Our four-legged friends will soon take the lead
Let me just say at the very start that I like dogs. I was brought up with an Alsatian and for years I had my own Border Collie.
Dogs are loyal, clever creatures which can be great companions. Yes, I like dogs. It’s just their owners who give me problems.
I didn’t realise this until Mrs Nurden and I took a trip to the West Country and discovered how hounds are taking over humans’ lives. There was a time when pets and noisy children were made to wait outside pubs and restaurants. If they were lucky, they were given a bowl of water. And the dogs got a glass of lemonade and a packet of crisps.
But now cafes are rolling out the red carpet for their tail-wagging visitors. Everywhere we looked, there were signs in windows proudly proclaiming: “This is a dog-friendly venue.”
It’s political correctness gone mad. A dog’s place is curled up in a corner out of sight and out of mind or walking to heel - not running wild on the end of a retractable cable.
On our jaunt to canine-obsessed Cornwall we watched as a giant polar bear of a spread-eagled dog snored contentedly at the foot of the stairs in a Boscastle hostelry while drinkers with precariously balanced trays of scrumpy did their best not to stumble over it.
At Morwellan Quay on the Devon border a Labrador joined us for a terrifying train ride into the pitch-black bowels of the earth 300 feet below ground to relive the world of tin miners.
We watched as another yapping creature was carried under the arm of its overprotective owner.
And we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw another pampered pooch being pushed in a pram as its owners shopped for souvenirs. Perhaps it’s time to paws for thought and end the cult of fur babies. The world has gone barking mad.