What did you understand?
Do some quizzes. Listen again to answer the questions.
Mike [00:01:10] Hello Owain!
Owain [00:01:12] Hi Mike. How you doing?
Mike [00:01:14] I'm good, thank you. How are you?
Owain [00:01:18] I'm fine. Yeah. Yeah. Any any any swimming today? Any strangers, meeting strangers?
Mike [00:01:26] I did I went swimming. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Every day at the moment. I'm living my resolutions, I talk to people on the train today and I did I went for a swim, which is great. It was great.
Owain [00:01:38] Nice, nice. Good. Well, what we talking about today?
Mike [00:01:47] Well, if I said to you, Owain, a lovely lamb casserole and cottage pie with broccoli and fresh potato, some smoked salmon and peas. These are all dishes for humans, right?
Owain [00:02:04] Some humans. Yeah, I suppose. Yeah. If you like that kind of stuff.
Mike [00:02:09] Yeah, wrong, wrong. These are actually typical items, typical food dishes that you'd see in your average British supermarket...
Owain [00:02:22] Yeah, of course.
Mike [00:02:22] ...in the aisle that that is for dogs and cats, a.k.a. the pet food aisle. Yeah.
Owain [00:02:32] What?
Mike [00:02:32] Because.
Owain [00:02:35] Okay.
Mike [00:02:36] For real. Yeah. Cause there are 60 million odd people in the UK. Okay. 27 million pets. Let me break that down for you a little bit,.
Owain [00:02:50] Right.
Mike [00:02:50] So you've got. 43 percent of households in Britain have a pet of some description. There's seven point three million dogs. Seven point two million cats. There's a lot of cats and dogs, 14 million of them running around, scampering around, barking, growling, purring. Apart from dogs and cats, we've got fish, rabbits, reptiles, rodents, birds, all of them. They've all been domesticated and they're all in one in Britain...
Owain [00:03:27] Not flying around?
Mike [00:03:27] 43 percent. Some are.
Owain [00:03:29] No birds flying around though are there.
Mike [00:03:31] There are some. Yeah. Some people prefer not to have them in cages, you know. So they let them run...they let them fly around the house. But you can imagine there's a lot of "feather-idge" and a lot of the mess. So I think my point, Owain, today is that it's fair to say that other cultures, some of whom might be listening to this episode, are fascinated, sometimes baffled and sometimes pretty revolted. How much British people embrace th...their pets into their lives and into their homes? You know, in a recent study, 15 percent of British people said that they loved their pets more than their partner.
Owain [00:04:19] So...
Mike [00:04:19] That's a worrying statistic.
Owain [00:04:21] I...What did you say? They they love that pets more than their partner?
Mike [00:04:26] That's right.
Owain [00:04:28] How many people?
Mike [00:04:29] That's right. 15 percent. I'll give you another statistic. One in seven people said that they'd leave all of their wealth to their pet in their will. Sixty percent, 60 percent of people say... I've got more...60 percent of people say that we should get compassionate leave. If our pet dies, if a pet, if a pet passes away, we should be able to go...the employer should have to pay for us to have a period of compassionate leave.
Owain [00:05:05] How? How much? How long?
Mike [00:05:08] Does it. Does it matter? I mean, surely, surely...
Owain [00:05:16] Well, if it's an hour...if it's an hour, yeah, I'd be...I'd be okay with that...three weeks, I don't know.
Mike [00:05:21] Yeah. You know, and check this out, likewise, like people are also wanting to push through the idea of "peternity" leave, "peternity" leave, so...as opposed to the 'paternity' leave. Yeah. Yeah. This is real. This is real.
Owain [00:05:42] Oh my god.
Mike [00:05:43] So when taking on any furry companion, people would like to have some some some sort of paternity leave, some me time. I mean, the list goes on. So, Owain, Do you...Do you have a relationship with a pet? Do you have a pet in your life?
Owain [00:06:03] I'm not currently taking on any pets and I have had pets in my life. When I was a child I had cats and dogs, you know, the usual...rabbits, guinea pigs,...no, sorry, I tell a lie, not guin...hamsters. I think they all...they all end up dying in the end, which is kind of part of the reason for having pets when you're young, you know, teaches you about death, but as an adult, I...most recent pets I've had were about the early 2000s and nearly 20 years ago. Daisy and Humphrey, who were... I kind of adopted them from my my girlfriend. We we lived together and...
Mike [00:06:49] Okay. What animals were they?
Owain [00:06:51] They were..they were cats. So, Humphrey a bit of a nut case, he fell out of a window, I think, once was never the same again. And, er, Daisy who just liked to set her...Yeah, Daisy who liked to set her fire on...her tail on fire, which is...which is not fun at the best of times when it's a white...a pure white cat. It doesn't doesn't look great. So...
Mike [00:07:14] That's not going to end well.
Owain [00:07:15] No, no, no. But I lov, lov...I loved it and I loved having them and I was quite glad when I lost them, 'cause they were a pain in the neck sometimes.
Mike [00:07:24] Okay.
Owain [00:07:24] How about you, Mike? Have you had...Do you got any pets?
Mike [00:07:31] Yeah. I used to have cat..., er, do... two dogs. I grew up with two dogs in the house. I had a dog called Scrumpy who was a Yorkshire terrier.
Owain [00:07:41] I think you've told me about him.
Mike [00:07:41] ...and, and I had a little not so little, I had a black Labrador dog called Samantha, which is not a very dog-like name really, but it was a rescue dog.
Owain [00:07:53] Not really. No.
Mike [00:07:54] No. Some of the things that I thought...
Owain [00:07:58] She was, she was called Samantha because she was a rescue dog.
Mike [00:08:01] Oh, yeah. No, because we tried to rename her. We tried to rename her in an attempt to, you know, make a less human like, I suppose, because Samantha is quite a common name for a human.
Owain [00:08:14] She just doesn't respond to anything else?
Mike [00:08:15] ...it's common. Yeah. She wouldn't respend...respend? She wouldn't respond. She wouldn't respond to any...
Owain [00:08:22] Peternity.
Mike [00:08:23] ...Nickname, diminutive of Samantha. Sammy, we tried Sammy. We tried Simmy. Sam. Nothing. Yeah, it's tail....her tail, her tail wouldn't wag. So. Yeah, I mean it... Some of the more unusual things about these are a love affair with pets. Just made me laugh really when I was researching this topic.
Owain [00:08:48] What? There's more?
Mike [00:08:48] But you know that there's such a dent...There's a doggy dentist. You can take the dog?
Owain [00:08:52] Yeah, I doesn't surprise...I ha...
Mike [00:08:54] Yeah.
Owain [00:08:54] Yeah. Doesn't surprise me. I've seen.... I've seen, I've seen doggy hairdressers. I mean, if you if you...at least teeth, teeth are quite important, you know. But if you're going to take your dog to a hairdresser, then of course you're going to take it to the dentist aren't you.
Mike [00:09:09] Yeah. Yeah. So you get you get you get days at the office, where you can take your dog in these days. It's very common.
Owain [00:09:18] You get...you get days off from the...from the office.
Mike [00:09:20] No not not days off. No. You get, you get to take your dog into the office. It's like take a dog into the office day. That's very common.
Owain [00:09:28] Is it?!
Mike [00:09:29] Yeah, it's very common.
Owain [00:09:31] Really.
Mike [00:09:31] But you know, you can...that's why other countries think we're mad. Absolutely mad. Because in Mozambique, for example, in Mozambique, where my brother lives, dogs aren't allowed into the house. It's very common for a dog...
Owain [00:09:45] RIght.
Mike [00:09:45] ...to be outside barking at traffic and gardening...guarding, guarding the property. Because that's what, that's what...
Owain [00:09:55] Are they, are they pets...really? Are they considered pets, though?
Mike [00:10:00] Yeah. Well, yeah, not in the same way as what we've considered pets, right. Yeah. Yeah. I'm down with some things, I mean, people giving food to dogs in restaurants. That's not really my cup of tea. Don't really agree with that.
Owain [00:10:15] I haven't seen that.
Mike [00:10:15] But I do think that pets are a brilliant way of combating loneliness on a serious note, I think is really good,.
Owain [00:10:23] Right.
Mike [00:10:23] Yeah. So I see the benefits of, er, you know, my friend was telling me that she had a dog that lived lived in her in her neighbours house and her neighbour was a very old lady with Alzheimer's. And this dog called Olympia, which is a strong name for dog. It used to...it used to just...it used to help this old lady and just keep her company. And...
Owain [00:10:51] Ah, like Lassie, eh?
Mike [00:10:51] ...whenever she played...
Owain [00:10:52] Right.
Mike [00:10:54] Yeah, whenever she played the piano, apparently she played the piano and the dog would just...would bark in, like, when th...when she finished playing the piano, it was like she was applauding. Except instead of...
Owain [00:11:06] Wow, wow!
Mike [00:11:06] ...instead of clapping, she'd applaud. Yeah, she'd, she'd...
Owain [00:11:07] Well, that says, I mean, I mean, dog...dogs...the interesting thing about dogs is they do appear to be pretty intelligent and you can kind of build a relationship with them. I mean, obviously, we don't know what they're thinking necessarily, but...or whether they've got that w...to h...to what degree they're, they're conscious. I mean. I mean, they're conscious. But how much they understand. I mean, how intelligent are they. We don't really know. But they seem to be getting it. You know, they seem to be quiet with whatever's going on around them.
Mike [00:11:34] So do you think...
Owain [00:11:35] Sometimes more than more than humans.
Mike [00:11:38] Yeah. Yeah, definitely. More than me on a...on a Thursday night after...some teaching or even a Wednesday night, like it is today. I think, I mean, would you would you....Do you think that dogs can recognise? Can you know they'll appreciate a...a dinner that's made up of organic steak and all the rest of it? Do you think they said they say go, 'I'm so glad'? Yeah.
Owain [00:12:04] Not really. Not really. No. No, I think they probably think, ooh, food - smells good.
Mike [00:12:11] Yeah.
Owain [00:12:11] Yeah. I'm gonna get...I'm going to eat this as quick as I can because I'm starving.
Mike [00:12:14] Yeah. I think so too.
Owain [00:12:15] I've been running around in the f...in the park all day.
Mike [00:12:18] Yeah. Well, mate, that was a j...a little journey into our pet...onto into the British love affair with pets. We'd love to hear from you guys. If you have any pets in your country, in your house. And we. And if so, what your what what what's what are your pet stories? Please write into us and tell us some pet stories. Until next time.
Owain [00:12:43] Yeah, yeah.
Mike [00:12:43] Happy waffling!
Honouring My British Heritage