White Dog surfing at the beach looking very happy

You will have heard of ‘silly season’. It’s the time of every year when there’s so little of real note or import going on that the news outlets have to grasp onto any and every thing that will fill their pages or airtime.

Parliament is out (like school…) while our politicians sun themselves and so many people are away on holiday that getting quotes and responses to stories becomes a mammoth task for hard-pressed reporters.

Silly season is the answer, taking any oddball story and ‘having a bit of fun’ with it, as news editors up and down the land will be heard to say.

It’s odd though how much of the silly season fare seems to involve animals. Maybe it’s because they don’t tend to argue with the facts of a story and can be blamed for many things without resorting to the courts to protect their reputation!

There have been some great examples of such silly season animal antics, not least around that old favourite, the Loch Ness Monster.

One for the boffins

Beyond that though, cats seem to come in for the brunt of this daft treatment, as grainy, blurry shots become big game sightings in the Welsh borders or, popularly, the south west – such as this recent example.

Such is the British joy at a good silly season story that academics have even studied the phenomenon. It’s got to the point where this non-story madness has become a story in itself! Just take a look at this round-up The Independent did of last summer’s offerings (plenty of pet-based humour in there too).

So maybe it’s looking at this wrong to say the animals are the victims of this desperate news anarchy. Perhaps, after all, we should be delighted for them because it’s their time to shine and show the world what they can do when the spotlight turns on them!

‘Silly season’ comes but once a year
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