For 16 years, Chiu Kang has been a postman of Taipei Post Office. Twelve years?
For 16 years, Chiu Kang has been a postman of Taipei Post Office. Twelve years ago, while he was dispatching letters one day in an alley near Nanmen Market, he was a skinny puppy wandering about. Out of sympathy he picked it home and took care of it. The dog grew lovelier and stronger under his care. Every day he went home. the dog would be waiting at the ??? The postman thus became interested in keeping dogs.
As first, he kept only two Pekinese. As time goes by, there are more than one hundred dogs of different kinds. The most valuable of his dogs is worth NT $160000, even the cheapest charges many thousand dollars.
Chiu Kang is now not only a diligent postman but also a distinguished expert in keeping dogs. People ask him, "Since keeping dogs has brought you great fortune, will you give up the job as postman?" He replies, "I'll never withdraw from that line."
The mail must go through. The mailman has to trudge his weary rounds despite rain, hail, sleet, or snow. And, in one case, despite the fact that the mailman is hall a millionaire.
Chiu Kang is worth over US$500,000. His dogs, which sell for up to US$5000 each, are famous among canine lovers throughout the world. His success as a dog breeder is attested by a house full of certificates and trophies with inscriptions in Chinese, English, and Japanese: he has over 200 of them. Last year one of his pomeranians was selected world champion. In addition to his dogs. Chiu owns nine stores in Taipies bustling West Gate shopping area. Still, he goes to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, delivering mail to residents of the city's Central District.
Chiu was not always so well off. Born in Checking province on the Chinese mainland, he went through primary school during the difficult years of World War II. Then he went to Shanghai to continue his studies. Unfortunately his chance never came: the communists had occupied the city and he was forced to escape to Taiwan. Thirteen years old, alone, with no means of support and no one to turn to but himself, he took a job as a newspaper boy to keep himself alive.
He was determined, however, to get ahead despite his lack of a formal education. He tried one kind of business -- and failed. He tried another kind -- and failed again. He was successful, though, when he took the postal service test in 1962 and became a postman. His new job assumed him of a small but steady income and let him he time for other pursuits.
Undaunted by his unhappy experiences in the world of business, Chiu tried again. In 1961 he saved up USS400 and bought an ??? potted Pekingese: her trust better of four pups brought him USS250 and encouraged him to continue tasting dogs. His expertise developed along which his business, and his reputation grew as the number of his dogs increased and he branched out into other species.
He prospered, the kept on delivering the mail. He is intensely proud of the Republic of China's justifiable reputation for having one of the world's best postal systems and is happy to be a part of the post office team. "We perform a service for society," he says. "I enjoy seeing how happy people are when they get letters." He enjoys also the high esteem in which postmen are held in Taiwan and the friendships he has developed on his route. He stays on the job because he enjoys it, and has no plans to give it up.
And how about those dog-and-postman jokes. in which the mailman is perpetually chased and chewed by canines with less than the greatest respect for the postman and his job? Yes, he says, things do happen: they have never happened to him, though, for experience has taught him to recognize mean dogs and to keep his distance from them. He has little use for dogs which are trained to attack people. Watch-dogs should be taught to signal a visitor's arrival, he contends, not to bite him.
success has not spoiled Chiu Kang. He continues to lie simply in an aged Japanese style house with his wife, four daughters aged ten to eighteen, and seventy or eighty dogs. He neither smokes nor drinks, feeling that hard earned money should not be wasted on such things.
Not that he has any particular problem with money. His Young Fu Kennels is one of the largest such establishments in Asia. In addition to his own 150 dogs (part of which are cared for by a friend in the Taipei suburb of Chungho) he has about 5,000 "satellite" raisers; he manages the breeding of their dogs and buys the pups that they produce. Still he cannot keep up with the demand: he could sell far more than his current production of about 400 animals per month, about half of which are exported to Europe, America, and other parts of Asia.
Chiu Kang, in short, is a man who is doing what he likes to do. Money is not the object of his labors; if it were, he would have given up his job as postman long ago. But, of course, he is not blind to other possibilities: he plans to send all of his daughters to college, for instance, to get the education that was denied him. When the last of them graduates, he will very likely still be going to work in his green postman's uniform, delivering the mail and the happiness it brings to the people of Taipei.
A POSTMAN AND HIS DOGS Pictures of Chiu Kong's prize winning dogs. The two blowups in the centre are his personal pets, with the pomeranian on the right last year's world champion.