Humankind’s best friends who give love and don’t argue back - Editor's comment
You learn a lot as a reporter on a whole range of topics. One of the things I quickly got a clear view of as a trainee journalist was just how much we Brits love our pets.
One of the first stories I wrote, when working on a newspaper in Berkshire, was about a terrible accident when a woman had been hit by a car as she walked her dog in the dark. She was in hospital with serious injuries. Within hours of the paper publishing, my phone rang. It was a reader who wanted to know how the pet was – no word about the poor lady involved but anxious for an update on the dog. When I expressed my surprise to the editor, she just nodded wisely. People love their pets and nothing gets in the way of that, I quickly learnt.
Can you really blame us human beings for being so attached to creatures who we have made utterly dependent on us? They are cute, more than that they sense when you are down and give you snuggles without any of the questioning or unwanted advice.
Everything about them makes your heart lift, as long as we ignore the bits when they make a mess or turn your sofa hairy, of course.
Our adoration has picked up a new pace in lockdown.
There are hundreds of Sheffielders who wouldn’t have got through these difficult days without the companionship of furry friends. We are devoted to our dogs and they are devoted to us. Our cats may purr with delight but their owners have a very similar feeling thanks to these feline friendship.
That is one reason why the court case on today’s front page will cause such anger.
Cruelty to animals is wicked. There is never a good reason and there is never an acceptable explanation. It is awful to think that there are people in our city who happily cut puppies’ ears without a second thought. Are animals really just a fashion accessory that have to look ‘just so’ for us to love them?
I hope not and I know that the vast majority of us would hate that think that a creature has suffered to make it attractive to us. Those days are behind us and court cases bring the message home that it won’t be tolerated.
Whatever your pet, I hope you look after it in the way you would want to be cared for if the tables were turned.