Tim Dowling: I fear we may be getting a kitten. Or worse, a corgi

Tim Dowling: I fear we may be getting a kitten. Or worse, a corgi

I look down.“Not now,” I say.‘No, of course I don’t like corgis.’ Illustration: Peter Gamlen/The GuardianA few days later my wife rings me.“Do you like corgis?” she says.“What does that mean?” I say.“We’re going to look at a kitten,” my wife says.

Tim Dowling: the cat has gone to the vet. I sit and await good news

Tim Dowling: the cat has gone to the vet. I sit and await good news

When the oldest one surfaces at about midday, I am still sitting in a chair watching the cat on the sofa.“The cat’s not well,” I say.“Isn’t he?” the oldest says.“Dad thinks he’s about to check out,” my wife says from the doorway, being unnecessarily faithful to my phrasing.“So take him to the vet,” the oldest one says.

Tim Dowling: the pet food system is broken, and the cat blames me

Tim Dowling: the pet food system is broken, and the cat blames me

Because of all these sounds, I do not hear the approach of the youngest one before he leans through my door and holds up an open packet of cat food.“Have you fed the cat?” he says.“Yes,” I say.“He’s hassling me,” he says.

Tim Dowling: is the dog’s friendship with the fox sweet – or a bad omen?

Tim Dowling: is the dog’s friendship with the fox sweet – or a bad omen?

My wife sits up in bed.“What’s going on?” she says.“The dog is barking,” I say, standing up to look out the window.If you open the front door at night, the dog will often run out between your legs to chase the fox down an adjacent lane.

Tim Dowling: the dog needs a haircut, and I’m next in line

Tim Dowling: the dog needs a haircut, and I’m next in line

“I think that looks pretty good,” my wife says, standing back.“In the box,” my wife says.“Fix what?” the youngest says.“These are dog attachments, but whatever,” I say.He looks at me, and the youngest one, and then me again.“I’m good,” he says.

Tim Dowling: my wife wants to adopt a dog to live on our farm. Wait – what farm?

Tim Dowling: my wife wants to adopt a dog to live on our farm. Wait – what farm?

Later that night, I find my wife at her desk, looking at what appears to be a website dedicated to the adoption of abandoned dogs from around the world.“What are you doing?” I say.“Look at Lucky!” she says.“Are you trying to adopt a dog?” I say.“To live on our farm!” she says.“But we have a dog,” I say.

Is your dog fat? Fitness trackers help put fat pets on a diet

Is your dog fat? Fitness trackers help put fat pets on a diet

He moved to San Francisco for three months, tracked down Czech manufacturers and a customer service subcontractor.Owners willing to splurgeTwo years later, production and sales of the Actijoy fitness trackers have begun, with one unit costing about $300.