I think we often underestimate the benefits that pets can bring to children. I often reflect about how my two boys benefitted immensely from our lovely cat Charlie - sadly no longer with us. He was an elderly stray cat we adopted and he showed them how you had to be tolerant and respect a pet's needs. In return Charlie offered devotion and a listening ear when life was 'unfair'.
This summer, we decided to do a road trip around the UK. Jake hopped in the back of the car, all of us prepared to rough it in a tent; we had no idea that so many hotels were dog friendly - our "working" dog ended up living the high life at some of the UK's finest hotels! It got me thinking: given the choice, where would dogs go on holiday?
It would certainly be illegal. In the UK it's against the law to keep British wild birds in a cage. But caging non-native species like budgerigars and other parrots? That's legal. Goldfinches - Siberian, Himalayan, Gouldian or zebra? That too is sanctioned by law. But the UK's European goldfinch? If you confined one of those you could be prosecuted.