You can pet a human, but you really shouldn’t human a pet. Things can get… a bit sick.

When I get out of here I am gonna… I'm gonna… Pic: Ellen Smith

No, not in a Monaghan kind of way. Wash your mouth out. In an awww-i-wuv-my-widdle-wascal-so-much-I-just-wanna-dress-him-up-like-a-real-little-boy kind of way.

Going overboard on the pet love can nauseate your friends and family, and can make you really – really – sick. Some people anthropomorphise their pets to the point where they forget that pets don’t floss or use alcohol-based sanitation gels as often as they should.

Rat-kissing, for example, can go badly wrong. Not to be confused with the more political term ‘rat f—ker’, a rat kisser is someone enamoured enough of their companion rodent to give them a friendly smooch.

The Medical Journal of Australia was forced to put out a health warning this week after ‘affectionate contact’ with her pet rodents gave a 26-year-old woman the potentially fatal rat bite fever. ‘Kissing rats is a health hazard’, the MJA warned. Thanks, doc, point taken. 

A quick interwebs lookabout shows rat kissing is quite accepted by certain segments of the community. One thoughtful photographer posted a pic of “Jacob making out with Pearl”, garnering breathless ‘awwwws’ and ‘cuuuutes’ and one disturbing ‘can I come over and kiss your rat like that?’.

You can find sites to discuss French kissing rats, and sites on how to train a rat to kiss you. Aw. Close your eyes and try not to think about the Black Death. Or the salmonella or the meningitis. (And, NB, be careful at work Googling around about animal love. Just learned that the hard way).

Cat lovers claim that cats are the cleanest animals because of all the licking. Like how they lick their bums and their paws then jump up on the kitchen benches.

Now, there’s something even more sinister to worry about than the bum-paw-bench-dinner connection. Let your cats take over your house and you could be in trouble.

According to The Atlantic and evolutionary biologist Jaroslav Flegre, cats’ parasites can infest humans and cause personality changes, dementia, car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders – possibly even triggering schizophrenia. Flegr’s theories sound crazy (and he reckons he is infected) but his colleagues are starting to believe him.

At least with dogs you know for sure that they’ve probably been in some pretty disgusting places. There’s no pretence at cleanliness. But just in case there are still some of you out there who think it’s OK to kiss and cuddle any old dog you come across, here’s another reason it’s not:

Pets are great. People with pets are generally healthier and happier. Pets are now used in therapy with the sick and the old. Most of them will never make you sick.

But don’t confuse your ‘fur kid’ with an actual kid. They’re not human. They mostly shouldn’t have human food, they don’t need human clothes. And they probably don’t need kisses.

Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett is a pet expert from LaTrobe University’s psychology department. She says it’s ridiculous to start worrying too much about the risks of getting sick from your pets, and rightly points out that you’re much more likely to catch something nasty from a fellow Homo sapiens.

But she also says it’s important to love pets for what they are, not what we imagine they are.

“(Some people) expect their pets to behave like little humans. You forget that your dog is a carnivore, and feed it a vegan diet… dogs go scuba diving, skydiving. Some of these things they may really like - some they probably don’t.”

Dr Bennett said pets like to be with humans, and humans like to do things with their pets but “sometimes forget they don’t think the same as we do”.

“Humans are weird animals,” she said.

Twitter: @ToryShepherd

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    • Emma says:

      05:08am | 22/02/12

      Always wanted to have a pet. Can I have one, please?

    • subotic says:

      09:41am | 22/02/12

      With or without sauce?

    • Kika says:

      01:27pm | 22/02/12

      Yeah Subotic wants to eat a dog.

    • subotic says:

      04:11pm | 22/02/12

      Wants to? Huh? I HAVE….

      Kika, some people eat frog’s legs. Some people eat snails. Some people even go against the direct Old Testament commandments and eat pigs and crustaceans. Tell me Sport, is eating a prawn right or wrong? Please, enlighten me.

      It just so happened that I was in a country where dog eating is an acceptable option as a protein source. So I ate it. I didn’t ask for it. I just happened to be there. Just like you happen to be some OCD suffering female who is unable to accept that the entire world doesn’t always have to agree with her.

      And for the record, I WOULD do it again should the occasion arise. And if it does, I’ll dedicate each and every tasty bite to you….

    • acotrel says:

      06:18am | 22/02/12

      When my wife is away looking a fter her aged mother, I still know my dog loves me.  I just cannot understand however, why he refuses to answer me when I speak to him. Perhaps it’s because we had a leadership spill and I won ?

    • Gregg says:

      09:01am | 22/02/12

      Your dog knows just how rusted on you are and that it’s a lost cause to even attempt a balanced conversation with you.
      Try addressing him as Tony 4PM and the response may improve or buy a cocky and after a few weeks of saying Tony4PM you’ll have someone to have a political discussion with.
      Don’t go french kissing the cocky in gratitude though or maybe it could be a better way to go than the cat having your tongue

    • Thunderoad says:

      09:44am | 22/02/12

      And you’re not rusted on Gregg?

    • sunny says:

      10:49am | 22/02/12

      @acotrel the mangy mongrel will have a crack at you again if he ever gets the numbers. Not likely, but keep that rolled up newspaper in sight anyway.

    • Gregg says:

      10:52am | 22/02/12

      Glued maybe but then my dogs do communicate with me, even whinging when they have been put on a diet.
      Along with a cousin I once thought when visiting rellies it’d be interesting to hear an Uncle and Aunt’s cocky to say something like ” Scratch Cockies Arse with a Chisel ” rather than the more usual hello cocky and not a peep out of the bugger until the morning we were leaving after a about a fortnight.

      Getting into the car, the cocky lets go clear as a bell with ” Scratch Cockies Arse with a Chisel ” !
      Glad we were outta there!

      All we need to do now is train up Julia and Kevin!

    • Kika says:

      01:58pm | 22/02/12

      As they say Acotrel - Dogs know!


      07:34am | 22/02/12

      Hi Tory,

      I honestly could not agree with you anymore or any less! But those outfits are very cute indeed. There has to be a clear distinction between a true role of an animal as a pet and our roles as the owners of such animals. Animals with the intention of being a family pet, rely totally on us human beings for their survival and we all get that part, right?  I can also understand reasons behind the idea of owning a pet as a companion for the elderly especially.

      However, I truly have a problem with our obsession with some people treating their pets as if they were human beings. The same goes for dressing them up, taking them to hairdressers and personal dog grooming specialists for the ultimate fitness, facial and masques may be?  It sounds so distorted, weird, wacky and wonderful at the same time.  I just think what every makes you happy, right?

      By the way, I truly appreciate the research which went into putting this article together.  I truly don’t know how any one else feels about close contact with animals in general. I have to confess that being in the same room with dogs or cats equally, usually gives me an allergic reaction and very strange of feeling of being unwell.  My tolerance would be something like 30minutes, that is with keeping my distance. And truly I have thought that I was always a bit different from the rest.  You know what?  My daughter has the very same reaction as well, believe it or not!

      I remember visiting some friends in Istanbul, about five years ago.  I totally had the shock of my life as soon as the door opened, instead of his wife opening door and greeting us, we were actually greeted by these really huge, repulsive & ugly dogs. If one was not enough, but two of them, really?

      My immediate question to him was “with the two of you working how do you actually manage to look after these creatures all day”? He said something like “well basically they eat once or twice a day, in the evenings we all go for a walk!  I am guessing as a bonus of being good dogs and locked up for about 10-12 hours a day.

      I just remember saying “but is that really fair”?  Dogs will always be dogs!  But with all honesty, I don’t get the latest trend to have a pet as a pure symbol of financial status, envy or total boredom with human beings. At the end of the day it must be nice to talk to someone who doesn’t answer back, I guess!  Kind regards to your editors.

    • M says:

      07:40am | 22/02/12

      I always thought cat people were a little weird.

    • Anne71 says:

      08:18am | 22/02/12

      That “expert”  Flegre sounds to me like just another cat-hater trying to justify his dislike.  No cat, dog or rodent is going to make you sick as long as you practice basic hygiene. Keep them away from food preparation / storage areas, wash your hands thoroughly after handling them, don’t let them lick your face, and you’ll be fine.

    • Austin 3:16 says:

      09:26am | 22/02/12

      Gee Anne71 maybe the “expert” had people who DON"T practice basic hygiene in mind.

    • Fred says:

      10:25am | 22/02/12

      Cats are cute and cuddly, dogs are smelly and they shit on the lawn.

      I think people who like small yappy dogs are weird. I think it says a lot about them as a person. I think it says they are a yappy person with a much deserved inferiority complex.

      Cats have a superiority complex, given the constitution of the human race it’s an appropriate thing to have albeit surreptitiously and as long as it’s backed up by not being an idiot.

    • Cynicised says:

      10:50am | 22/02/12

      Anne 71, I agree that hygiene is the way to prevent illnesses being acquired form cats, but the expert is correct that some cat parasites are extremely dangerous ie toxoplasmosis which is transferred in cat faeces. Pregnant women should not even empty cat litter trays, the disease is highly dangerous to the foetus and the woman may be asymptomatic, not even knowing she has become infected.

      I love my cat and my dog, but they are animals and are treated that way. I can’t abide anthropomorphizing of pets , just like Tori.

    • Kika says:

      01:29pm | 22/02/12

      Yep - we are. I love it.

    • Leah says:

      03:46pm | 22/02/12

      Anne71, I have actually heard of cat parasites causing really bad illnesses in people before. I think the key issue here is your “basic hygiene”. Allowing an animal to kiss you on the mouth is not, I would think, basic hygiene.

      A lot of this article is directed at people who do NOT practice basic hygiene with their pets.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      07:56am | 22/02/12

      The presenter who got bitten by the dog is an idiot.  My dog is as placid as all hell but I don’t put my face anywhere near his jaws because even playing he could inadvertantly do some damage.

      I’ve posted this before;  Some people try to humanise their pets and in the case of dogs when they do this, all they’re doing is making the dog think it’s the pack leader.  The these people wonder why they can’t control their dogs for sh*t.  Constantly going to your dog and cuddling it and talking in smoochy woochy voices only makes it think it’s the pack leader. When the owner gets angry at the dog for whatever reason and berates it, then the dog gets confused. In one breath it’s the centre of attention and the leader and in the next (pardon the pun) it’s the dog’s breakfast.  This gives you a very confused dog who is hard to control because it doesn’t know what the right behaviour is.  In that sense they are similar to kids, dogs need boundaries and consistency. Most of all they need a consistent pack leader and taht has to be the owner.

    • Gregg says:

      08:56am | 22/02/12

      Well there you go and there’s always balance Wayne, why you should have your vegemite of a morning and be happier like Kevin.
      And that applies to how you may want to treat your animals
      ” Constantly going to your dog and cuddling it and talking in smoochy woochy voices only makes it think it’s the pack leader. When the owner gets angry at the dog for whatever reason and berates it, then the dog gets confused. “
      There’s no harm in giving your dog a pat, a body rub or even a cuddle and some kind words from time to time and just like a child, there’s no point in getting angry but you can re-inforce great behaviour, that being the best way of training.
      Our dog of near fifteen years has had a great life and there has been great interaction both ways and he may wish he was pack leader and could even at times think he was treated as No. 1 , but he knows it ain’t so.
      He also likes a bit of toast or crumpet with vegemite along with anything offered off the bbq plate.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      09:17am | 22/02/12


      I’m not saying never give your dog a cuddle,a pat or a tummy rub.I give my dog plenty of affection as should everybody.  However, what I am saying is do it in a way that the dog understands that you are the leader i.e the dog comes to you not vice versa and you give it attention when you are ready not necessarily when the dog wants it. Look at wolves and see how the top dog doesn’t go and seek attention from the “lesser” wolves.  The other wolves come up to the leader and lick it’s jaw etc. If the leader wants the attention he allows it, if he doesn’t he growls or whatever and send them away. That way the order of the pack is well established.

      I don’t think we’re actually disagreeing that much to be honest, I just wanted to clarify my point.

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      09:51am | 22/02/12

      I agree with you Wayne. My dogs get a lot of affection and attention from me, but they sure know I’m boss. When I ask them to do something, they do it. End of story.

      On another note. I treat my dogs like dogs, but I love them like my own children. And I certainly love them more than 99 per cent of people on the planet.

    • sunny says:

      11:21am | 22/02/12

      That makes a lot of sense. I have always thought that when these morons talk cuddly wuddly to them and feed the dog human food and keep them cooped up in confined spaces, the dog probably has absolutely no respect for the owner. They are animals after all, and if humans weren’t around they would have to hunt to survive. Their priorities are meat, bitches smile,  arse sniffing, and a lot of space (and sorry a suburban backyard or lounge room is not enough space). They probably appreciate the shelter / home base but they surely think their ‘owners’ are morons.

    • Davy says:

      12:13pm | 22/02/12

      Re comment from Leelaaa. If you love them like your own chilldren and more than most humans I guess it will make it an easy decision if I come across you at a car accident . If I can only save either you or the dog I will pick the dog…..I know now that you will have wanted it that way.

    • gravy says:

      04:32pm | 22/02/12

      Agree completely Wayne, humanising pets only causes problems, your dog thinking its a pack leader is a recipe for trouble, they need leadership and discipline before they need cuddles. Ever seen an alpha wolf cuddle their pack, talk to them in cutsie voices and let them jump all over him when he doesn’t want to play? I’m not saying you shouldn’t love/cuddle/spoil your dog (god knows i love my dog and he gets kisses/cuddles), just not constantly and only on your terms, and only after they have shown respect, submission and discipline. And if you say no thanks i don’t want attention, the dog should immediately accept and walk away.

      Also screaming ‘NO NO NO’ or “BAD DOG SIT SIT SIT SIT SIT’ or smacking your dog with a rolled up newspaper doesn’t achieve anything, esp if there are no consequences/consistency when they do something wrong. Your tip on watching how a wild wolf pack communicates is gold, if more people understand canine body language and how to actually properly discipline a dog everyone (dogs included) would be far better off.

      And yeah that presenter was an idiot who is a great example of exactly what NOT to do with a unfamiliar dog who is panting (not hot), ears back, in a strange environment being held onto tightly by its owner. It was an accident waiting to happen and the signs were there (it was obviously stressed), unfortunately his owner and the presenter both were unaware and her face just got too close which pushed the dog to the limit and the bite happened. Most people who watch that would say ‘oh the dog just attacked with no warning!’ but it actually was quite clear he was uncomfortable and overwhelmed, and the host/owners made the situation much worse.

    • subotic says:

      08:12am | 22/02/12

      Pets are not the best people, but by golly some of them taste real good.

    • Gregg says:

      12:06pm | 22/02/12

      And there’s plenty who are one whole of a lot better than some people!

    • Davy says:

      09:03am | 22/02/12

      It is somewhat scary regarding the esteem that some poeple give their pet. They do treat it as a human, and often as more important than a human.Sometimes I wish the roles could be reversed. A dog living in the wild, could take some of these owners as a pet and treat them just as another animal. Sort of anthropomorphism in reverse. Any human would hate that. Yet we still have so many humans treating their animal as a human. Dressing it up, kissing it, feeding it crap food. This is not a definition of an animal lover, rather an animal hater. If the RSPCA wants to get up in arms about something then this could be it.

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      09:55am | 22/02/12

      Yes some people do treat their dogs like humans.
      I don’t. And I still regard my dogs more important than most humans.
      I also kiss my dogs. A lot. I cuddle them and give them a lot of affection. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with that.
      I feed them the correct diet and they only get dressed up if it is raining and their coats go on, or if we’ve got a special occassion and I feel like putting a bandanna on them.
      Again: some people (ie. ME) don’t treat their animals like humans, but still consider them much more important than actual humans.

    • Davy says:

      11:02am | 22/02/12

      Well Leelaaaaa. Have you ever watched a dog in the wild. They chew on dead things. They lick their genitalia. They lick things off the ground. They put their faces into each others butts. These are the things that dogs like to do. Presumably if you are treating them as a dog then you allow them to do the things “they’ find pleasure in and not try to humanise them.( Im just trying to remember the David Attenborough show were the wild dogs had raincoats on). When you then kiss them as you claim, it is therefore the same as you doing all of the above things, particularly if you share a bit of saliva. Have fun, but I’m not into sniffing dogs butts.

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      11:18am | 22/02/12

      I am aware that dogs do these things and I don’t stop them from doing them.
      What you may want to think before writing is clarifying with ME what I mean by kissing.
      I kiss them on their cheeks and tops of their heads. They kiss me on the cheeks and chin.
      Where in that are our mouths coming into contact with each other?
      Who cares anyway? Each to their own. I think you will find there are a lot more people out there that kiss their dogs than don’t.

    • xar says:

      11:26am | 22/02/12

      Davy - ever watched people? Raw meat eating, all sorts of interactions with genitalia - not only their own but others as well!, 10 second rule, putting faces all kinds of places, all that french kissing -these are things people do, yet it is rare to ask your partner to bathe before touching you if they have been interacting with other humans throughout the day. If people can survive 711 hot dogs they can survive a bit of pooch slobber raspberry

    • Davy says:

      11:44am | 22/02/12

      Xar if my partner went around sniffing other peoples butts and licking their genitalia I wouldn’t be kissing her, but do enjoy your hotdog.

    • gobsmack says:

      12:23pm | 22/02/12

      Dog’s saliva contains some sort of antiseptic.  I realised this years ago when my dog got bitten on the arse and kept the wound clean and uninfected by licking it constantly.  Didn’t have to take him to the vet.

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      02:42pm | 22/02/12

      Well said Xar!!!
      And Davy - how do you know whether your girlfriend isn’t doing exactly that?
      This is the thing with dogs - they don’t lie or cheat and they are completely upfront about their feelings. People aren’t.

      And gobsmack - yes you are correct. everyone knows dogs saliva has antiseptic agents. I’m sure YOU knew that Davy didn’t you wink
      That is why they lick their wounds, and that is why when they lick your wounds they are less likely to get infected.

      Hey Davy - maybe make your girlfriend lick a wound of yours and see if it helps?

    • mr GG says:

      07:35am | 23/02/12

      Are you saying you never got head?
      that’s sad bro

      Man is no less of a beast than any other.

    • Mark of Brisbane says:

      09:08am | 22/02/12

      Wow, this is the second article in a row that I actually agree with Tory. I used to think you were a misguided cutey who somehow missed the logic gene, but it does seem to be there and may well be starting to win. Let it thrive Tory, let proper reasoned argument flow through your fingers.

    • JJ says:

      09:27am | 22/02/12

      With you there Mark. Two in a row… go for three Tory!

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      12:19pm | 22/02/12

      Surely it’d get boring if people starting agreeing with me all the time… watch out for tomorrow’s piece!

    • Mark of Brisbane says:

      01:17pm | 22/02/12

      Tomorrow’s piece? Have you spun the Story Ideas wheel to see which of “Men are the reason for all evil in the world” or “Just blame it on white people” or “How can I belittle Christians?” will be the basis of your next column? I would have thought you had used up everything that could be said about all three areas.

    • Gregg says:

      02:28pm | 22/02/12

      ” Surely it’d get boring if people starting agreeing with me all the time… watch out for tomorrow’s piece! “
      Does that mean we shouldn’t have breakfast before discussing best ways for defurring and cooking?

    • Scotchfinger says:

      08:28am | 23/02/12

      @Mark of Brisbane,

      I sense a little not-so-latent hostility towards the host of this discussion. You find her views a little too left-leaning? Try to keep your sunshine state retorts civil, Tory is perhaps more successful at this sort of thing than yourself; or are you a journalist?

    • Gymmer says:

      09:18am | 22/02/12

      The whole pets being treated as humans really gets to me. The word ‘furbabies’ makes my left eye twitch. I get that people love their pets. That’s great. I loved our little dog growing up (not the cat though, she was nasty).  Yet I managed to love her while remaining conscious of the fact that she was a *dog*.  My parents got a new dog a little while ago and they seem to have done an about face in the way they treat their animals. This dog is referred to as my ‘brother’ and I’m badgered about whether I’m going to buy him Christmas presents (no, no I am not).  I was told once to not sit on a chair I always used to sit on as this was now the chair the dog liked to sit on. 

      Don’t even get me started on my sister and her dogs. Family occasions descended to endless discussions about all the ‘amazing’ and hilarious antics of the dogs.  My name was mud because I wouldn’t allow these 3 large dogs to roam through my house destroying my floorboards. Or the friend that just got a new dog (sorry, furry daughter) and put up 20 photos on facebook, all of different angles of the dog’s face. 

      People do their pets no favours when they humanise them and give them too much leeway. Dogs (particularly bigger ones) need to know their place and be taught good behaviour. My parents dog is a lovely animal but he bowls me over and scratches me everytime I’m in because they haven’t taught him properly not to constantly jump up on people. They dismiss it with ‘oh he just loves you so much!’ while I struggle to make my way down the hall. Bah!

    • Eloise says:

      09:57am | 22/02/12

      “Don’t even get me started on my sister and her dogs. Family occasions descended to endless discussions about all the ‘amazing’ and hilarious antics of the dogs.”
      I am feeling your pain. Have had to endure numerous family, social and other occassions when friends and relatives have not shut up about their ‘amazing’ kids, babies, brats… husband & I have kids, but seriously, are there not other things to discuss at events except for children??? Just as people are sick of hearing about the pets of family and friends, many of us, both with or without children of our own, are sick of the endless stories about how ‘awesome, amazing, wonderful and unique’ said child is. Gawd, I remember being at a morning tea (several, actually) hosted by numerous RAAF wives (of which I was 14 years ago). All they could talk about was their husband’s rank and the subsequent “pecking order” of wives, and their (usually undisciplined) offspring. When two other RAAF wives & I tried to introduce topics of conversation not child related, we got blank stares. At least people with pets have interesting - and more than likely humeours stories.  My closest friend joined up a parenting group when she had child number three…she lasted one day, then started going along to the local dog off leash area with her Labrador. She said that the people there gave her her mind & sanity back, and could discuss other things aside from their pets.

    • Doglover says:

      10:44am | 22/02/12

      I have 2 large dogs, whom I’m proud to call my “furbabies” (twitch left eye, twitch!). My parents refer to them as their “furry grandkids” (for the record, we can’t have children of our own). We have long discussions about their antics and put up loads of photos of them on Facebook.

      However, when it comes down to it, they are extremely well-behaved, well nourished (strict diet, no “human food”), and know who the boss is! They wouldn’t dare cross a boundary or jump on people, because we have taken a firm approach to training and leadership. And under no circumstances would would we ever dress them up!

      I think you are taking the definition of “humanising dogs” a wee bit far. Mine don’t know the difference between being called “a dog” and being called a “furbaby”. Talking about them is no different than other people going on about their children. And if you don’t like looking at dog photos on Facebook, just ignore them and move onto the next boring status report!

      Just because I do these things doesn’t mean I’m humanising them, it means I love them and take pride in them, BUT at the end of the day I’m still their owner and ensure they don’t cross their boundaries. Talking about them and showing off photos does not necessarily constitute humanising.

      Your issue seems to be more your distaste of your family’s attitude and lack of enforcing discipline - perhaps instead of trying to make the rest of us feel bad about being proud of our furbabies you should be taking this up with your family.

    • Gymmer says:

      10:57am | 22/02/12

      Oh I’m with you on the children thing too Eloise, my partners side of the family and most of his friends have children now and when I go there I yearn for some non-children related topic of conversation. My partner and I wondered for a while if there was something wrong with us that we just were not interested in discussing children all the time,  find everything they did amazing and adorable or want to be spammed on facebook with 5 new photos every day of their kid. It really has put us off having kids a bit and made me doubt my ‘maternalness’ because it just seems so many of the parents we know are like this and I find it really off putting.  I don’t want to lose my identity to my future child. 

      I spoke to my Mum about it and asked her what she made of it all. She told me that she always took the view that while she loved her kids and thought they were wonderful that she realised everybody else didn’t share those views and weren’t necessarily interested in hearing about us constantly. So as a result she was never one for boasting about our actitivies to all and sundry. Maybe because I grew up with that attitude its why I think the way I do now in most areas of my life. I just don’t assume that people want to hear about ‘me’ and my life most of the time.

    • Gymmer says:

      11:10am | 22/02/12

      @Doglover - I have taken this up with my family many times. In one ear and out the other.  Still doesn’t change the fact I don’t like the word ‘furbabies’ - I guess because the conotations I have with it are that typically the people who use this word are those who constantly yammer on about their pets like they are the most wondrous and interesting thing in the world and spoil them. (Maybe they are to their owner, not to the rest of us so much).

      I feel the same way about people that do the this regarding their children - see response above.  This is a different issue and tangent I went off on to the humanising thing that I was also talking about (making me defer to the dog etc.)  General over-sharing, spamming and TMI on facebook is rife. I don’t lose any sleep over it but it does make my partner and I stare at each other and wonder if we are the weird ones for *not* behaving like this.

    • Gymmer says:

      11:30am | 22/02/12

      @Doglover - I have taken this up with my family many times. In one ear and out the other.  Still doesn’t change the fact I don’t like the word ‘furbabies’ - I guess because the conotations I have with it are that typically the people who use this word are those who constantly yammer on about their pets like they are the most wondrous and interesting thing in the world and spoil them. (Maybe they are to their owner, not to the rest of us so much).

      I feel the same way about people that do the this regarding their children - see response above. Oh and women that harp on about their weddings endlessly - makes me want to elope. This is a different issue and tangent I went off on to the humanising thing that I was also talking about (making me defer to the dog etc.)  General over-sharing, spamming and TMI on facebook is rife. I don’t lose any sleep over it but it does make my partner and I stare at each other and wonder if we are the weird ones for *not* behaving like this.

    • Doglover says:

      11:54am | 22/02/12

      @Gymmer, I can understand. When I speak about my dogs, I’m generally speaking to people who are genuinely interested (fortunately most of my close friends are major animal lovers), but we don’t ALWAYS speak about our pets (otherwise we’d run out of things to say too quickly).

      I’m quite conscious, however, of not speaking about them to people I either don’t know well or ones who I know will get irritated (including my SIL who openly HATES animals), as I know how irritating it is to hear people go on an on about eg their kids. Fortunately my life is full and interesting enough that I can actually hold a conversation that doesn’t involve my dogs smile

      I do find it interesting that all the young moms I know can talk (and complain!) about nothing but their kids, but when I go to the dog park and chat to other owners we tend to talk about things other than our dogs smile In part, I’m actually relieved that I can’t have kids for that reason, it seems so easy to lose yourself like that.

      As for Facebook, I am sadly guilty of posting a lot of photos of my dogs, but then again we have an active lifestyle and post lots of photos in general. I do, however, try not to share too many details of their lives, after having glazed over numerous posts by friends of their kiddies’ latest bowel movements :-o

    • Gymmer says:

      12:13pm | 22/02/12

      Rest assured Doglover that if it was a choice between piccies of your dogs on facebook and pictures of some kid’s potty training efforts your dogs win everytime! (I would actually like a dog, I just don’t think it would be fair to leave it alone so often with our working hours etc. One day I hope. ) STFU Parents does a lot to keep me sane grin

    • Davy says:

      12:18pm | 22/02/12

      When you use the term ‘my furbabies’ I do hope you are saying they are adopted. smile

    • Kika says:

      02:32pm | 22/02/12

      @Davy - Don’t know. When I was born I was covered in my laguno hair so I was nicknamed monkey by the nurses. I was a furbaby! Lol.

      @ everyone about RAAF wives talking about kids… A colleague of mine is an army wife. Every conversation she has is about kids. If you can’t engage in conversation with her about kids there’s nothing to talk about. It’s sad. Don’t bother with news or current events… just kids

    • gobsmack says:

      09:31am | 22/02/12

      I don’t treat my cats as humans.  I have a much higher regard for them.

    • Drafnel says:

      09:54am | 22/02/12

      @gobsmack, buddy, your comment reflects on nobody but yourself. What do you think you’re “actually” saying? Think about it.

      And if you think about your comment carefully enough, you might realise why you shouldn’t donate to PETA again this year.

    • buellxb12ss says:

      11:47am | 22/02/12

      kinda agree gobsmack most of the time i prefer dogs to people . as for humanising them well that would bugger them up

    • gobsmack says:

      01:28pm | 22/02/12

      Your nasty reply just proved my point.
      I need a pussy-cuddle now.

    • xar says:

      09:31am | 22/02/12

      I have not the slightest problem with someone dressing up their pets provided they retain the knowledge that their pet is not a human and actually bother to learn about the species in their care and what they need to be well looked after and how to read some basic body language cues to guage whether an animal is ok, happy or stressed. You can do that and still baby talk, dress up, and have 70 pet names for your animal if you want and your pet doesn’t mind. Go for it! Tory you should google “rodent dentistry” if you want to be really horrified - incidently rats are very underated pets!

    • Emma says:

      09:42am | 22/02/12

      Dogs are not carnivores! Plenty of dogs can and have thrived on a vegan diet. Cats are a different story - strict carnivores and should be fed as much. But dog nutrition is less black and white, and I get so sick of the 2 being equated. Not sure why a psychology expert’s animal nutrition advice is being passed on either..

    • John says:

      10:18am | 22/02/12

      Emma dogs are omnivores. They will basically eat anything that looks tasty, including remote controls, rabbit crap and the caviar of all dogs Ducks*%t. What could be better than mud, worms, grass, bugs, weed and all sorts of things conveniantly converted into a pate by one of their favourite chew toys.

    • Emma says:

      11:48am | 22/02/12

      Well…yes. That was my point. They still need a well-balanced diet to live long and healthy lives, but it doesn’t *have* to come from animal sources! I still don’t get why the academic in question felt the need to include the anti-vegan-dog swipe in her rant. It’s so untrue & also not relevant. It’s the opposite of making your dog human - it’s saying this is how I eat & live and I’m not making an unnecessary exception for my pet, given I am responsible for providing their food. I’m yet to meet a vet who advocates a vegan diet for dogs, but I’m also yet to meet one who thinks it can’t be done in a healthy way with ease. As you say John, dogs’ll eat anything, so it’s not like the dog cares!

    • Wynston Cruso says:

      01:16pm | 22/02/12

      Actually technically, they’re carnivores, although are more adaptable than most. They’re descendants of wolves after all…

    • Jane Anderson says:

      10:45pm | 22/02/12

      Definitely carnivores Emma.  The Smithsonian Institute does the classifications.  If you have some new data to wow the scientists there to push your barrow of dogs being something else, please contact them and share your position. 

      Sounds like you’ve confused the position of what a dog is capable of eating with what a dog should eat.

      I feed 30+ dogs a day a carnivore’s diet.  That’s what they are.

    • Q.Pham says:

      09:53am | 22/02/12

      I’m always kissing my pets on the nose and anyone else’s pets that will let me. Those cold wet noses get me every friggin’ time ! I’ve never caught any type of disease. Just don’t stick your tongue in, that’s all. Some people might think it’s disgusting, but some worm-infested people eat rare meat, that’s a bit more “intimate” than a quick peck on the nose.
      If we’re not supposed to kiss our pets on the nozzle then nature shouldn’t have made them so f*cking cute ! smile

    • Mother says:

      10:20am | 22/02/12

      I have always found it highly offensive when people refer to the pets as their ‘babies’ and expect you to afford their pets the same level of importance as human babies. There is just no comparison and to try to make one is ridiculous. Pets are wonderful, but they are PETS, not children.

    • Georgina, Jillian, Emma says:

      10:38am | 22/02/12

      I always find it highly offensive when people refer to the babies as ‘most unique’. Babies are wonderful. But they’re just BABIES. It’s been done at least 7 billion times in the last 120 years. People expect you to stand and applaud just for coping a root.  At least pets are interesting, different, have character. There is no comparison. Any species can breed. Sadly, humans tend to do it more than we should. And lets face it, rats and cockroaches do it daily.

    • Fido says:

      10:49am | 22/02/12

      I’ve always found mothers to be highly offensive when they bring their highly offensive screaming, shitting babies into public places or your home and expect everyone else to put up with it. They always think the whole fucking world revolves around them.“Ooh, I’m a MOTHER, I’m special !”
      If someone has a special bond and love with their pet, then it is just as important as your annoying little brat.

    • Your name:Dude says:

      11:41am | 22/02/12

      I find people gushing abut babies offensive, you don’t want to hear about my dogs then shut up about your drooling puking poop factory. at least dogs can be toilet trained early on.
      and what makes humans so special, we are animals just like dogs,m cats, chimps only more destructive than any other animal on the planet and has wiped out countless species of animals, so i ask again what makes us more deserving than them

    • Jade says:

      12:00pm | 22/02/12

      I always find it rather humorous when people find it offensive that other people call their own dogs babies. Lol first world problems right here wink

    • Anne71 says:

      12:18pm | 22/02/12

      I always find it highly offensive when people think their children are the centre of the universe, and demand that the rest of us regard them in the same way.

    • Ross says:

      10:24am | 22/02/12

      My dog is just that ,a dog .However they can get through to your heart .All he has to do is behave as I wish (like a dog). keep cats and strangers at bay and eat dog food . in return he can lay at my feet and snore if he wishes, but not fart.

    • prosperity says:

      10:43am | 22/02/12

      You don’t exactly hear about thousands of people dying each day from contracting a disease from their pets, even if their love and compassion could be better directed.
      Twenty-five thousand people who will die in the world today from starvation, about 80% of them children. Thousands of kids could be saved with a $1 immunisation. And so it goes. 

      If we were to love our fellow humans along with Fido and Pussy the world would be a better place.

    • Sally says:

      11:05am | 22/02/12

      I absolutely hate it when people say their pet is their child, or fur baby. It is not a child. It is an animal. To say that you love your animal as much as you would if you actually had a child is more than stupid. I love my dog, but if he ever bit my (or any other) child he would get a bullet. Not that they are ever left unsupervised together.

    • kitteh says:

      11:56am | 22/02/12

      Aren’t you just as guilty of projecting? I get very tired of this smug ‘greatest love of all’ romanticism that people afford to parenthood. If the fathers pitching their kids off bridges is anything to go by, some people love their pets far more than others love their human children. Plenty of people express an dact with immense love for beings other than children and to judge their feelings aginst yours is presumptuous. (I for one find it very distasteful when a parent claims they love their kid more than their partner, as if that somehow makes them superior.) Sure, you love your kids. Good for you. Don’t expect everyone feels the same way.

      I agree that animals have intrinsic biological natures that require them being treated as, for instance, a dog or a cat (i.e. they don’t want to be dressed in hats and shoes) rather than as a child. However, for you to claim that ‘if a dog bites a kid it would get a bullet’ ignores the nature of children too. Kids are very capable of being cruel to animals - and even if your kid is supervised, they are not an exception - and a nip or two
      will teach them that it’s not a good idea. Very few domestic animals are ‘out to get’ your kids. I don’t understand why you seem to see it as ‘us vs them’. Why do you care so much what someone else thinks of their animal?

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      08:03am | 23/02/12

      If my dog bit a child the first thing I would do is find out what the hell the child did to get bitten. My dog would not “get a bullet” either.
      My two german shepherds are my BABIES and I love them just like they were my CHILDREN.
      Get over it. I am 100 per cent aware that my dogs are animals… However I find babies much more animal-like than dogs.

    • Blind Freddy says:

      11:12am | 22/02/12

      Many pet owners on here must be Green voters- because they say they like animals more than people.

    • Kika says:

      02:11pm | 22/02/12

      I like animals more than people. People are nasty rude self centred evil creatures. Animals are always loving, kind and innocent.  And I’ve never voted greens.

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      02:54pm | 22/02/12

      I have also never voted greens. You will find there are a lot of people out there that like animals more than people. I am also one, along with Kika and I agree with everything she has said above.
      Humans are generally awful, selfish, evil creatures. Humans are the only animal that DELIBERATELY hurt their young (just for the sake of it).
      We are despicable creatures and a lot of the time I ashamed to be a human.
      I don’t actually understand how people can actually like *humans* more than animals. That makes no sense to me whatsoever. Those kinds of people must have never met the real scums of this earth.

    • Evalee says:

      11:13am | 22/02/12

      My pups don’t need kisses!?!  What are you talking about?  My dogs crave contact with their family just like any human member of the family would.  Appropriate displays of affection are essential for any living, sentient creature.  We know our pups will be in our laps and close to us physically so we keep them clean and have all necessary vet checks etc.  5 years and no problems!

    • Doglover says:

      12:03pm | 22/02/12

      Hear hear smile

    • SKA says:

      11:57am | 22/02/12

      I grew up with a kelpie that was referred to as my sister and my folks now have a little fluff ball referred to as my brother (but more commonly as “the baby” or “the brat”) - both dogs have given my mother so much joy. The “baby” sleeps in his own little dog bed next to my mother’s bed at night, is regularly pulled onto her lap for a cuddle and often gets kisses on the top of his bed. He is a nice little dog and while not perfectly behaved, my parents have never let him do anything that would annoy or hurt anyone else - we call him the brat because he is so spoilt that he’ll stand at your feet and bark when he wants to be cuddled. The dog also absolutely adores my mother and goes nuts running around and jumping in the air when she returns to him after being out or away. The ‘baby’ treatment obviously works for both of them and makes them happy so must other people really criticise? At any rate, treating the dog like a baby is more rewarding than it is for many parents taking care of their kids - the dog shows permanent love and doesn’t back chat, fail at school, etc…
      Great article from Tory - don’t kiss animals on the mouth… yuck!

    • marley says:

      12:00pm | 22/02/12

      I would never kiss my dog.  He’s far too dignified. So, I guess I’m safe.

    • Steve says:

      12:07pm | 22/02/12

      Domestication of dogs has changed them.  They now understand non verbal queues like pointing and often dog owners can interpret the dogs barks and actions.  Continual inbreeding for placid behaviour has also changed dogs.  Basically they have been modified from wolfs.  They live in a human pack so they are not really wolves and not really human but they pick up behaviours from both sides.  This lets them be participants in their pack not just a cohabitator like a cat.  We have bred them to be adorable, appeal to our softer side, behave partly human and interact with us.  Then we have a discussion about treating them like people??  You are kidding right?  I’m not sure there could be any other outcome.

    • Jade says:

      12:15pm | 22/02/12

      Lol so many angry sounding people here.

      I love my dogs like children, I don’t have children yet but I expect I will still love them just as much as I love any child that comes along. Yes they are an animal and most of the time get treated as such.

      In saying that, I don’t think there is anything better than puppy kisses. All I have to say is “kisses” and they know what I am talking about and boop my nose with theirs (sometimes they sneak in a cheeky lick too). They get fed the best food, have a gazillion toys, live inside when I am home and get first dibs on the lounge chair. I didn’t get them to be a yard ornament. I got them as companions.

      They are my babies and if you don’t like that! Tough titties to you raspberry I know plenty of people who treat their dogs the same… they are normally the ones that get involved in animal welfare issues too - all of my other friends that have yard ornaments really couldn’t give a shit and normally get a dog because they can and it seems like a fun thing to do at the start.

    • Kika says:

      01:30pm | 22/02/12

      Me too! And there’s nothing wrong with that! You love them, they love you and that’s all that matters.

    • maz says:

      02:12pm | 22/02/12

      I have kids, and I like my dogs better than I like my kids !

    • Kate says:

      12:10pm | 22/02/12

      Pets are not the best people. Pets are better than people.

    • Kika says:

      01:52pm | 22/02/12

      LIKE!!!! ABSOLUTELY!!!!

      1) They always miss you when you are gone
      2) They know what ‘no’ means
      3) They never say nasty words to you to hurt you
      4) They always love you uncondtionally
      5) They are always happy to see you
      6) They never talk back
      7) They always listen
      8) You can train your pets. You can’t train a man… well.  hahaha.

    • Nathan Explosion says:

      12:12pm | 22/02/12

      I love my cats. They *are* our kids. Mrs Explosion’s mum calls them the ‘grandcats’.

      I know they are cats, but they can communicate with us (meowing, purring, body language)and they have distinct personalities. The bengal is scarily intelligent, you can see it in her eyes. She’s learnt how to open doors, the fridge, turn on and off the light switches. They really are members of the family.

      And I would never get rid of them for scratching/biting a kid. Kids can be rough with cats, and I always warn kids not to tease them and to be gentle and I stay with them the whole time. If the cat starts looking nervous, I take the cat away. Only the bengal actually likes kids. Talks to them and begs for attention when we go on walks.

    • Kika says:

      02:08pm | 22/02/12

      OMG my cat can open doors too. We were observing her trying to get into one of our kitchen cupboards last night. Very smart. The determined look on her face while she was doing it was hilarious.

      My cat talks to us too. When I walk into the kitchen she will furiously call me, but not come to me. She’ll talk to my husband using the bird call meow… you know the little mehmehmehmeh one. And all we can say to her is “What?” And she’ll keep on going mehmehmeh to us. It’s funny.

    • prosperity says:

      12:50pm | 22/02/12

      Probably most humans believe that they are top-of-the-food-chain and many believe that they have a God-given right (literally) to do as they like on, and to, our Planet Earth. So we are the only species that declares war on our own.  The only species to wittingly and wilfully destroy thousands of forms of plant, animal, marine and insect life. The only species that will ensure its own destruction along with most others by destroying the earth’s environment. The only species whose offspring need such a protracted post-natal period of nurturing.

      Meanwhile birds fly.  Fish swim.  Bees propagate our crops. Horse and bullock give their labour. Fish and animals are harvested for human food. Why are humans so arrogant when without the humble ant the ecology would ultimately fail and we would go with it?

      So we should love our animals, as indeed we should love most things around us.  It is wrong to say that a human or a human child should take precedence over everything.  He or she should be in harmony with everything, or ultimately humans one and all will have no future.

    • Tash says:

      12:52pm | 22/02/12

      I loathe it when I get called my cats mummy (my friends, the vet..).  I’m not.  Much as I love “the boys” there is no way I think of them as my children.

    • Kika says:

      01:45pm | 22/02/12

      Lucky you that you have kids. A lot of people do consider pet owners as their parents. Whatever.

    • Emma says:

      08:27pm | 22/02/12

      Actually, this annoys me too, Tash. It definitely bug me when other people talk to my dogs about their Mummy…meaning me. So cutesy it makes me wanna puke! I don’t mind others doing it about themselves, but really, I find it so irritating when it’s directed at me.

    • Wynston Cruso says:

      01:18pm | 22/02/12

      It’s funny because humanising animals is exactly what people do when they try to guilt trip meat eaters into not eating meat.

    • Em says:

      06:38pm | 22/02/12


      Your theory is flawed. Sorry!

      I have lots of pets… I eat pig, cow, sheep and chook on a regular basis.  Hell, I’ve even eaten dog once. (BY ACCIDENT - NB, never play pot luck in China… oy.) But I wasn’t traumatised by it.

      I’ve had “pet” sheep, pigs and a cow .... all of which went to the big butcher in the sky…

    • jaki says:

      01:37pm | 22/02/12

      Who would you rather kiss- a beautiful dog like Lassie ? Or a repulsive ugly slob like,say, Michael Moore ?
      I think the dog is the preferable option myself.

    • Kika says:

      01:39pm | 22/02/12

      It’s cultural. You will find across the world that we all differ as to how we see animals, view them and the degree of anthropomorphise them.

      In the city, especially in middle class white neighbourhood you’ll probably find they anthropomorphise their pets to a higher degree than a country area where animals are primiarly commodities, or to third world places where the priority is on keeping humans alive rather than trying to feed their pets.

      I love my cat. She’s my only baby and probably always will be. I grew up in a house where our pets were always treated like members of our family and we couldn’t ever imagine life without them. My family dog died a couple of weeks ago and my family were all so devastated. My sister is a vet and did the euthanasing herself. You would imagine being a Vet that she would be used to doing things like that, but she found it really hard to give her own dog the final goodbye. She did it and she was really brave.

      If people want to treat their animals like babies, let them. What harm are they doing? At least you know if they are dressing them up and taking them for walks that they are loved and taken care of. I’d rather see someone do that then kicking them or mistreating them. And yes I talk to my cat and she talks back. Literally. My husband and I can sit there having our own conversation and she will interject and put her opinion in. All we have to say to her is “what?” and she’ll keep meowing to us. Gorgeous. She brings us both happiness and our house wouldn’t be the same without her.


      I’m sorry. I’m not a people person. I know some people will say “Wait till you have your own baby”. I actually don’t like babies. I find them repugnant. I will save a dog over a person anyday. I’ll cry in movies if an animal dies, not a human… I am strange. So be it.

    • Jade says:

      02:08pm | 22/02/12

      Lol I always cry when the dog/animal dies in movies and real life :( A person though and its kind of like meh!

    • jaki says:

      03:28pm | 22/02/12

      Fully agree Kika ! I’ve never seen a cute baby yet. They all look the friggin’ same anyway.
      I even find cane toads adorable.

    • Kika says:

      04:30pm | 22/02/12

      @Jade & Jaki - me too! Absolutely. One of my friends at work has a baby… who has mouth thrush at the moment. Explain how THAT isn’t as much as a health risk as kissing a rat. Gross.

    • Kate says:

      01:50pm | 22/02/12

      I don’t care what anyone says. I’m happy to let my dogs lay on the lounge and have a pat, and even on the bed in the morning for a few minutes.  I bathe them, worm them and feed them a healthy diet. Not sure I’d deliberately swap saliva with them, but sometimes when a German shepherd wants to lick your face, you don’t have a lot of choice. My dogs are part of my family and get treated very well indeed.
      I don’t have kids and find the endless ohhhs and ahhhs and kid dress ups to be just as offensive as when people do it to their pets.

    • Timbo says:

      01:56pm | 22/02/12

      It’s always fascinating.  Some people find it highly objectionable when other people are affectionate about some other thing. Like a baby or a pet.

      Why do they get so annoyed by other people being caring?

    • Leelaaaaa says:

      02:45pm | 22/02/12

      Because people are generally bad. Caring about something other than oneself is not the norm anymore. Everyone is out for them and them alone. Of course there are exceptions to the rule - dog lovers for example.
      If someone doesn’t like dogs for example, no one can understand “how they like that!!!! omg!!!”
      just like we may not like something they do. It is just how people approach what other people care about.
      I’m not fond of kids….. at all…. but I make my best efforts to pretend I care about their millions of baby pictures. Others wouldn’t.

    • Alice says:

      02:16pm | 22/02/12

      My pet’s (2 dogs and a cat) are my fur babies.  I pick them up and cuddle them, talk to them like they might understand and even put jumpers on the dogs in winter, love them to pieces, wouldn’t give them up for anything, they are my family.  While they each have their own personality and are special to me they are still dogs/cat, they act and are treated as such.  I feed them dog and cat food with the occasional treat from my plate, they sleep in the laundry in their own beds and have them trained with simple commands like ‘bed’, ‘out’ ‘down’ etc even though the cat does her best to ignore me, she does understand.  While training the dog she learnt very quickly that ‘sit’ meant treats and she wanted one, I did even train her to sit before getting one. haha
      And I NEVER let any of them lick near or around my face expecially mouth and wash my hands after touching them, especially if I’m about to cook, even with that stupid thing that dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans yuck!!

    • J the Vet says:

      04:10pm | 22/02/12

      Just a correction about something in the article; dogs are NOT carnivores. They are omnivores, just like humans, with the ability to live on both a plant and animal based diet. We, and they, can do 50/50 or 100% of either for sustained periods of time.

      Cats, however, are true carnivores(more than 5% plant based food will make them sick), just like Gorillas are true herbivores(more than 3% animal based food will make them sick).

    • Jane Anderson says:

      10:47pm | 22/02/12

      I know that very little is taught to vets at vet school about dog nutrition.  Part of my job involves recruiting vets, so I ask the question.

      I prefer to work off scientific facts - and the Smithsonian Institute has classified dogs as carnivores.

      Isn’t is scary that so many vets don’t know this?  Makes the mind boggle as how much other information they have incorrect as well.

    • gravy says:

      04:12pm | 22/02/12

      Well said.

      Animals are not humans, which is the reason why most people like them so much, it does confuse me when people treat their dogs like humans and expect things to turn out ok, because most of the time thats when you get those feral yappy little fluffballs (with massive stinky dental issues cos they’re given ‘special treats’ not raw bones) who want to rip your face off. And feeding your dog cakes and coffee and tasty little treats from the bakery, its just not good for them, your harming your pet so you can selfishly get some enjoyment out of it, whats wrong with feeding them DOG treats like actual meat, bones etc?

      I guess i find it hard to understand why we humans think its better to treat an animal like a human, just because we humans like it?? After all a human would not like being treated like an animal, what would make you think a dog/cat actually LIKES being treated like a human? Don’t you think they would be better off being respected as an animal with needs and instincts which are different than our own, and being treated accordingly as an animal?

      Humanising pets warp their sense of the world, leave them confused, generally scared and socially inapt to communicate with members of their own species. It leads to huge behavioral problems and their owners are too ignorant to care and make pathetic excuses like ‘oh its his personality’ or ‘he just doesn’t like ABC’. Bullshit, if you treated your animal with respect, and gave them what they actually needed AS AN ANIMAL, then none of these issues would occur. You’re just too selfish, lazy and self absorbed to CARE about what your pet actually needs, too busy making yourself feel all warm and fuzzy giving them kisses, buying cute outfits and feeding them human junk instead of taking them for a long walk, teaching them discipline and boundaries and THEN giving some attention.

    • Liz Swanton says:

      05:27pm | 22/02/12

      Last time I looked, it was a free world, which means I can treat my pets exactly the way I want to, regardless of what you or anyone has to say about it. Care factor - zero. Surely there are far more pressing stories in the world - like how we treat children.

    • Amused says:

      09:04pm | 22/02/12

      I have owned cats, dogs and I have had a pet rat. At no point have I ever let them kiss me on the mouth. Animals clean their private parts with their mouths; especially dogs, then people let them lick their face.  What is wrong with people….I am not surprised by this as Vets on TV allow animals to lick their face too.  Liz Swanton, clearly you don’t like being told something that can save your life, so if you die because your germ carrying pets kissed you on the mouth, so be it.

    • gravy says:

      10:13pm | 22/02/12

      Also kissing rodents on the mouth? They eat their own POO ffs!

      I admit i’m guilty of giving my pooch/kitty a kiss on the head with their snuggles sometimes, but i def dont kiss them on the mouth or let them lick my mouth/face/body in general, i hate when other peoples dogs think its ok to lick my face/hands etc and the owners are just like ‘awww’, they lick genitals/bums and put all sorts of stuff in there!

    • Tim Mathieson says:

      07:58am | 23/02/12

      I’ve been making out with rodents for almost ten years and there’s nothing wrong with me!


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Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



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