Washed Up, by Sarah Juggins, September 8, 2015

Overflowing dog mess bin in Irthlingborough NNL-150113-160314001

Overflowing dog mess bin in Irthlingborough NNL-150113-160314001

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I have a question and if anyone can give me a logical answer then they earn my unwavering respect.

Question: Why do some dog-owners insist on picking up their dog poo, putting it in a dog-poo bag and then tying it to a tree or hanging it from a fence?

I’ve done some research which bears out the futility of this act. Depending upon a dog’s diet, the weather, the ground type, the active insects in the vicinity and a host of other factors, dog poo that is simply left on the ground will decompose in a few days. A plastic bag can take hundreds of years to disappear.

I’m not advocating leaving your dog poo on the ground in the hope that the correct environmental factors will see it rapidly disappear. Anyone who has stepped in the stuff will quickly tell you that is a bad idea. But what I am totally against is people hanging the faeces from a tree/fence/road sign in the hope that someone else will get rid of it for them.

Firstly, its no-one else’s job except the dog-owner’s to get rid of the dog poo; secondly, this is a beautiful county, don’t spoil it for everyone else by leaving these disgusting bags hanging from the trees like decorations; thirdly, it’s littering the countryside so it’s an illegal act which should be punished with a fine.

I think the most gross example I have seen recently, and I apologise if you are eating your breakfast as you read this, was on the coastal path at Stiffkey. Someone had taken the time and energy to collect their dog poo in a bag, neatly tie a knot and then open the clear plastic container that normally carries information sheets about the coastal path, and stuffed their doggy-offerings inside. The most ludicrous thing – there is a red dog-poo container just a few metres further up the track.

Dogs are loveable, enthusiastic, loyal characters and I personally think everyone should have a dog to give them perspective on life. It doesn’t matter how bad your day has been if a wet nose pushes itself into your hand as you walk through the door. The blind adoration that canines give their human owners is almost painful to watch sometimes. But, dog-owners must remember that, like children, your dog is special to you, when it bounds up to strangers it might not always get the same reaction, and your dog’s poo is even less welcome.

The answer is simple. Wallet, keys, phone, dog-poo bags – your essential checklist when leaving the house. And those dog poo bags should always end up in a suitable bin, not attached to a tree like a macabre Christmas bauble.