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Animals/Pets

Part 1

This episode's vocabulary


  • Pet (noun) - an animal that is kept in the home as a companion and treated kindly.
  • Goldfish (noun) - a small, gold- or orange-coloured fish often kept as a pet.
  • Stick insect (noun) - a large insect with a long, thin body and legs.
  • Occasional (adj.) - not happening or done often or regularly.
  • Toss-up (noun) - if you describe a situation as a toss-up, you mean that either of two possibilities is equally likely.
  • To domesticate (verb) - to bring animals or plants under human control in order to provide food, power, or company.
  • To accessorize (verb) - to add an accessory or accessories to something.
  • Accessory (noun) - something extra that improves or completes the thing it is added to.
  • Fish tank (noun) - a glass container used for keeping fish in, especially pet tropical fish.
  • Dog dad (noun) - someone who owns a dog.
  • Never-ending (adj.) - something that is never-ending never ends or seems as if it will never end.
  • Man's best friend (phrase) - dog.
  • To project an image (phrase) - to represent yourself in a particular way through your speech, behaviour, and appearance.
  • To entertain (verb) - to hold something in your mind or to be willing to consider or accept something.
  • Capybara (noun) - a South American animal that looks like a large guinea pig.
  • Pet (noun) - a kind person who is easy to like.

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Questions and Answers


M: Have you ever had a pet?

R: Not in a very long time. We used to have dogs, specifically Chow Chows. That's a Chinese breed. And we've had goldfish and we even had stick insects at one point. But now the closest thing we get is the occasional dog on holiday or the birds in the garden.

M: What are* the most popular pets in your country?

R: I think it's a toss-up between dogs and cats, really. They're just easier to domesticate. And there's a range of toys and foods to choose from. So if you'd like to accessorize, then that would be the pets for you. And people do. I also think fish are supposed to be quite common these days, because, well, in most of the houses I've been in, people have had a fish tank.

M: What animal would you like to keep as a pet?

R: I think I'd quite enjoy being a dog dad. They're very loyal, and they have seemingly never-ending reserves of energy, which would be fun. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time right now. Though hopefully one day I will.

M: Where do you prefer to keep your pets, indoors or outdoors?

R: Well, why not both? Especially if it's a dog, it needs to be familiar with being outside for going on walks and comfortable inside for being around people. If you mean where it would sleep, then I think it's best to be indoors since it's safer. I also think it's illegal to keep certain animals outdoors or outside all the time, isn't it?

M: What's your favourite animal?

R: Well, in terms of domesticated animals, I like dogs the best with, well, with them being a man's best friend and all. In terms of wild animals, I'd like large predators like tigers and sharks. I'm not really sure what that says about me. But I do think they look cool and they sort of project an image of controlled power.

M: Would you like to have a pet in the future?

R: Yeah, like I said, I'm a major fan of dogs. So if I can get one, then that would be nice. Or that would be great even. Otherwise, having a goldfish would also be quite calming. I even entertained the idea of having a capybara once, but I'm pretty sure that's illegal. And even if it wasn't they're animals from tropical areas, so it might be a little bit cruel to keep one in Scotland.

M: Rory, thank you so much for your answers!

R: Thank you pet!

M: Am I your pet? Do I look like your pet? Huh?

R: No, it's an expression in the south of England. Have you never heard that before?

M: Yeah, it's like love, right?

R: Darling

M: Darling, pet.

R: You're all right, darling? You alright?

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Discussion


M: So pets. We can have pets, we can keep pets, we can love pets. And Rory is a dog sitter. And you said that I quite enjoy being a dog dad.

R: Yes.

M: A dog mother.

R: So a pet sitter there's a difference between being a dog dad and being a dog sitter. A dog sitter or a cat sitter or a goldfish sitter or whatever kind of sitter you are, it looks after the animals for a temporary period of time while the owner is on holiday usually. A dog dad or a cat dad or a goldfish dad is someone who owns the animal so like a dog owner for example, but now the lingo, the language has changed, we say dog dad.

M: Is it always dad? Can I be a dog mom or a cat?

R: You can. Yeah.

M: Why is it a dad?

R: I think it's a reflection of your gender. So for me, I'd be a dog dad, but you would be a dog mom.

M: So if I enjoy elephants, I'm gonna say I'm an elephant mom. Gosh, this is crazy. Yeah. So, dear listener, instead of saying I love dogs, so you can say oh, I quite enjoy being a dog dad. Or I quite enjoy being a dog mom, dog mom. Okay, you can also say I'm a major fan of dogs. I'm a major fan of cats. Well, Rory prefers dogs, I love cats. I'm a major fan of cats. Also Rory mentioned capybaras.

R: Capybaras.

M: Yeah, they're amazing. Dear listener, you should go and google it. Capybara.

R: Capybaras are the best animal in the world. They love everyone.

M: Exactly. I agree. I agree. They're so cute. Please Google them. So they are the largest rodents. So it's basically a large rat, the largest rat, cute rat, in the world. And yeah, they're really popular in Japan and also in the United States. So you can call them like enormous guinea pigs, because they're guinea pig relatives. Yeah. And they're kind of semi-aquatic, so they live in water and also outside water? Yeah, Rory? You're a capybara fan.

R: Well, they live, like they sleep and eat and everything outside of the water, but they can go in the water, they swim. They're just the best. The only thing they cannot do is fly.

M: Oh, such a pity. Capybaras can't fly? I wish capybaras could fly. But capybaras, please Google them now.

R: It's important to point out that capybaras are wild animals and they are not pet. They should not be kept as pets for the love of God. There's so many people who think you can keep them as pets. And it's like, no, that is a wild animal, it belongs in the rain forest. But if I could have a capybara I would have a capybara.

M: But some animals could be domesticated. So to domesticate.

R: Yes, that's the process of making them able to live in your home, which you probably could do for a capybara, but the coffee bar must be free.

M: So we can domesticate horses, pigs, cats, dogs, they're pets, they're domestic animals, right? But you don't say oh, my favourite domestic animal is a goldfish. You say pets, okay? But such animals as lions, tigers, sharks bears are wild animals, right? So they can't be domesticated. But people do have baby lions in their homes or tigers. Or I wonder, does anybody have bears as pets in Russia?

R: Does anyone have bears as pets? Because I was sent a reel on Instagram the other day of a Russian person riding a bear and drinking vodka. And I just, I cringed.

M: It doesn't mean that all Russian people ride bears drinking vodka.

R: Yes, it would be really helpful if people could stop that stereotype. But I've just posted a picture of the capybara to the group chat.

M: Thank you.

R: It's okay. He's surrounded by chickens. You can see, look, look at the telegram.

M: Oh, so cute. I like capybaras.

R: Capybaras are the best.

M: Oh, so cute, cuteness.

R: Anyway, we should probably keep talking. We should probably talk about other animals.

M: Oh, no, it's a podcast on capybaras.

R: I wish it was a capybara podcast. We could do that all day. Anyway, back to the... We've got off on a tangent.

M: Yeah. Have you ever had a pet? So Rory used to have stick insects. Disgusting.

R: They're not that disgusting. They're just like sticks with legs that walk around and you feed them with green things, and they eat it. It's not terribly exciting now, but if you're a child, then you're like oho, stick insect, hello there. And they take forever to die. So they grow to huge sizes. They can be up to like a third of a meter long. There are massive.

M: Oh, wow. So what did you do with them?

R: I think well, they eventually died of natural causes, but they do just keep on growing and growing. I don't think they actually have any natural predators in Scotland. So if they get out and the weather's decent, ah, maybe the weather killed them, but up until that point, they just kept going. They lived forever.

M: Oh god, stick insects. Okay, now Rory gets the occasional dog on holiday. So Rory is the dog sitter, or birds in the garden. That's nice. Yeah, I have birds in my garden. Well, they're my pets.

R: They're not really my pets. It's just the closest thing.

M: What's the most popular pet? And you can say I think it's a toss-up between dogs and cats. So it's a toss-up, we toss a coin.

R: There's not, like there's no way to tell if there are more dogs or cats, really. I mean, probably there is some statistical data somewhere, but usually it's a choice between either cats or dogs.

M: You can also paraphrase popular by using the word common. So it's common for people to have a goldfish. Or you said fish are supposed to be quite common. You see, fish are supposed to... Fish are, fish are. Why fish are?

R: Well, fish, they're different kinds of goldfish.

M: Hmm. So when we mean different kinds of fish...

R: Yeah, you don't just get goldfish, you get different species of domestic fish, I guess it's what they would be called, house fish.

M: House fish. Fish are supposed to be quite common. Yeah, and they live in a fish tank, a fish tank or aquarium. But a fish tank would be a very nice word to use. Rory is a dog dad. Interestingly Rory eats dogs and he...

R: I am not a dog dad. I'd like to be a dog.

M: You ate dog.

R: Yes, because it was the cultural expectation where I lived, alright? In some cultures, they eat dogs. We just have to survive and work on this together.

M: Oh, dear listener, if you haven't heard this story, I think in one of the episodes on our premium podcast, Rory told us a story when he ate dog. Yeah. Dog eater. Rory also loves dogs because they have reserves of energy.

R: They have never-ending reserves of energy, which means they just keep going.

M: Yeah, like Jack Russels.

R: They're also man's best friend. I think I mentioned that. It's a cliche, but it's a fact. They are man's best friend.

M: Yeah. Cute. What's your favourite animal? And then go in terms of domesticated animals I love cats and fish. In terms of wild animals. I prefer predators like tigers or sharks. Yep. Now Rory, you have a choice. You're gonna choose your exotic pet. Exotic, I mean, non-domesticated animal. Okay? So, Rory, if you had to choose, but now you must make this choice. Okay? So there is no choice not to make this choice. So, I'll give you options. And could you choose one animal that you would like to keep as a pet among the exotic animals that I'm gonna tell you about?

R: Okay.

M: Okay, are you ready, Rory?

R: Yes.

M: All right. So welcome into this show of pick your exotic animal. Alright, so number one, giant African land snails.

R: Oh, I used to have snails.

M: But it's a giant African land snails. A snail is a small creature with soft, wet body. Okay, dear listener, snail, you know?

R: It's got a shell.

M: Okay this is number one. Giant African land snails. Number two hedgehogs. A hedgehog as a pet. A hedgehog is a small brown mammal with these sharp spines on its back. Okay? Hedgehog. A skunk, a skunk as a pet. A skunk, it is small black and white animal that makes a strong unpleasant smell as a defence, you know, a skunk. The last option is anteater, anteater. Ants, they are these little insects. And the animal is called an anteater. A mammal that eats ants or termites. This animal with a long nose and tongue. Salvador Dali... You remember Salvador Dali? Had a pet anteater and he would just take his anteater for a walk. Dear listener, please google these animals. So Rory, what is it going to be? A giant African land snail or snails. Hedgehog, a skunk or maybe two skunks or an anteater? Which one?

R: Well, I think snails would probably be very low maintenance, although if they're from Africa, maybe they need special climate but if they don't need a special climate, then I would pick the snails. Hedgehogs live Scotland so and they're quite cute, so I could do a hedgehog. I could look after a hedgehog.

M: A skunk? No?

R: Skunks do not belong anywhere near me. So no. And anteaters belong in the rainforest. I don't care what Salvador Dali did. Like they should be in the rainforest. Stop stealing animals from where they're supposed to be.

M: Ah, yeah. Some people are against exotic pet keeping, but other people don't have a problem keeping a crocodile in the bathtub.

R: Well, they're wrong.

M: Well, yeah. Cool. Okay, so snails. All right. I'll send you some snails. A couple.

R: You don't need to we have snails in the garden. Not African ones. But...

M: Yeah, but I mean, like giant African land snails and they're like giant snails. Right. Dear listener, if you're tired of listening to our speaking nonsense, you can listen to our writing podcast. Yeah, we do have a free writing podcast with episodes where we discuss essays, and we write essays on the spot together with Roro, Rory, the Rory. And our premium writing episodes includes us writing graphs. Yeah, we give you all the insides into graphs. Rory loves a good graph. So do check them out. The links are in the description. Thank you very much for listening! We love you! We hug you! And let's listen to each other in our next episode.

R: Bye!

M: Bye!

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