Stress is not my pet subject

JUDGING from my own experience many years ago, not every youngster would have gone back to school this week wearing a happy smile. But think instead of the poor souls they have left behind at home. They, apparently, have real hangdog expressions right now

JUDGING from my own experience many years ago, not every youngster would have gone back to school this week wearing a happy smile.

But think instead of the poor souls they have left behind at home. They, apparently, have real hangdog expressions right now.

The family pet has been the centre of attention throughout the school summer holidays, I read in a press release (although it fails to mention that the favoured mutt or moggy may have been packed off to kennels or a cattery for two or three weeks of that time while the humans swanned off on holiday).

Now the animals are suddenly at home alone and that, according to a well known pet store, makes September "officially" the most depressing month of the year for our furry friends.


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Steps should be taken to avoid what vets call "separation anxiety", I learn. And then the release goes on to suggest that many of the pets' problems can be sorted out by treating them to a wide range of products which happen to be available at the store.

Talk about trying to capitalise on a selling opportunity by making us feel sorry for our pets.

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Another thing which annoyed me about the press release was the way it began: "As the long school summer holidays in.....came to an end this week.."

After the word "in" I presume the computer generating the item should have inserted Stevenage or Letchworth or some other local town.

But instead it went into cyberspace and stated: "As the long school summer holiday in john.adams@thecomet.net came to an end..."

I never realised that my email address had been on a long summer holiday. It did not send me an e-card from an exotic location.

I would advise the prospective parliamentary Labour candidate for the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency to ensure that his press releases are checked more carefully before they are sent out in future.

One was published this week pushing the party line and urging the Tory controlled North Herts District Council to do more to tackle the lack of affordable housing in the area. It makes the right noises and is very commendable.

What lets down the whole thing, unfortunately, is the headline which reads: "News from Oli de Botton - Labour's candidate for Hitchen and Harpenden."

Just one altered letter can make all the difference. There was another example of that just the other day in a release from a PR company representing a garden tools company.

This was extolling the virtues of a telescopic pruning lopper for cutting off bits of tree and high hedges at height without the use of ladders.

I got the impression that this particular one was designed for tiny Tom Thumbs to trim mini bonsai trees after reading that it comprised a total reach including user of approximately "6.5mm". Mmmm....I think they should have used just the one m. You can cut me down to size if I am wrong.

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