Friday, 30 April 2010

Nation of dog lovers



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.

11 comments:

Karen said...

I've heard of this before; that is cats being blind and the owners not knowing. My understanding is that their whiskers help in navigation.

With three very elderly cats living with me, I'm constantly surprised by how they come up with different ways to cope with things that they now find difficult to do. However, I'm really glad they haven't figured out a new way to get up on my kitchen counters.

Fran said...

A puppy for a PS2? That's outrageous.

It reminds me of the old joke. Woman goes into pet shop with small child. 'Can I have a gerbil for my little girl, please?' 'Sorry,' says the shopkeeper. 'We don't do swaps.'

moreidlethoughts said...

Echoing Fran! Sadly, you see and hear a lot of such things in the animal business.

(My 2 rascals want to know if Scooter's managed to sort out his blog yet.)

Lesley said...

And when you're bored of the puppy presumably you put it in a cupboard and forget about it....

It sounds as though this owner is going to be halfway decent at least. Phew!

Lesley

BumbleVee said...

Awww what a softie Margery is... thank goodness for kind souls like that ...and you too Rachel.... looking after so many cats and giving them wonderful homes...

Von said...

Firstly pleased Margery can eat chocolate with hwer hiatus hernia, I'd not like to see her deprived of a great food source!I have one too and it never stops me!
Cats are amazing at dealing with these things aren't they?

Linda said...

Glad Margery is going to be OK, and such good news that she can eat chocolate!
It does sound as though people take advantage of the PDSA, but with vet bills being what they are, I suppose it is tempting to plead poverty. We vaccinate Rupert every year - after 17 years he can hardly have any vulnerable cell left, but still they insist. It costs a small fortune.
And how funny you should write about a dog - I dreamt last night that someone had offered me a corgi!

rachel said...

Looking at one family there with a particularly huge and unusual dog (don't know the breed, but the sad-looking eyes seem to be a known characteristic), I'd say that yes, they were indeed poor. The dog must have cost several months' worth of welfare benefits. Funny what people's priorities are....

Lynda (Granny K) said...

My Yorkie became completely blind, but coped very well. I suppose she relied on sense of smell very much and being in familiar surroundings. I probably carried her around more and lifted her on and off things, where before she would have jumped, but she coped with it wonderfully.

Rattling On said...

I had a 17 year old cat that had major dental work (most taken out). It was a new lease of life for her and she got another two good years before going in her sleep.
I can't believe the Playstation story, makes the blood boil. At least someone caring took the dog on.

Charlotte said...

My mum says the new accessory at the job centre is shitzu puppies. She always wonders how when getting crisis loans to buy tabs they can afford an expensive dog like that then all the different outfits and leads. Must be nice to afford a dog full stop. We've just sold our Wii Fit should have looked what we could have got in a swap?! The annoying thing about that story is if she couldn't afford £450 how she going to afford all the stuff the dog needs. Bet in a years time she'll be using it to breed and make a few bob or get the latest games console

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