Back onto the subject of poor old Clyde,
I was amazed & dismayed regarding what Michelle told me about veterinary costs in their area. Upon being reunited with their clearly very sick pet, Neil immediately ‘phoned the vet for an emergency ‘out-of-hours’ trip to the surgery. He was advised that the cost would be £80, just for the callout & before adding on consultation fees, treatment & medication costs – an extortionate amount especially considering it was not even a home visit. However, as he was arranging the dash to the surgery – cost of course being no object for this dealy-loved old friend – Clyde tragically died in Michelle’s arms. The vet then calmly offered costs for disposal of the body (with the option of either an ‘en masse’ cremation with other recently-deceased pets, or a much more expensive, ‘individual treatment’). Needless to say, Neil chose to bury Clyde in the garden with soulmate Bonnie, instead. It reminded me of the time we kept the ponies at a stables not far from the local equine clinic; if routine jabs, teeth rasping or whatever were required, the vet would leave work early & drop in on his way home (he had to literally drive past the stable door) but we would still be charged the full callout fee of around £50. The price of keeping animals these days, seems to go up & up: & it’s not helped by ridiculous commercialism, either.
In fact I was moved to write against a post I came across, on another Blog – something which, as a rule, I normally wouldn’t do. However I do feel that those of us who maintain weblogs have a collective responsibility to post only things which are sensible or morally right. What moved me to write was a supposedly ‘cute’ photo of a cat locked in a cage, with a dog standing next to it – with the unfortunate feline dressed up as a robber & the dog, dressed as a policeman (both complete with hats, of all things). It seems to be a particularly popular pastime at the moment, in the USA; especially at Hallowe’en when pets are dressed in all sorts of guises. Personally I find this humiliating for the animal concerned – the lady who posted the photo was at pains to point out to me, that people love their pets as much as if they were children – & so want to share celebrations with them, by dressing them up. Animals are not dolls with no feelings, nor are they children who can at least comprehend; pets – however pampered – don’t have a clue what Hallowe’en is; & I’m sure they’d enjoy the occasion far more if offered some tasty titbit from the table, rather than by their owners pandering to consumerism & anthropomorphising them by dressing them up in ridiculous, uncomfortable, unnatural costumes. After all, fur & feathers make clothes a ‘nil requirement’ – & the recent trend of carrying pampered pooches around in handbags (rather than giving them the exercise they need), or dressing them in tee shirts & bootees – will only serve to rapidly weaken already inbred genetics, making these animals yet more vulnerable: their hardiness is being steadily eroded as owners are deluded into buying ‘clothes’ for their pets. And then there’s the practise of breeding technical mutations; like Dachshund or Boxer dogs; or Sphinx, Persian & Munchkin cats?
What really did disgust me however, was the photo of the crimped, primped & dyed giant poodle: shaved, coloured & even supplied with bandanna, to look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Completely gross. At least the person who posted it felt even this was going too far; though some of the comments below the photo clearly did not share that sentiment, literally begging for more. To get a dog groomed for the competition can stump up a hefty bill – typically as much as $600; but then again, America alone spends a staggering $41 billion on the pet industry; which tops the GDP of 118 countries, believe it or not. I gently suggested to the lady concerned that rather than spending the money on ridiculous costumes (which I’ve since discovered, even she admits her animals hate) if she truly IS an animal lover, why doesn’t she donate the money to her local pet rehoming sanctuary, or give of her spare time there, to help out?
There. Rant over! Meanwhile, suffering the rainy Saturday alone, Tony remained in London for his ‘rehearsal’ simulator prior to tomorrow’s Line Performance Check. I was very frustrated & cross to find that, as I’d suspected, he was expected to work from full bmi operating procedures; so he had to work hard to keep on top of things & would have to spend the evening doing some serious ‘catchup’ revision. Needless to say, he did not like ‘I told you so’ & hung up on me before switching off the ‘phone. Grrrrr……men!!