An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Tag Archives: Chinese Foo Lions

Bella, chihuahua guardian puppy.  photo (c) Barbara Kelly, Austin, Tx, USA


prompt: lions, snow lions, foo dogs, guardian creatures

by Kathabella Wilson


This enchanting creature (see photo at end)

greeted us at the S&G canal border

 of Chesapeake Bay and Delaware on our recent trip

 – – feet from the canal at the harbor restaurant. 


We’ve all known many lions in our lives, 

and guardian creatures. 

How do we “handle them”? 

You can just barely see I was feeding this one flowers.

I’ve known many museum lions. 

I love this description of “snow lions” in Tibet, 

and their similarity to “Chinese snow lions” also called “foo dogs” 

from the USC Pacific Asia Museum website:


Snow lions are not like other lions, 

or even like the snow leopards of central Asia. 

Instead, they are said to be

pure white with a bright turquoise mane.

Snow lions are full of energy, 

leaping from mountain top to mountain top, 

not quite flying but also not quite touching the ground. 

They are said to be smart, always cheerful and delighted by life. 


With all these good qualities,

 it is not a surprise that snow lions are a symbol of Tibetan culture!


Pairs of snow lion statues sometime protect important buildings. 

In this way, they have a lot in common with the Chinese Foo Lions, 

sometimes translated as “Foo Dogs”, that protect this building. 

You can see three pairs of Foo lions 

as you walk through the museum doors 

and courtyard, plus one more pair is up on the roof.”


What have been the lions of your life, 

where do you find them, 

and how do they act in your tanka ?


My Response to the prompt:



door bell rings
delivery man
barking heard
man frightened, 
Chihuahua echoes
elderly woman
second floor apartment
feels safe
grown men afraid
Chihuahua’s bark ~ lion’s roar
tankas are about a true guardian 
chihuahua, in Kansas City, KS,
in the late 1950s.
(c) 2014 Kathabela Wilson …at the S&G canal border of Chesapeake Bay and Delaware