Can I have a rescue kitten with my beetroot latte?

kiven-zhao-536685-unsplashRescue animals are the latest must have accessory. As heard on James Valentine’s Afternoons show recently, he joked about ordering a turmeric latte and a rescue greyhound. The strange thing is that it isn’t so long ago that special breed dogs were de rigueur. Every man and his dog had an Alaskan Malamute crossed with a Portuguese Water Dog mixed with Bernedoodle or a Neapolitan Mastiff mixed with Whoodle. It was the epitome of everything to have a Scottish Fold Cat mixed with Sphinx. It signified individuality and care, as though you’d matched your lifestyle with a particular breed. In a way it was brandbuilding under the guise of thoughtfulness.

How things change. Now to hear someone say that they have got a breed dog would be the equivalent of saying you support child labour. To rescue a poor distressed poverty-stricken animal with no family, breeding or connections from a third-world suburb and offer them a “forever home” denotes depth and authenticity. The more tragic the tale – rescued from a flood, senior dog with broken leg, cat blinded in hit and run car accident even better. You are hot smoking woke.   

Once rescued, these animals have a pampered life. If you live In Melbourne you can even order a beer for your dog. Beerdog Bitter is a beef flavoured lightly carbonated drink that is on tap in a number of Melbourne ale houses. You can now take your dog out to lunch and a drink. How nice. Still in Melbourne, why not visit the café for dogs – dogachinos, pupcorn and grass-fed beef dog loaves. On the other hand, cats drink wine. You can order online a MosCATo or Pinot Meow, which substitutes alcohol for catnip. There are dog laughter workshops, pet reiki, behaviour therapy because – you know – rescue animals have … issues. And if your rescue pet is cute or quirky enough they can become Instagram stars and launch their own brand of merch. Life was never this good for designer pets of old.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I think it is much better to rescue an animal rather than pay an exorbitant fee on a specially bred family pet. If a nice middle-class couple doesn’t rescue these animals more than likely they will not have a happy life, or any life at all. I’m just wondering why having a rescue pet has suddenly got so popular. Are people hoping for extra love and loyalty from their new pet given they saved its life? (If you’re looking for love from a cat, good luck). Is it that they feel powerless about world events so are putting their energy into a rescue kitten? Instead of solving the entire refugee crisis are they just going to try to help one abandoned pug? Is it instead of volunteering because, you know, who wants to spend all day in a soup kitchen when you can play with your new rescue puppy! Or is a rescue pet a little something to casually brag about on Instagram? Maybe it is because relationships with actual humans are just too complex now and better to get a new family member that can’t speak English.

Whatever the reason, I just worry these rescue animals will be dropped at the next fad. When the pet rock makes a comeback.

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Get those wannabe frog dogs out of my cafes

Dogs have taken over cafes. In just about every outdoor (and many of the indoor cafes) across Sydneydogs are lounging about in cafes.

Cafe owners will do anything for the dog. It’s a VIP. The dog can even get free water and its own special bowl. I don’t know about you but I never get my own special mug and I’m a paying customer.

Annoyingly also there’s no size limit on dogs allowed in cafes, in fact the smaller the cafe the larger the dog that and ipso facto the larger the dog the more likelihood it will not be on a leash.

Now I have nothing against dogs. Apart from not liking them that is. If they want, I guess they can go to the supermaret and stop for a wagochino on the way home if it makes them feel grown up, but who I really hate are dog owners. (Note normal dog owners who treat their pet as an animal are OK – it’s the ones who take them shopping who I hate.) (But cats are still better than dogs.)

Bad dog owners think that because they own a dog, go to cafes and take the dog to the cafe then they are French. No they’re not. They are just some massive bogan who takes a dopey dog to a cafe, preventing paying customers like me coming inside. There’s nothing French about driving in your trakkies to a cafe and taking the dog with you. And theres definitely nothing French about those doggy bags sticking out the pocket of every dog owner.

Besides, if they were really French they’d know you just leave the poo lying around.  I rest my case.