The small dark shape flutters in the breeze. From a distance it looks like it could be an offering to the spirits of ancestors or pagan gods hung in the tree. It swings there a little, as if urging the little buds to break free and announce the spring.
Then you approach and it is what you suspected it was all along: Dogshite. In a small plastic bag tied to a tree.
Let’s be clear — as the politician said to the interviewer in order to buy a second or two — if you knowingly let your dog take a shite somewhere where people might be walking, you’re an arsehole.
There are exemptions if you didn’t know what their dog was up to, or if you’re not physically able to always stoop and pick up. Or if your dog was being walked by someone else (but try not to hire arseholes to walk your dog). Or if the poor dog has been having a bad time of it recently with the old digestion and it’s … well let’s not be too graphic. Also some people who are destitute and the dog is their only comfort and there isn’t money for a bag of bags. But homeless people with dogs are often the most conscientious owners.
But if you’re not in one of those categories you’re an arsehole, if you stand there and leave it on the pavement, that’s aggravated arseholery. If you put it in a bag and leave it on the pavement that’s common law arseholery and if you tie to a tree you really need to see someone. But you’re also a total langer. Like, seriously what are you at, tying faeces to a tree?
‘But there were no bins around.’ Well, would you leave your child’s nappy on the path or the beach? Wait, don’t answer that, you probably would.
Like a lot of human behaviour which baffles ‘right-thinking, decent people’ as I’ve clearly labelled myself, maybe there’s a good reason for it.
At some point we have all done or have done something antisocial that is abhorrent to others but for us was the norm and we’re not bad people and we stopped once we knew.
Do people need to be educated to clean up after their dogs in public? Grand so. Welcome to the spring semester at ‘Don’t Be An Arsehole School’. The first module is called: ‘Pick Up After Your Dog’. Hello everyone, welcome to class. Fire exits are over there. Now, let’s begin. Pick up after your dog. Class dismissed.
And if it’s hard to teach old dog-owners new tricks, if it’s education at an earlier level that is needed, then I am willing to have my taxes used for a five minute marla-based show-and-tell session in High Infants.
But I suspect it’s not education. The arseholes know what they’re doing. But they need to know the effects of it.
They need to see the feet, crutches, other dogs’ feet, wheelchairs, buggies, white canes that run through their arseholery.
The day they have ruined. The person late for a job interview, the baby handling it on the buggy wheel, the visually impaired person getting home and saying “ah for f*ck sake”.
I feel sorry for the dogs. Even they have a sense of shame about having to poo in public. Do you think a dog likes taking a dump outside a Spar? No.
They would much rather be somewhere with a bit of privacy. That’s why they always have that expression on their face of pure mortification.
A face that says:
There are signs up on the streets but that is not enough. We need green berets, special forces, commandos. We need DNA testing a poo-patrol, summary justice, a poo for a poo with turds stuffed in pockets thrown at good coats.
There are of course far more pressing problems affecting the country right now but let’s not be covered in dogshite while trying to fix them.