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The unsavoury issue of poo.

By Sue McCabe

I’m quite baffled by something. I’d be happy to bet next year’s tax bill on the fact that everyone agrees it’s a good idea to pick up your dog’s poo. Then why is it that I’m increasingly seeing more and more unsavoury deposits lying around when out walking my dogs. Society thinks it’s unhygienic, ugly, nasty and smelly to walk around trying to avoid faeces. Then who are the people allowing their dogs to eliminate in public, who then unashamedly walk on pretending it hasn’t happened? Perhaps the recent heavy snow fall has frozen peoples brain and fingers so they are simply too cold to stop and pick it up. Or perhaps it’s just become more visible because of the pristine, white conditions lately, but the increase in dog poo left untouched is astounding.

While I’m on a rant, may I add another poo related gripe? A new kind of vegetation has sprung up recently on a lot of the dog walks I frequent. It’s an amazing specimen of tree, featuring all kinds of different leaf varieties with one thing in common. Hanging from the branches are swinging plastic pouches of stinky, brown matter which over time, fade, sometimes explode in the wind, and occasionally drop to the ground for the world to step in. Who goes to the trouble of picking up their dog’s poo, only to hang the bag in a tree for all eternity? Because it’s pretty clear from my local neighbourhood that no-one is returning to take these offensive packages home with them or to dispose of them in the litter bin.

I hate that irresponsible dog owners can ruin my enjoyment of a walk by making non-dog-people think we are all the same. If society thinks it’s right to pick up after your dog, who are these individuals who, on a whim, suddenly think it’s ok leave it and walk on? I have been known to offer a poo bag to people who walk on while their dog is dumping his daily deposit on the village green and pretend they don’t see it. I pick up other people’s dog poo around the village, just so I don’t get blamed for the unsightly mess. But it’s not my responsibility is it? If we all agree in theory that it’s a good idea to pick up after our dogs, is it also not a good idea in practice? Can we not all agree for once to practice what we preach?

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