Saturday, 9 March 2013

Dog Poo: Bag it and Bin it People!

Instead of a Dog of the Day photo today, I'm going to have a dog-related Rant of the Day about poo!

As a dog-owner, two things really really irritate me about other dog owners. Firstly, people that don't pick up their dog's poo! This is just not acceptable.

All of our dogs poo, and all responsible owners watch their dog, pick up the poo and dispose of it. I spend a couple of hours a day walking my dog, and always pick up after him. I keep an eye on him when he's off-lead so I know when he's doing his business (most dogs usually wander off for a bit of privacy) and when he's on-lead it's fairly obvious where and when he goes! Walking along the pavement I often have to move my dog out of the way of poo that some poor unsuspecting pedestrian has already trodden in, spread along the pavement at stride-length intervals. I run around on the grass with my dog, hoping that neither of us gets some on our feet (I can vividly recall the smell as I picked some out of the tread in my shoes last year, with a tea-towel over my mouth to stop me retching). My dog stops to sniff poo that's been left on the grass, which is no doubt how he's picked up a string of recent infections, including campylobacter, hook worm and tape worm. I'm sure no-one wants their child to get dog-poo anywhere near them and pick any of the nasty infections it might be harbouring.

The other day a young middle-class lad was walking past with a golden cocker spaniel I hadn't seen before. The dog stopped to poo and the guy made no effort to pick it up. I shouted over to him and said "Excuse me, your dog just pooed, please pick it up." His response was "It's not my dog, I'm just walking it for a friend; I haven't got any bags." I gave him a bag (I always carry at least 3 with me) and he did then pick it up, but he wouldn't have bothered if I hadn't said anything. If you lend someone your dog, give them bags and instruct them to pick up the poo too!

The other thing that I find equally despicable which leaves me gobsmacked every time is that some people go to the effort of actually picking up their dog's poo (which surely is the gross bit) and then they LEAVE the bag. Really. You see them lying on the pavement, or at the side of the path, or hanging from a tree in the countryside! Fortunately in my local vicinity there is very little of this ridiculous behaviour (the louts around here don't bother to pick it up in the first place), but venture into South Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia, along the Thames Path in Battersea or the countryside in Herts/Bucks, etc.. and there you see it - neatly-tied bags just lying or hanging there. Who do these people think will clear these up?! What kind of person thinks that this is OK?! Why can't these people take these bags with them and dispose of them elsewhere? It just makes me really sick that some people could be so arrogant to do this, expecting someone else to clean up after them. Often these bags have also been trodden on, presumably the person sliding along the pavement as they've had this misfortune.

This photo was taken on the corner of Eccleston Street and Chester Square, in the very affluent area of Belgravia (you can see some of the many Porsches and Mercs in the background). There are bags full of poo that these people have just left. Of course I've never seen anyone actually drop their bag on the ground, just as I rarely see dogs pooing on the pavement and their owners not picking it up - these people know it's wrong and they clearly do it when no-one's looking.

Please don't just pick up your dog's poo, take the bag with you and dispose of it too! Be a decent dog-owner and stop giving the rest of us a bad name by leaving our streets and parks filthy!

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