Friday, 30 April 2010
Well, isn't that what we're supposed to be? Of course we are; we love love love dogs, here in Britain. They're our best friends, aren't they?
I was in the waiting room of the PDSA Animal Hospital today with Margery and one of her elderly cats. The PDSA is situated on the edge of one of the more challenging housing estates, and Margery had a choice of getting there via two buses, or by expensive taxi, or (as a last, detestable resort) with her horrible brother, who would have berated her continuously for having cats at all, urging her to have them put down. So I took her. We anticipated bad news; sympathy and support would be necessary.
Margery is back on form these days, and cheerful; all those recent unpleasant tests revealed nothing life-threatening, but a straightforward hiatus hernia. She says that oddly, it doesn't seem to affect her when she eats chocolate or other fattening things.
The PDSA waiting room was full to overflowing, with five terribly young-looking vets on duty. You know you're getting old when vets look like fifth-formers.... Margery, the great animal lover, dedicated vegetarian, caring pet rescuer-rehomer, with hardly two pennies to rub together, tutted a little at how many pedigree dogs there were: "You never see a mongrel in here - and these people are supposed to be poor!" There were some huge, beautiful and very expensive animals in there, as well a handful of status-signifier Staffies, and an uncontrollable, barking, growling, leash-straining collie-cross being mismanaged by two unaccompanied children.
One young woman's story caused outrage.
She had brought a very pretty Alsatian puppy, who was doing that funny puppy-melodrama thing when expected to wait patiently for a long time in an unfamiliar and crowded place: audible suffering. She howled and yelped, and wriggled and bounced, and wanted everyone to pay attention to her, and so they did. She was very sweet - sweeter perhaps if she'd had a volume control knob, but sweet nevertheless, with huge ears and paws that needed a good deal of growing in to. It was evident that her owner loved her.
The owner had spotted the puppy advertised on Gumtree: price £450. She had always wanted an Alsatian, but couldn't afford one at that price, and anyway, wasn't quite ready to take on a dog yet.
Until she saw that the puppy hadn't sold, and was now on offer as a swap - for a Playstation 3. So she bought her.
Thank goodness that some people love dogs for themselves.
PS Margery's old Tigger needs dental work, if planned tests show that she can cope with an anaesthetic. During examination, it was found that she was completely blind. Margery and I drove home in a state of mild shock; she hadn't realised.
We go back on May 12th. The wheels of the pressurised PDSA turn very slowly.
Posted by rachel at 21:00