. The dog Diting was always at the feet of the monk and it is said that his special canine ears were able to distinguish good from bad just by listening.

So you listened after all! My choice of your name wasn't so wrong after all.

I don't care what my name is. There are more important things in life.

That's correct. What is important to you in life?

You! That you're near me. And toys. And Maya, Maya must always be there!

Maya, Diting and me

And your daughter? Isn't she important to you?

Yes, yes, but she can manage on her own. Maya and you can't cope on your own. Without me you wouldn't even know how to proceed. Why do you think I always keep an eye on you?

Ok, I always thought you just liked us. I wanted to ask you about a couple of other things.

No problem, do I get cookies for that?

Yes when we are done. So, you were born in China. Do you still remember your first few months there?

Just blurry. You showed me pictures. I know that my mother is the little dragon girl and my father's name is Awang. I remember many dogs I played with. Some looked like me, others very different, but they were very funny. You could really play with them.

Those were Rottweilers.

They were taller than me. I still won every brawl. Eventually they all just did what I told them. They even gave me their food voluntarily. And nobody noticed! It was a great time!

Diting with her Rottweiler buddies

Yes, at some point it was noticed that you got really fat.

I also remember when I met you. At first I was a bit scared of you. But then you had a ball and wanted to play with me. And I just like people who want to play ball with me.

You have been living in Switzerland for over 3 years now. What do you like best here?

The cats. There are so many here. With long fur, with short fur. And in all colors. My favorite cat is called Sisu. He lives next door and I would love to play with him. But I think Sisu doesn't like me.

How do you spend your day? Would you like to describe a typical day of yours?

I get up with you very early. The first thing I do is look out of every window to make sure everything is still OK. But then I lie down and sleep a bit more. At some point we all go out together and walk across fields, that's great. Sometimes we meet other dogs, that's nice. Unfortunately, they always have their people with them, I don’t like that.

Diting likes outings

Back home, there will be breakfast, honestly, that could be more. I have to check all the windows several times until our afternoon walk. Sometimes someone rings at the door, so I have to inform you in case you didn't hear the bell. In between, I also like to lie down and sleep a bit, or I play with my daughter. Now she is a little older and it's really fun with her.

Then we usually do something. Go to the forest, or take another exciting trip. After that, all windows must be checked again. Nobody cares about it except me.

In the evenings I like to play with Panhu and Lily. You seem to enjoy watching us. At some point we'll go out again and afterwards there's always something to eat, that could really be more. When you go to bed, I go to sleep too, because nothing happens here at night.

Is there anything you don't like at all?

Children. I tried really hard, but I don't understand them. They are loud, move strangely and you never know what they are up to.

And I don't like it when you want to take a picture of me. Honestly, what's that supposed to mean?

Many people have asked me how it was for you to become a mother. And if you want to be one again.

Diting with her daughter

The first day it was irritating for me, I remember that well. But I knew what I had to do, from where, I don't know. But I knew I had to take care of this little puppy, keep her clean and give her milk. You were there the whole time, that was very nice. So I could sleep in between, because I knew that we were save.

The time has actually passed quite quickly and with each passing week it became easier.

Do I want to be a mother again? We talked about that recently. I think the idea is okay.

What would you like to say to the people out there?

I don't have much to say to them. Unless they send me toys and food. Because as much as I like you, there are clearly not enough toys and food here.

Thank you Diting for this interview







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