It was my dog’s birthday last Friday and I’m afraid to say it came and went without pomp and ceremony despite the pleadings of my young children who wished to decorate him in ribbons and bows and all things sparkly.  They also mentally spent a lot of my money buying him dog kennels and bones, new leads and fluffy teddies.  The latter was out of self preservation, given Abu’s tendency to have a little fun with their own embarrasingly large collection of fluffy creatures.

Not celebrating Abu’s11th birthday doesn’t mean I don’t love him.  I am Bryn Parry’s cartoon equivalent of the British dog lover – and that’s not necessarily a compliment.

There’s no denying it, we Brits do love our pets and when we go on holiday we prefer to take them with us if possible, as we recoil in horror at the idea of our little Fido’s being incarcarated in cold, concrete kennels whilst we romp around the countryside enjoying ourselves.

The self catering industry lends itself well to taking pets (dogs in particular) on holidays.  They come with us in the car and they get let out the other end into something that is more or less a home from home.  Except possibly with far more exciting smells as far as Fido is concerned.  We actively encourage owners of our self catering properties to accept dogs if they can, given the volume of enquiry from visitors seeking dog friendly holiday houses.  Most of our owners, I’m pleased to say, are perfectly happy for visitors to bring along their dog or dogs;  some go so far as to provide kennels.

Of course the sticking point is always that one irresponsible dog owner who can let the side down for all.  Jolly bad luck on those well trained holidaymakers but a right pain for the owner who is left to survey the damage in dismay, let alone get the property back to mint condition in time for the new arrivals.  Back in the old days, we didn’t need to have written ‘bringing along your dog’ policies – but these days we feel it’s probably safer if everyone knows where they stand (except the dog, who quite frankly couldn’t give a stuff despite his good breeding).

I’ve been looking at it recently.  Our ‘Pet Policy’ that is.  It’s full of the sort of stuff you know you should know.  Like;  ‘pets must be flea treated before entering the property’ and ‘pets are not permitted in the bedrooms or on the furniture’ even rather delicate matters to do with droppings and disposal of are all mentioned in this earnest but rather boring document.   I’m allowed to be rude, I wrote it.

I’ve been thinking recently that it would be quite fun to convert the whole thing into a poem, or we could push the boat out further and create a rap!  I’d have to brush the dust off my Eminem CD but as my colleagues will vouch I’m not one to shy from a challenge.  While I’m at it, I could approach Bryn Parry (who by the way founded the very worthy charity Help for Heros) and get him to to add a few doodles to the policy … I wonder if he’d do that. No really. It would certainly make reading ‘terms and conditions’ a little more interesting.  Who knows they may even get read (by someone other than me) …. watch this space.