I strongly suspect that owning pets as a kid gives you a soft spot for any given animal for life. My parents have owned dogs since the early eighties, meaning that I was born into a household with two terriers in their prime of life. By the time I left home, we still had a furry member of the family in the form of an elkhound. Despite this, I can still be a little cagey around dogs; I’ve never been fond of German shepherds or boxers, for example.

On the other hand, I am not one of the people on the bandwagon that demands we panic every time we see a bull terrier. The newspapers have been blowing up a nice little storm about how American and Staffordshire bull terriers are being kept as weapons and status symbols like knives and guns, but their reputations are undeserved. Even among the people who are keeping them as part of this fad, there’s a significant population of responsible owners. I saw a guy walking a pit bull in the north side of the city recently. He was a big guy, and the dog helped him look pretty hardcore. At least, it did until it went scrabbling after a plastic bottle on the floor like an excitable puppy…

I’d quite like to have a dog, or perhaps some smaller pet, but it’s hard enough finding a decent house to rent without narrowing yourself down to the tiny population of landlords that allow you to keep animals. Heck, according to my current contract I can’t even let next door’s inquisitive cat any further than the front porch. All that said, I’m so busy these days that I don’t have time to keep anything that needs more attention than feeding and cleaning – I don’t seem to have half an hour of a day to exercise myself, never mind a dog. It takes a certain mindset to look after a pet, so I suppose this is something to fit into the later part of my life plan where I don’t have to work every hour God sends just to pay the bills.

Come to think of it, pet ownership can give you surprising quirks in the contents of your pockets. I can’t remember why now, but someone needed a plastic bag one day as we were walking out of sixth form. I had one, so I obliged. Slightly confused, she asked me why I happened to have a small plastic bag in my pocket and I explained that it was for picking up dog poo. She looked at me with a mixture of shock and revulsion. Hurriedly, I explained (to her evident relief) that I owned a dog and it was for picking up his poo when he did his business on walks. I’m not sure what it says about people’s perceptions of me that her first assumption was that I collected poo for a hobby…


~ by Scary Rob on 26 November, 2007.

One Response to “Pets”

  1. Lol at the story about the plastic bags !!

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