There is nothing like an animal for bringing out the humanity in man. The Dutch are no exception. Their reserved attitude to fellow human beings immediately melts in the presence of a dog. They become super friendly and considerate.

The latest twist in this furry tale appeared in one newspaper today under the headline: ‘Love of animals unites left and right’. Parties that are diametrically opposed to one another on almost every issue, yesterday joined forces. NOT to save the world from climate disaster or alleviate poverty, but to set up an emergency service number for animals in need.
Line 113 will run parallel to the human emergency services number 112. One wonders if the next step will be to issue dogs, cats and cows with mobile phones programmed to call 113. The mind boggles.
On the very same day the country was wrestling with a constitutional crisis. Should long term asylum seekers who have lost their appeal to stay in the Netherlands continue to be booted out during the current negotiations to form a new government?. A slim majority in parliament says ‘no’ but the minister responsible, Rita Verdonk and the cabinet say ‘yes’.
Maybe we should set up an animal parliament to decide on human issues. We’ve already got a human parliament to decide on animal matters.

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