Many people in Hong Kong regularly consult feng shui masters, practitioners of traditional Chinese fortune telling, to find out about their future. For those who want to know what is in stock for their cats and dogs there is now a special service: a feng shui master claims he is the world's first pet fortune teller. Claudia Blume in Hong Kong reports.
Feng shui master Alan Ngan strokes the fur of a tiny Pekinese dog called Chiffon. He has already asked her owner for the pet's date of birth and now examines its body shape and face.
Master Ngan says Chiffon is nervous because she has too much of the feng shui element "wood" and suggests the owner should sing to the dog before it goes to sleep.
He also recommends buying red or purple clothes for Chiffon to improve her overall well-being, and he advises the avoidance of the colors green and brown.
Owner Stephanie Law explains why she took her pet to see a feng shui master.
Law says she wanted to find out what her dog is thinking and if she has any health problems.
Alan Ngan started telling the future of his customers' pets nine years ago. He says it is harder to predict an animal's future, as their life expectancy is shorter than that of humans.
His job is easiest when the owners know the exact birth date of their pet. If they do not, he examines the animals' body shape.
According to feng shui theory, every being is linked to one of five elements and knowing it is essential for predicting the future. Ngan determines a pet's birth element by looking at the animal's shape.
He says if pets are a bit round, for example, they have the water element and if they have a more triangular shape, they have the fire element.
Up to 20 pet owners come each week to see Ngan in his tiny office in a shopping center close to the border with China. Most of them bring dogs.
But - for a fee of $100 per session - the feng shui master says he can predict the future of all kinds of animals, including snakes and insects.
Feng shui is a widely practiced philosophy offering insight to many people, particularly in Chinese cultures. Ngan is a rare example of someone who is attempting to extend its principles to the animal world.