Crackers about pets
I’M SURE that if you have read any of my regular columns but have never met me, it sounds as though my life is regularly punctuated by trips away and grand social gatherings. But I can assure you that is not the case, although I go to a few smart events these days.
I am far from being a ‘horsey’ person, but I recently attended Royal Ascot. If you’ve never been it is a great experience and worth going.
As the day progressed and the Pimms flowed, peoplewatching gradually became more interesting with many images that will stay with me always.
But Ascot aside, it’s fair to say I have little experience of the equine world. It’s not that I don’t appreciate these wonderful animals, but they terrify me.
When I was young we had two Shetland ponies, both small with barrel-shaped bellies, but one could smell fear and exhaled steam from her nostrils and her eyes shone red as she charged past you.
I’m sure in a previous life she was a mount for one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Where am I going with this? Pets! Most of us have or have owned a pet at some time, and it’s interesting to see how homes have evolved to cater for their needs.
Cats, dogs and horses are regarded as the animals most intimately associated with us and over the years I must have been told thousands of times that someone will not live near to a road because of their cat or that country walks nearby are a priority for their dog, or they need land or a local stable for a family’s horse.
I have noticed many changes over the years in our homes and how they have evolved around our lives, most noticeably in kitchen design, with changing fashions for gadgets such as integrated coffee machines and wine fridges.
But recently I have noted the emergence of the built-in dog bed and the kitty cut-out in our kitchens for our little friends to rest their furry heads. Surely, though, the best gadget that I am currently aware of is a small video screen placed at dog height, so that you can video-call your dog during the day for a chat.
We have, of course, developed a desire to spend great sums of money to live in buildings originally built for our pets’ needs.
Ever since the late 1970s, it has been fashionable to live in converted stables and barns and as building regulations and efficiency of materials improve, these once cold and impractical buildings become desirable homes bursting with character providing generous accommodation for family living, usually in areas that are ideal for pets.
A pet conspiracy? How the tables have turned.
Above: Pets are becoming ever more pampered