Robert Gordon is phoning to book a hotel room in Paris.
Receptionist: 45-21-64. Allo?
Robert: Is that the Saint-Martine Hotel?
Receptionist: Oui. Yes, it is. Can I help you?
Robert: Have you got a double room for the night of 23rd July?
Receptionist: One moment please. I’ll just have a look. Yes, we have got a double room on that date.
Robert: Has it got a double bed or two singles?
Receptionist: Two singles, monsieur.
Robert: And is that with or without bath?
Receptionist: It’s a room with shower and toilet, monsieur.
Robert: That sounds fine. Is there a TV?
Receptionist: Could you repeat that, please?
Robert: Is there a color television in the room?
Receptionist: Yes, but of course. And a video, if you choose.
Robert: How much will it be for one night?
Receptionist: About four hundred francs.
Robert: And what does that include?
Receptionist: It includes morning newspaper, continental breakfast and service.
Robert: Where is the nearest metro?
Receptionist: Opera, monsieur. It’s only five minutes from here.
Robert: And is there an extra charge for children?
Receptionist: If the child is under sixteen and we put an extra bed in your room, the charge is seventy-five francs. Do you want the room?
Robert: Yes, for one night—23rd July.
Receptionist: Oui, monsieur. May I have your name, please?
Robert: Actually, it’s for my wife and two daughters—Mrs. Jean Gordon, Linda and Maggie.
Receptionist: Yes, monsieur. So you need an extra bed. And what time will they be arriving on July 23rd …
Interviewer: Now you’ve been a veterinary doctor for some thirty years, what was it that made you become a vet in the first place?
Vet: Well, I studied as an ordinary doctor in the beginning, but I slowly realized that I liked animals very much. I almost prefer animals to people. So I took an extra course in animal medicine. It’s as simple as that really.
Interviewer: And you still enjoy working with animals?
Vet: Oh, yes, very much so. In fact, more than ever now. I’ve got to know animals much better, you see, and I get on better with them in every way. Their owners sometimes get on my nerves, though.
Interviewer: Oh … why is that?
Vet: Well, some people know very little about animals and keep them in the wrong conditions.
Interviewer: What sort of conditions?
Vet: Oh, you know, some people buy a large dog and then try to keep it in a small flat; they don’t take it out enough to give it proper exercise. Other people have a cat and try to keep it in the house all day, but a cat needs to get out and be free to come and go as it pleases. A lot of people don’t feed their animals properly. It’s very common to give pets too much food which is very bad for them, especially if they’re not getting enough exercise. Or not to feed them regularly, which is equally bad. An animal is a responsibility which is something many people don’t seem to realize.
Interviewer: You mean people keep pets for the wrong reasons?
Vet: Yes, some people want a pet because they’re lonely, or simply for decoration, or just to show how rich they are.
Interviewer: And just how do you deal with these people?
Vet: Well, I try to tell them what the animal needs, what is the right sort of food, the proper exercise. I try to teach them that animals are not toys and if they’re to be healthy, they have to be happy.
Interviewer: Yes, I suppose you’re right. In your thirty years as a vet you must have come across some interesting cases?
Vet: Oh yes, there are lots of interesting cases. I was once called to a lioness who was giving birth and having difficulty. Now that was really interesting.
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