Four Legs Good

Voted Best Blog in the 2012 NetGuide awards, Four Legs Good is a place to talk about pets, and the frustrations and fun of owning them. Blogger Nick Barnett is joined by pet experts and pet lovers who write about the animals in their lives and pet issues of all kinds. And though 'Four Legs Good' is true, we’re just as fond of animals with two legs, many legs – or none.

Is the bar too high for dog lovers?

08:00am 31 Jul 2014

NICK BARNETT

 
 
If you want to adopt a dog, then be ready to face scrutiny. Be ready to fill out forms that ask you about your work, your lifestyle, your exercise habits and what kind of fences you have.

Belle
 Having a dog is fun. But it's a life-changer.
Fair enough, many people say. A dog has certain needs that you can't ignore if you want the dog to be healthy and the people around it safe. It needs a good home and a good owner. Negligent owners produce flawed and sometimes dangerous dogs.

But does that mean that dog ownership should be seen as an exclusive club, the preserve of those who happen to tick every box on those bureaucratic forms? There need to be rules, sure, but is it possible those rules and requirements sometimes come laced with judgmentalism?

A blog reader, let's call her Milly, raised those issues in an email she sent me. She says she has inquired about adopting a dog, and been daunted by the tough questions she's been asked. She hasn't felt ready, yet, to put through an adoption application form.

Here's what Milly said.

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29 cute pets and their cuddle buddies

07:00am 25 Jul 2014

NICK BARNETT

Every pet seems to have a favourite thing - a precious, a fetish, a treasure. If you're lucky, your pet's cherished object will be something sturdy and cheap, like a ball. If you're unlucky, your pet will form an attachment to something quite unfitting to both its species and your budget, such as a shoe.

But once the choice is made, it's made. A pet and its favourite thing will never be separated.

That inseperable bond is the subject of today's photo collection. Here are some pets surrounded by, or surrounding, their favourite things - or at least their favourite thing for now.

How could you not want to cuddle with Big Ted? He seems so, well, open to it. And Teabag is more than happy to accept the invitation.

Teabag

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28 cute animals just lounging

08:59am 18 Jul 2014

NICK BARNETT

The world is many things to a pet. A boundless playground; an endless party; a doorless toilet. But most of all, it's an immense collection of places in which to relax.

And relax they do. For being a pet is not about standing on ceremony or enduring inconvenience. It's about getting the maximum fun and comfort out of any given circumstances.

Take Trouble, for instance. For you, as a human, an ironing board is a venue for steamy toil, but for Trouble it's a place to recline while looking terrific. So long as the iron is turned off and cool.

Trouble

Freddie throws a casual backward glance from the couch. 

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27 men with their pets

06:00am 11 Jul 2014

NICK BARNETT

Today's pet photo lineup is another rare collection in which the pets' owners also star. And after last week's all-female edition, today it's the turn of Men Who Love Their Pets and Aren't Afraid To Show It. (Or Who Slept or Remained Unaware While Somebody Photographed Them Clandestinely.)

Selfies taken by guys holding their pets? Not so much; it doesn't seem to be a 'Thing'. Among the thousands of readers' pet photos that I've seen, hardly any have been male-plus-pet selfies. Maybe we could change this, and flood the internet with man-cat or man-dog selfies - feel free to take one and send it to me. Make it funny or artistic if you like - I'll make sure there's a prize! 

Anyway, back to Furry Friday. I think these men earn the title of Gentlemen. See what you think.

Ashley and Paige feel nowhere safer than in their dad Eddie's colourful arms. 

Ashley

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Furry Friday: Ladies a pet

01:00pm 04 Jul 2014

NICK BARNETT

I asked followers of the Four Legs Good page on Facebook to send me photos of themselves or someone they know with their pets. As usual, more photos arrived than could be used in one go, so I've sorted them into a few themes that can be the basis of future Furry Fridays. Today's theme: women and their pets (or someone else's pet).

Now, I think pets are as important to men as they are to women. But I've noticed that women are much more likely to hold their pets close for the camera - to be seen and photographed cuddling their pets. Does that align with what you've seen?

There are whole books written about this - how photos of human-and-pet interactions are "gendered". It's a worthy subject, but a loose fit for me and this blog, especially on a Friday. So I'm going to skip over the erudition and go straight to the cuddles. (And never fear, a blog entry on "men and their pets" is in the works for next week!)

Our cover-cuddle is between Zeus and Madhu (to ward off confusion today, when both names are given, the pet's comes first!).

Zeus

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