Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Petting Who?

First Published in The Skinny, 1 November, 2009

After a few hours of joyful motoring you might remember to let Oscar the trusty black Labrador-X out to do what dogs do, but here’s the thing – around here, pets take on many forms.

You might, for instance, think that letting Oscar harass whatever native fauna comes within striking distance is an expression of his inner hunter, but beware the critter’s handler as every wombat, koala and drop-bear in the vicinity has an exclusive contract with the ABC documentary department.

Likewise if Oscar, by some miracle, catches anything rodent-esque then prepare for a visit from an irate secretary of the shire Ferret Fanciers Association or, even worse, local punk rockers who torture their tree-changer parents for removing them from the mean streets by keeping a wide selection of pet rats.

And Oscar had better not try his paw at being a pig-dog on that little porker waddling merrily down the main street, as that wee hog is not a refugee from the local abattoir but Grunty, beloved pet of the famous film star who bought the big house on the hill on a whim five years ago and who is rumoured to be Eastering there sometime next decade.

Oscar might have trouble making friends with the other local canines as they are either too busy earning their keep out in the fields or are too pedigree to recognise a mutt like Oscar due to their innate feelings of superiority and/or inbred blindness but cats are, surprisingly, more fair game.

Not, you understand, so much the slumberous furball asleep in the front window of Krystal’s World of Windchimes, but the more ferocious beasts that dwell wild in the undergrowth, but keep a sharp eye on Oscar when he returns to the car to make sure he is Oscar and not the feral black panther that just ate him.

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