Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pet shop boys

Once more, the Goat has fallen victim to ‘Not Coming In Dubaitis’. This time it involves the tropical fish.

There is no shortage of shops selling fish tanks, air pumps, power heads, gravel, imitation coral, plastic skeletons and treasure chests, and fake Greek temple ruins. And neither is there any problem finding someone who’ll sell tropical fish. But what happens when some of the electric hardware goes wrong? Does anyone carry spares?

Guess. Go on; you’ll never guess.

An aquarium power head comprises an electromagnet in a sealed waterproof plastic box. This drives a tiny impeller which circulates and aerates the water. But when the impeller comes adrift from its magnet, it sounds like bricks in a tumble dryer. Obviously there is an urgent need to replace the broken part. It should not be necessary to replace the entire power head.

The first shop had some replacement impellers, and they were dirt cheap. But all the wrong size. Nobody else had any at all. I rode my motorbike all over town, to be regaled with variations on a theme of “No” ranging from “Sorry, Mr Goat...” to “Neanderthal Grunt.”

Eventually I was forced to throw away a perfectly good power head and buy a complete new unit in order to obtain an impeller worth a shilling. As usual, the electric box came with about half a metre of cable, which is nowhere near enough when electricity and water are involved.

The stinking shops in Satwa that sell tropical fish and ornamental birds were right at the bottom of my list. In addition to the odious Neanderthal Grunt, which was available in all the shops, these places are a continual reminder of the unspeakable conditions from which animals are offered for sale. I hate going there and seeing the wretched creatures and the atrocious conditions of their accommodation.

A couple of months ago, 7DAYS ran a front page that did the dirt on the Sharjah animal market. This was inevitably followed by a host of indignant Letters to the Editor concerning dying animals sold to unsuspecting punters with clean bills of health from the local veterinarian.

Unsuspecting? Why is anyone surprised? You can see the overstocked tanks of putrid water with dead fish floating; you can see the rheumy-eyed, runny-nosed kittens; you can see the pony with a ribcage that resembles a bicycle rack. Of course, actually buying any of these animals to rescue them only dooms more to the same fate, and even the most passionate animal lover can’t save them all.

How can people be so cruel? When you see (or read in the local papers) how some folk treat their housemaids, is it really any surprise, the treatment meted out to mere dumb animals?


1 comment:

Jayne said...

In 2008, we organised a tour of the Eastern Transvaal & Kruger Park with a bunch of good friends (Harley riders, naturally) of varying nationalities. They all loved SA, especially the KNP, but we weren't lucky enough to see all of the Big 5.
As you know, I left the Sandpit a year ago, but a couple of the group from 2008 joined us at the start of our trip, in Berlin. TLT informed me she'd finally seen a cheetah, a real live cheetah! She never got to see one in the KNP, but a friend of a friend in Abu Dhabi invited her to his house & proudly 'introduced' her to his 'pet' cheetah.
It sickened me no end, all the time I lived in the Sandpit, the way animals were treated. I fear nothing will change either, as the penalties for abuse are pathetically inadequate, plus there's always the 'wasta' factor.


The opinions expressed in this weblog are the works of the Grumpy Goat, and are not necessarily the opinions shared by any person or organisation who may be referenced. Come to that, the opinions may not even be those of the Grumpy Goat, who could just be playing Devil's Advocate. Some posts may be of parody or satyrical [sic] nature. Nothing herein should be taken too seriously. The Grumpy Goat would prefer that offensive language or opinions not be posted in the comments. Offensive comments may be subject to deletion at the Grumpy Goat's sole discretion. The Grumpy Goat is not responsible for the content of other blogs or websites that are linked from this weblog. No goats were harmed in the making of this blog. Any resemblance to individuals or organisations mentioned herein and those that actually exist may or may not be intentional. May contain nuts.