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Sibling Rivalry; Status Dogs; Scams

Published: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sibling Rivalry
Last week’s Observer ran a story about how to ensure you have a happy child. The answer seems to be don’t have more than one as siblings cause stress to each other.

It’s the same with pets; people often get two dogs as company for each other but more often than not it leads to problems. I know it would ruin my Collie Lizzie’s life if another dog came into the house. Cystitis in cats is much more prevalent in multi-cat households.

Status Dogs
A recent letter to the Veterinary Record stopped me in my tracks. The writer pointed out that most dogs were “status” dogs, not just the aggressive ones. They can be badges of conspicuous compassion (“I look after animals so it is obvious that I am a caring person;”) or surrogate parenthood. Or they can be signs of vanity; hence the huge variety of breeds. Or they can be a demonstration of the status of a master/mistress and slave relationship. An example which I have noticed is the desire for unusual breeds; (“Look at me, I have a breed that no-one else has.”) Or “My dog loves me so I am a loveable person. So what about me? I have a Border Collie so I am obviously a well-behaved and intelligent person.

A friend Ian in Scotland has sent a warning about a postal scam. A card comes through your door asking you to dial an 09--- number but if you do it will cost you £315. I’ve not been caught out by one of these but how can that work? Does BT send me a bill for £315 and I pay it? I don’t think so.

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