Puppy-dog eyes lose out to pet rego rise

A DOG isn't forever, it's just for Christmas.

OK, so mutt lover Cassy O'Connor won't agree with that rework of the old saying, especially with the Greens' minister attempting to hike state pet registration fees to pull the struggling Dogs' Homes of Tasmania out of the do-dos.

A rent impost caused by electricity prices jacked up four-fold by, um, the state government of which she's part, apparently.

Either way, the seasonally adjusted news in this week's holly- bedecked column is that some new pet owners can't wait to get rid of the warm puppy they've been handed as part of the festive season present-giving scenario.

Britain's Dog Trust reports that one excuse for dog dumping some time after December 25 included "they didn't match the sofa".

The charity's list of other reasons include Fido "scaring the goldfish", "smelling too doggy", "not looking like he did on the website" and, get this, "barking at butterflies".

Oh yes, and "passing wind too much", which fairly much matches up with the "too doggy" olfactory situation.

The only mystery to this columnist's mind is the issue of Rover not matching the settee.

We concede that if the hound is too close a colour to the fabric, it could well lead to an unfortunate outcome as Aunty Maud, staying over Christmas, plumps a cushion only to discover it's the family's somewhat fractious ridgeback settling in for a snooze.

Or, worse still, she could just flop onto the sofa after one too many dry sherries and ...

Goodness, though, but doesn't Christmas emphasise the role played by animals in this annual celebration?

Including the role of oxen and donkeys in nativity scenes.

Party-pooping Pope Benedict has a reality check here, claiming that stable companions are "latter day inventions".

"In the gospels there is no mention of animals," the Pope proclaims, although he does confess he's fighting a losing battle on this one.

"No nativity scene will give up its ox and donkey", he conceded, and that's no papal bull.

Still on livestock, there's the vexed question concerning tree huggers and assorted hand wringers sending charity goats, chooks, even bags of manure, to Africa rather than handing over a new, and desperately wished for, iPhone to a shiny-faced kiddie.

Sort of "I saw this little pig and thought of you".

Go on, dare you, just ask a child whether they truly want a new iPad because you've had this brilliant idea of coughing up 111 bucks to buy three cute little oinking pigs for a Laotian family unit.

Or maybe 24 big ones to send a quacking duck to Bangladesh and sponsor a Solomon Islands' chicken.

Hmm, tell us again what the little brat said about your suggestion?

You don't say? How uncharitable.

We recall a Lonnie office Secret Santa scenario when, among the gifts of chocolates and tea towels, one recipient eagerly opened an envelope congratulating her on being the sponsor of an Eritrean goat.

A spirit of seasonal charity did not prevail despite the certificate authenticating the fact that the nanny would be assisting a Dark Continent person by providing much-needed nutritious milk.

To conclude, there is no more seasonal and traditional Yuletide pleasure than In Black And White offering customary greetings to Ringarooma's environmentally aware residents.

Long recognised by respected international geographers as the globe's true global centre, the North- East village last week received a fantastic accolade at the United Nations' Doha Climate Change gabfest as the most eco-friendly population centre on earth.

That's with everyone in the area working towards a carbon-neutral future - even local moo cows have perfected the drawback.

To every Ringarooman, and Ringaroowoman, then, an especially happy Christmas.

Oh, all right then, all you other lot as well ...

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