Crack­ers about pets

EDP Norfolk - - Last Word In Property -

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.Š

Above: Pets are be­com­ing ever more pam­pered

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