English Bites – Series 8, Episode 23: Animal Welfare League

English Bites – Series 8, Episode 23: Animal Welfare League


This story is about finding homes for unwanted
dogs and cats. First listen to how Michelle describes the
animals at the shelter. I’m here today to try to discover more and
I really want to see how those homeless animals are looked after. She calls the animals homeless. This means they are without a home. You can add -less, meaning without, to many
nouns. For example this dog has a collar but these
cats don’t. They are collarless.
Now listen for another way of changing the meaning of ‘home’:
A lot of the animals that we get here, they haven’t had the best of lives, you know.
They’re the kind of animals that no-one wanted to come back for
so we try and make whatever’s left of their life,
even if they aren’t able to be re-homed, just really comfortable and as happy as we can
for them. Aren’t able to be ‘re-homed’. Re-homed means
homed again. Re- simply means again. The animals had a home in the past. Now they need to be
re- homed. Let’s replay and listen for ‘haven’t had’:
A lot of the animals that we get here, they haven’t had the best of lives, you know. They’re
the kind of animals that no-one wanted to come back for…
They ‘haven’t had’ the best of lives. There are several forms and functions of the
word ‘have’. Sometimes, it’s an ordinary verb meaning you
own something, but you also use ‘have’ as an auxiliary verb,
or a verb used with another verb. So you can use have and had together and say
“I have had a good time.” Or you can use the negative ‘haven’t had’:
A lot of the animals that we get here, they haven’t had the best of lives, you know.
They’re the kind of animals that no-one wanted to come back for.
Haven’t had is the present perfect tense, which is the auxiliary verb ‘have’, here in
the negative form, ‘haven’t’ with a past participle, in this case ‘had’.
They haven’t had the best of lives. Their lives were not so good in the past, up until
now. So, Michelle, what we do now is once the dogs
have passed their temperament test, my job is to check out their general health.
She’s got excellent teeth for an older dog, she must do a lot of chewing. Or has done
a lot of chewing. The vet changed what she said, “do a lot of
chewing” to the present perfect tense, “has done a
lot of chewing”. She’s saying that the dog chews a lot now
and also chewed a lot in the past. So they check their health, but what else
do they do? This is where we desex them, if they’re not
already desexed. They desex them. They make sure they can’t
breed. De- is another prefix meaning to remove.
Next, listen for the expression Michelle uses to mean things are going well: I’m trying to test whether I’m allergic or
not. So far so good. So far so good.
You use this expression to say things are going well,
but you are not sure this will continue. Michelle thinks she might start sneezing:
So far so good because I would be ‘atchoo atchoo’, all the
time. You like that. He likes it.
We’ll finish with Michelle using the expression ‘end up’,
which means to finally arrive somewhere: I think it’s really important, to have such
a organisation. I can’t imagine without them what it would
be like. It’s a place where you can give those homeless
animals, whatever reason they ended up here, a chance
for their second life. So why are the animals at the shelter?
We do get a lot of owner surrenders. Right. Surrender. For what reason?
It really depends, everyone has different circumstances. It could be someone’s moved
and they can’t bring their animals with them. A lot of people don’t actually realise what
their puppy’s gonna be like so they’ll buy a puppy that is a working farm dog or a Labrador,
which are very, very high energetic dogs. So they end up sort of getting stuck in a
back yard and then people have enough of them so they have to bring them in because they’re
just not working with their family. People ‘have enough of them’. To ‘have enough’
is an expression used to say that you don’t want to put up with annoying behaviour. People
often say that they ‘have had enough’ of a situation they don’t like.

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