I’m toying with the idea of committing to a pet

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If you’ve been watching Britan’s Got Talent this year you may have seen Ashleigh and her excellent dancing dog Pudsey jiving away to the Flintstones tune. They were so good they got a standing ovation – ooh we do love a dancing dog don’t we!

I was just as impressed with that 16-year-old girl’s dedication to her pet. She walks him, feeds him and grooms him. As her nan said, her life doesn’t revolve around boys, but around the dog.

It certainly makes a good case for getting a family pet, though I suspect she’s probably quite unique. I imagine most teenagers would be grumpy about having to do such things, unless it was getting them out of doing their homework.

Every so often I have a debate with myself over whether to get a pet and dogs are my favourite. They are loving, loyal and a little bit daft – some of my favourite personality traits!

I’ve never been sure about cats. They bring bits of dead things into the house and seem to like sinking their teeth into me randomly.

I find pet fish a bit pointless. Sure it’s all very soothing watching them swim round and round with their little guppy mouths going 10 to the dozen, but the novelty has got to wear off. Plus I’ve always felt a bit sorry for them stuck in those tanks. I’m sure even decorative plastic sea plants don’t make swimming round in endless circles any more bearable.

Hamsters are cute but seem to like noisy, late-night jaunts around their cage, so that’s a definite no-no. I did see someone walking a ferret on a lead the other day – another option.

Even when you have decided on what type of pet, there is so much else to think about – the extra cost in food, insurance and vet’s bills, the commitment of walking them daily and the likelihood of them bringing fleas, ticks or other unsavoury things into your home. I caught a tick from our dog as a child and have a very unpleasant memory of my sister digging its legs out of my arm with a sterilised pin.

Most animals aren’t particularly portable either. They’re a bigger commitment than children in the sense that you can’t easily take them with you if you go on holiday or away for the weekend.

On the up side, a pet can bring a lot of love and laughter to your home and become a member of the family – one that doesn’t talk back, throw tantrums or leave the toilet seat up. If you’re lucky enough to have one with dance moves like Pudsey, you might even be able to get on the telly!

All they want is to be loved and looked after, and that can be a great thing to have in your life.

I’m sure like with having children, the positives would far out way any negatives, but I’m still not sure I’m ready to have slobber and hair all over my house as well as all the toys.

Plus, I’ve just stopped having to deal with my son’s excrement on a daily basis, do I really want to start picking doggy doo-doo up from the pavement?