I used to own a dog. A cute small fluffy one and there’s a longstanding joke that I sold this little bundle of puff… for shoes. Now, while that may be highly amusing and befitting of my well shod persona, it’s not exactly true. Yes, I did end up purchasing a beautiful pair of blue striped kitten heels with the proceeds of the sale but my motives for parting ways with my adorable puppy were far more practical. I was simply too young for the responsibility and the realisation that I would have to get up at 05:00 every morning just to stop the little delight from peeing on the carpet was too much.
Now, while I may have found the reality of dog ownership a little tiresome, I wasn’t greatly surprised by anything that it entailed. My dog did things like bark (no surprise), he would eat (no surprise) and he would run (nope, still no surprise) so why then, are some dog owners hugely shocked by canine biology. When you put something in the front end, it’s going to come out of the other!!!
I see people who take their dogs for a walk (because they know that this is what dogs like to do) and then when their beloved pooch starts to perform the Sumo Dance of The Turtle Head (you know the one – the hop from one hind leg to the other in a crouching/straddling position), they whip their heads round in utter startlement as though their dog has just split in two to reveal Pamela Anderson standing there covered in entrails?!
They were perfectly conscious of canine management when they measured out a big bowl full of perfectly nutritious and filling dog biscuits this morning and they were highly aware of their pet’s desire to vacate the building shortly after, so why the look of utter amazement as the thing then evacuates its bowels?
This look of shock soon turns to one of absolute fear and guilt. There they are, stood in public while their animal defecates. In public!!! The horror, the absolute shame! At this point it dawns on me – why do you look as shifty as a hoodie-clad chav holding a brick outside JD Sports? It’s not as though you’re going to… Oh, you are. You’re just going to walk away and leave the dog dropping exactly where it is, in the middle of the street. I mean, why would you have a plastic baggy or a fancy pooper-scooper with you when you didn’t even know your dog could produce that from what you’d previously thought to be a tea towel holder?!
Now, I could go on here about how utterly awful it is to leave a dog egg (so called because of the way the dog lays it on the pavement like a giant hen) for children to trip over and shove in their eyes but quite frankly, that it’s wrong just goes without saying. (It also goes without saying that you shouldn’t let your children crawl along the pavement using their eyelids to pick things up). I’m also not going to harp on about how awful it is when someone gets dog egg all over a brand new pair of shoes because, let’s face it, nothing perks me up more on a horrifically miserable day than seeing the skid of treadmarked mess on a pavement that indicates someone’s morning got off to a way worse, smellier, start than mine (cruel but oh so satisfying – I dare you not to start chuckling when you next see an evenly spaced set of brown shoe prints on your route to work).
This faecal abandonment displays either a huge lack of attention paid in school during biology class or a shocking degree of laziness. When you got the beast, you must have had some idea of what you may be required to do in order to keep the thing alive. If it was such a shock to you, you could have done the decent thing and ended up with a cracking new pair of shoes!
So there you have it. The shocking truth about dogs is that what you put in one end is almost definitely going to come out of the other. My advice is not to take your animal for its daily leg-stretch without going prepared with plastic bags, toxic hazard suits, a digger – whatever. If you’re squeamish about using a thin polythene bag to scoop, just think, in winter when it’s terribly cold, your dog is going to provide you with a nice natural hand warmer. Get stuck in!