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Monday, 27 July 2015

Dogging my footsteps!



I've recently been tasked with walking my daughter's dog, a lanky chocolate labrador, so that he can do those things which a dog must do, without rendering the kitchen into a no-go zone.  I'm only required if my daughter and husband's respective shifts mean that the dog is going to be incarcerated for the full day, but that's been happening a bit just lately, so the dog and I have been getting to know each other quite well.

Our route normally takes us past the Stately Home that dominates their village. Between the road and the pavement, there is a grass verge (as in the picture above) and this seems to be his favoured spot for defecation.  The other day, he had just completed his morning movement and I was poised to clear the mess up.  Not, I must admit, my favourite occupation of all time but, in the immortal words of Arthur Guiterman:

"No matter what we are and who, Some duties everyone must do:"

The dog has an unfortunate habit of wandering as he dumps, despite my best efforts to stop this practice, so I'm poised with plastic bag in one hand, a supply of kitchen towel in the other and I'm steeling myself to deal with about a yard's worth of "ooh nasty" as Kenneth Williams used to say, when I notice a white car with a young couple in it drawing up to the pavement about 10 yards away.  

My initial reaction was, 'I don't blame you for keeping as far away as possible' as it must have been fairly evident what I was up to.  I was therefore more than a bit surprised when the car crawled along the road and came to a halt directly opposite where the dog and I were standing.  There were no other cars parked in the vicinity, so there was no need for them to be close to my area of operation at all, and yet they had deliberately moved from a perfectly good spot to one that I wouldn't have been anywhere near, given the choice.

It was a hot day, and they sat chatting, with the window down, apparently oblivious of me, the dog, and the dog's recent evacuations just a couple of feet away from where they were sitting.  I set about my allotted task as best I could, but the presence of an audience at such an intimate distance rather put me off my stride.  Even the dog had the good grace to look embarrassed.

I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what would possess anyone to deliberately move closer to the scene of such devastation?  Presumably, they were proposing to get out of the car at some point and this would, inevitably, involve the passenger stepping out onto the grass, exactly where the dog had just done his thing.  

It is not possible, no matter how diligent the clearing, to remove every trace of defecation from a grass verge without digging up a cubic metre of grass and soil, which would soon lead to the whole area looking like the Somme after a particularly bad barrage.  Therefore, it seemed to me, that the passenger could not hope to avoid a rather close encounter of the dog kind, that could have been easily averted!

To crib from Terry Wogan, "Is it me?"