Today is a dog day for me: It began with an email from an aggrieved man asking when we are going to appoint a Dog Warden for our local park. His question was energised by his experiences of being embarrassed by large dogs which come to him when he is walking home from town carrying his shopping in bags – one on each arm – The dogs nuzzle in to explore his shopping – both hands committed he feels defenceless. The dog owner usually responds to his calls for help by smiling and shrugging: Dogs will be dogs. Not good enough.
Warming to his theme, he progresses to describe his frustration and distaste that some dog owners do not clear up after their dogs: ‘Piles of dog shit’
We share his unease. There are notices asking people to clean up after their dogs. Leads are not compulsory but dogs are expected to be ‘under control at all times’. What constitutes control when a dog is not on a lead is a question which is not easy to answer satisfactorily to all parties.
There has been an impressive increase in the number of dogs using our park since the start of the pandemic.
Like me, Leon walks his dog on the park at least three times every day. We worry about Susan who is alone since her father died 12 months ago and hardly seems to leave her house. Leon reflects that the people he knows in the cul-de-sac are those who have dogs – They are all out and about at some times during the day – and have at least the one common interest – which usually leads on to talk of other matters. Dogs are good with people and help people to be good with each other.