Something Is Fishy In The United Kingdom

by Neil Bamforth

“Dogs are man’s best friend” is a familiar and, in my view, often quite accurate saying. As far as I am aware, up to now, the politically correct haven’t noticed this old adage and attempted to ban it or change it to “a person’s best friend including all gay, bi-sexual, lesbian and transgender people.” I do worry that it’s only a matter of time though. Still, does this old adage still ring true in the UK?

Current statistics show that dog ownership in the UK has fallen by nearly 30% and now, fewer than 1 in 5 households own a dog.

Apparently, and somewhat alarmingly in my view, the pet that is overtaking the dog is fish. I kid you not. Fish.

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Now look people of the UK. I know I shouldn’t be the one to chastise you over these worrying statistics. After all, my house is home to 9 cats currently. This is not remotely my fault I hasten to add. On first moving in with my wife to be (I immediately apologise if such a statement offends any religious bigots out there) I mentioned that I would like to get a dog.

Two days later she came home with two kittens.

“They are not dogs” I pointed out accurately.

“They are furry” she retorted equally accurately.

“They don’t go ‘bow-wow’ and they won’t eat a burglar” I said with resignation, realising that you never tell a woman what you really want as they will invariably give you an alternative to what you want then make you feel like the worst kind of chauvinistic bastard if you do not acquiesce.

Anyway, moving swiftly along. It appears that residents of the UK are now very keen on fish but less keen on dogs and, I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I find this very alarming indeed.

You see, the UK has long been a proud nation of animal lovers with dogs very much numero uno.

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Yes, I know all about grouse and partridge shooting and fox hunting. Yes I know we now have Kosher and Halal animal slaughter (which should, of course, be banned immediately) but, generally speaking we love animals and not just for breakfast or dinner.

Dogs have always been – well, top dogs – and now, apparently they aren’t.

It would be bad enough if they’d been taken over by rabbits or gerbils or something equally ridiculous. Cats, of course, have always been high on the list. Probably the main rivals to dogs but everyone knows owning a cat is nothing remotely like owning a dog.

To begin with you own a dog and it appreciates it. It licks your face and runs after sticks and brings them back.

Cats own you – and your house – and your garden – and your neighbours garden so they can shit somewhere. Cats hold the upper hand. You can’t compare them to dogs. You can’t compare cats to anything really apart from, possibly, a demon in a fur coat.

Dogs, though, are man’s best friend and yet ownership is on the decline in the UK in favour of fish?


Could a fish stop a burglar? ‘Burglar slapped to death by goldfish fins’ isn’t a headline I could perceive could you? Well, maybe on Fox News I suppose.

Dogs do, occasionally, get bad press. Well certain breeds do. I suppose it doesn’t help when a Rottweiler eats a baby or a Bull Terrier chews an old lady to bits or something but these are very rare occurrences.

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Generally speaking dogs are loving and faithful and can even, at times, show remarkable empathy with their owners. If you feel ill or depressed your dog can rest its head on your lap as if to say ‘It’s ok. I’m here for you’ and there are so many many documented cases of just such happenings. I can’t recall such things occurring with fish.

Actually, that is not strictly accurate. One of my cats once placed a fish in my lap after catching it out of my pond – actually it was just the head.

“Oh see how much he loves you” said the wife in an unfortunately successful attempt to stop me throttling the little furry bastard.

Is the UK falling out of love with dogs? If so what has caused such an awful development?

The pace of life? The apparent increase in selfishness of people? Financial worries? Brexit? What? What could cause the people of the UK to lose their love for dogs?

The fact that it’s happening at all is worrying enough without the knowledge that people are now preferring fish.

I mean to say, no offence to fish. I have fish in my pond. I have six and they have names and, perhaps unwisely if anyone is listening, I talk to them as I feed them.

Big Boy is, not surprisingly, the biggest. Little Big Boy is equally unsurprisingly the second biggest. Stumpy has a deformed stumpy tail fin and then we have The Three Amigos who are identical.

Well, actually now it’s The Two Amigos as one inexplicably turned from gold to white last year so I’ve renamed him Michael – think about it 😉

So, you see, I have nothing against fish per se but really? Fish are overtaking dogs as the UK’s favourite pets?

Dogs are man’s best friends – and I’m sure we’re all quite happy for them to be women’s, gays, bi’s, lesbians and trans genders best friends too.

They deserve much better from The UK than to be replaced by fish. It appears Ghost Carp are particularly popular. Weird. You know why they are called ‘Ghost Carp’? You put them in the pond and you can’t even see the bloody things!

Mind you, I suppose that’s helpful if you have cats.

Much more of this and we’ll be turning into Korea and Fido will be arriving with a tasty paprika dressing.

Stop it UK! Stop it now! I’m getting annoyed with you!

I feel like setting the dogs on you. Well I would if I had any. The cats couldn’t care less frankly. As long as we feed them and empty their litter trays and don’t swing them by the tail for catching my fish.

Lassie come home!!!!

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Posted by on July 14, 2017. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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10 Responses to Something Is Fishy In The United Kingdom

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 11:37 am

    If they’re counting sheer numbers I can see how they reached that conclusion. After all, you can put a lot of fish in aquariums. I have two at the moment, one being a 180 gallon tank, and the other a 75 gallon. Between the two of them I have about 30 fish, whereas I only have three dogs at home at the moment. So does this mean I prefer fish over dogs? Of course not, but I do have more fish don’t I?

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      July 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      No they’re counting how many homes have dogs compared to earlier times and an enormous amount have said ‘we have fish no dog’. The number of dogless homes is increasing whilst the number of fishy homes is also increasing.

      How many dogs or fish per home isn’t considered. It’s how many without a dog but with fish – or other creatures.

    • Timmy Mahoney Reply

      July 14, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      I’ve got you beat Mike. Three tanks, two fresh, one salt. The last is a 220 gallon, about 15 fish. The other two are 125’s about 50 fish or more 🙂 Also have 7 dogs, two horses, and an annoying but lovable cat. What do you think of that Neil?

      • Barkely Reply

        July 14, 2017 at 8:08 pm

        I’ve more than any of you. I own a fish shop. Ha! Neil is right about that survey, don’t know how accurate it was. Britain is still all about the dogs though, or maybe it’s just gone to the bloody dogs.

        • Neil Bamforth Reply

          July 15, 2017 at 2:46 am

          Love my fish n chips. Wonder where that ‘gone to the dogs’ comes from?….

      • Neil Bamforth Reply

        July 15, 2017 at 2:44 am

        Ah but is the horse house trained? Then I’d be impressed ????

  2. Michele Coller Reply

    July 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I can believe that, I think. Fish are less expensive to keep than dogs, although they can be a lot of work all on their own.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      July 15, 2017 at 3:12 am

      They aren’t less expensive when you keep having to buy more cause the bloody cats keep eating them! ????

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