Today I took the dog for a walk.
As I was dragged by Hector, the tow truck pulling, champion of the world, around Britain’s green, pleasant and soon to be autumnal land, a weird and worrying trend began to reveal itself to me.
From what I could see, as I ‘Dog-Skied’ along the footpath, as the trees and hedges divest themselves of their summery foliage, it is going to become apparent that a curious mange is blighting the hedgerows and general greenery of the highways and byways of this, our beautiful scepter’d isle.
Lots of little black bags are festooning the branches.
Little black bags full of doggy-doo-doo.
Bags of it.
I was under the impression that when the ‘don’t-just-let-your-dog-do-his-business-on-the-footpath’ movement began, that the general idea was that your pooches poop was supposed to be collected in a little black bag and placed in a conveniently located and purposely designed bin and thereby removed from community walk-ways and fields.
The bins do not, if the hedges are to be believed, seem to have yet achieved ‘conveniently located’ status as dog owners the country over seem to be opting for a furtive glance around to check that no one is watching, and then lobbing their bulging bag into the closest bush before hustling themselves rapidly on their merry way.
If I’m honest, I sort of understand. Who’s really going to enjoy a stroll around and about in the country with a bag of dog crap hanging from their wrist? Greeting the local vicar or one of your children’s teachers is made infinitely more uncomfortable when you factor in the vague waft of dog faeces emanating from the bracelet of poo that you are trendily sporting on the end of your arm.
Having said that, whenever I have seen a purposely designed bin, their convenient location has often caused them to become victims of their own success and they are generally stuffed to the top with these unpleasant little mini-bin-bags that are, more often than not, overflowing onto the surrounding path.
A veritable mountain of dog-dirt.
As a result, even if you do manage to happen upon purposely designed dog-bin, the chances that you will be able to actually shove your contribution inside it are slim to none, leaving you with no option but to balance your deposit precariously on the summit and beat a hasty retreat before its contents spills onto the floor.
So what’s the answer to this canine dilemma? More bins maybe?
Less dog walking?
A stern conversation with our dogs about their bowel control?
What to do, what to do?
With regard to a solution for kids landing in dog shit every-time they attempt a cartwheel on the village green, little black poo-lanterns decorating the highways and byways of England are hardly the answer are they?
As the winter approaches and the problem becomes more and more gruesomely apparent, it seems to me that we are in desperate need of a sustainable solution.