実践ビジネス英語 2018/12/14 L17 (6)Singles with Pets
14 金 Lesson17 Singles with Pets (6)
Our current vignette talks about the large increase in pet ownership among single people in the United States.
Now, you’re not single, Heather, but do you have any pets? You didn’t have one the last time we discuss this, back in 2013? I think it was?
Nope. Still no pets. We just don’t have the time to take care of one right now. And even if we did, our apartment building doesn’t allow it. Actually, preparing for this vignette reminded me of how long it’s been since I’ve had any kind of pet at all. If memory serves, I’ve had a couple dogs, some rabbits, one hamster and two cats. My last pet of all was the cat that my boyfriend and I had in college, 26 years ago now. His name was Trouble – the cat, not my boyfriend.
What about you, Mr. Sugita? Do you have a dog or cat at the moment?
No, it’s been a while for me too. When I was a little boy, one of my Tanabata wishes for the Star Festival was to get a dog. So my family got me a newborn puppy, a mixed breed, who ultimately lived to the ripe old age of 16.
In those days, most dogs in Japan were watchdogs who were fed table scraps and lived in outside dog houses.
I haven’t kept a pet since because my daughter had allergies to animal hair, among other things. The role that pets play in human society has changed a great deal now. In the old days, pets were just something that people showed
affection to. Now they’re considered “companion animals” that live together with humans.
The vignette mentions some people spending about $1,200 a year on their pets. I’m not surprised. I’ve read many magazine articles over the years about how to save money, and nearly all of them said “if you want to limit your
spending, don’t get a pet.” Even without frills, it can be quite expensive, especially if the pet needs medical treatment of some kind. 余計なものが無くて
Nowadays there’s pet insurance, cat cafes, pet crematories and cemeteries, as well as pet spas and pet sitting and walking services. Many people want to treat their pets less like animals and more like their own kids. When their pets pass away, some owners or pet parents in the U.S. even opt for freeze-drying, embalming or mummification of them.
I don’t know anyone that dedicated to their pet right now. But I did back in middle school, I guess there have always been some people who are not so over their pets. (ペットのことを忘れられない？？？) Anyway, one summer break, I cat sat for a lady and her husband who were going on vacation. I still remember going into their apartment and hearing the woman say to the cat, mind you, “Would you like to show Heather your toys?” Not only that, I was instructed to alternate the cat’s food. She shouldn’t get fish or beef cat food on two consecutive days, for example, because the little darling might get bored with her fare.
And did you?
I did. That was no effort involved in alternating the food. And I figured if that’s what the client wants, that’s what I should do. Besides, the way she talked to that cat like it was a person, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the cat would somehow find a way to inform on me if I didn’t.
If you did get a dog or cat today, what kind would you get?
More than a particular breed, actually. I think I’ll get a rescue animal. There are so many pets whose owners have either abandoned them or had to give them up. And they really need good new homes.
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