Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Well I'll be doggone!

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I’ve recently reached the conclusion that the keeping of domestic pets is an endeavour coming to an inevitable end. Last week we learnt that the Wellington City Council have offered to desex the city’s cats at virtually no cost to their owners. If the desexing programme is successful then within a few cat generations the species will have disappeared altogether.

Game, set and match to Gareth Morgan.

Cats aren’t the first in line. Circuses have lost their animals and Napier’s performing dolphins were returned back to the ocean some years ago.

The writing is clearly on the wall and so I sat the dog that totally rules our household down after I had seen the TV news item and told her that her days as a domesticated pet would appear to be numbered. Molly is a shitzu/poodle. She gets embarrassed when people shorten her lineage by linking the first four letters and the first three letters of the two breeds and I often wonder if I should be feeding her shitake mushrooms. That aside, I said I thought that seeing the dolphins had been released from their swimming pools goldfish would soon be banished from their endless bowls, and those folk with budgies, canaries and parrots would be the next to be ostracised, closely followed by guinea-pig keepers. Cats were now unable to multiply and so it would soon be the dog-owners turn to release their pets.

Although I couldn’t give her an exact timetable, I did suggest that I would start taking her around the backs alleys of the town and teach her how to forage for food.

She seemed a bit non-plussed. She walked me over to the ranch slider where her sheepskin rug is laid out allowing her maximum sunlight during the daylight hours when she is not sleeping on our bed and then back to the TV where she watches her favourite show, Animal Planet. Finally, with a typical canine gesticulation, she motioned towards the next door cat, who just happened to be lurking on the path above our house and was about due to have its daily exercise, by being chased back to its own confines.

It was perfectly clear that although the animal rights people felt she should be returned to her natural habitat, she was supremely happy with the life she had carved out for herself at my considerable expense. To emphasise the point she patiently watched me fill her food bowl with turkey flavoured morsels that look at least equal to what we are planning to have ourselves for Christmas dinner.

You might worry that thoroughbred horses are the next endangered species, but I think not. The racing industry pays huge taxes, and the TAB is one of the government’s smartest little earners. Although publicly abhorring games of chance it hypocritically promotes visits to these government gambling dens, so it’s my contention that sporting animals will be totally exempt. If most dogs are deemed to be doomed then Molly will have wished she was born a greyhound.

Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but when did you ever have your best friend spayed or neutered?

“Why is a lobster any more ridiculous than a dog - or any other creature one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters: they are peaceful and solemn, they know the secrets of the sea, they do not bark, and they do not eat into the essential privacy of one’s soul the way dogs do.” - Gerard de Nerval


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