THE Princess and I are dog sitting for our vacationing neighbours at the moment. Although we are presently owned by two cats that we rescued as tiny street ragamuffins a few years ago, we also love dogs and it makes a pleasant change to take the first walk of the day through the quiet neighbourhood at a relatively early hour.
Armed with doodoo bags just in case, and a pocket full of biscuit treats (for being a good girl and pooping on waste ground and not the road, the dog not the Princess), it’s a pleasant experience.
But it amazes me to see the amount of dog excrement left on the pavements and walkways of the urbanisation. The dog owners concerned believe that if nobody is watching, then leave it, because although during daylight hours doggy walkers can be seen assiduously attending to their pet’s bowel movements, it is obviously a different matter after dark.
These thoughts link up conveniently with a message I saw on Facebook from an erstwhile friend in the village where we once lived. It was castigating dog owners who are allowing their animals to make regular deposits on the village recreation ground, and leaving them to be discovered by young kids and footballers.
The message was in the form of a cartoon fairy flying off with a bag of something unsavoury, and captioned: ‘There’s No Such Thing as the Dog Poo Fairy!’ It reminded me of a time when, as a member of the Parish Council, I had made it my responsibility to keep the three village greens mown during the summer and in addition the cemetery and churchyard. There was something strangely relaxing about thrumming around on my shiny Kubota ride-on, pondering life’s mysteries. At the entrance to the cemetery was a narrow strip of grass that, because of its slope, could only be strimmed.
This was fine unless the grass became overly long, which happened during our holidays away. Let me tell you, in spite of the mirth it created in the village at the time, it is no fun to suddenly encounter a wet Richard the Third with a high speed rotating nylon cord. To this day, there are those who still refer to me as ‘Freckles’!