What’s wrong with just pick­ing up the poo?

Our colum­nist with his unique view of Ash­ford life

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

They were do­ing it in Poole in 2010. New York’s do-good­ers, too, have ap­par­ently found it to be the ba­sis for a fun day out. It seems not to have worked in ei­ther of those places (or any other) so it prob­a­bly won’t work here. I am, of course re­fer­ring to the in­com­pre­hen­si­bly ab­surd prac­tice of seek­ing out dog ex­cre­ment and spray-paint­ing it in pretty colours. The think­ing be­hind this is, ap­par­ently, to shame own­ers of of­fend­ing dogs into clear­ing up their an­i­mals’ messes them­selves. I would have thought, se­nile ge­ri­atric that I am, that ac­tu­ally re­mov­ing the stuff would have, in the long run, a more ben­e­fi­cial ef­fect. It may be less fun but per­haps the joy el­e­ment could be re­stored by spraying each newly-cleansed site and fur­nish­ing it with a small flag bear­ing a leg­end such as ‘Fido pooped here and the beast’s an­ti­so­cial and un­fit owner left it for some­one else to clean up’. In gen­eral, I don’t like dogs. That is not to say that I ac­tively dis­like them, I just don’t care for them – apart from those that have a real pur­pose. We can all see the nearmir­a­cles per­formed by guide dogs on be­half of their blind or oth­er­wise in­ca­pac­i­tated own­ers. But, sadly, we see too many dogs used merely as emo­tional props or sta­tus-sym­bols. Dogs have this in com­mon with hu­mans; if they are not kept busy, they tend to grow bored, fat and lazy. This edi­tion of the KE will be on the streets on Ref­er­en­dum Day. At last the lies, counter-lies, sta­tis­tics (fake or real) fears, imag­in­ings, threats and prom­ises should come to an end. Many of our ‘hon­ourable’ politi­cians have shown de­grees of men­dac­ity and hypocrisy to sur­pass the imag­i­na­tions of their wildest crit­ics. Sadly, the real mat­ter is un­likely to end with the de­clared re­sult, Whether in or out, there will be end­less re­crim­i­na­tions and ‘toldyou-so’ state­ments, not least from the pop­ulist news me­dia. To­ward the end of last week, the ‘In’ cam­paign­ers had a small stand in the Up­per High Street. In pass­ing, I made a light-hearted re­mark to Mrs. B. Sud­denly, a small, mous­ta­chioed man whirled about and be­gan to hurl abuse at me for ex­press­ing a view ap­par­ently con­trary to his own. Although the chap was, him­self, dis­count­able, I sud­denly had the feel­ing that I could be­gin to un­der­stand how civil wars be­gin.

‘Too many dogs used merely as emo­tional props or sta­tus-sym­bols’

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