Monday, 29 September 2008

My Pet Hate

This weekend saw unexpected getaway to the island of Colonsay with my sister, niece, mum and dad, and my boy. My sister has been visiting for a number of years but this was the first time I have managed to get over.

We had a non-eventful ferry crossing from Oban and arrived on the island early Friday evening, my parents waving their hankies at the pier delighted that their two girls and grand children were joining them for the last few days of their holiday.

The house we stayed in was perfect, a real sense of home with some sheep and Mavis the horse for company.

Colonsay is a beautiful island with numerous beaches to explore so we all set off on Saturday morning to do a bit of crab spotting and castle building.

Now I'm the first to admit I'm not a big dog lover - more of a cat person. But if a doggy is nice and friendly I'm always sure to give it a pat.

We were embarking on our first expedition when all of a sudden six large dogs came bounding towards us (and our small children) with no call to heel from the owner. At this point I should point out that entry to the particular beach from the car park is through a small pass gate with ample signage telling dog owners that it is an offence to let your dog foul on the beach and not clean it up afterwards, and that animals must be controlled at all times.

And as you may have guessed the dogs started to foul and the owners walked on.

My sister was the first to pipe up and asked the owners if they intended to clean up their dog mess, to which the delightful gentleman replied 'No'. A short and (not so) sweet answer.

The wrong thing to say obviously, but then the situation spiraled as he informed us that he 'was on holiday and he certainly would not clean up after the dogs.' His best effort was to kick a bit of sand at the offending deposit and told us that we were clearly not animal lovers. The fact he was committing an offense obviously didn't bother him (maybe because he knew there are no police officers on Colansay?)

What a delightful person. It spoiled our morning.

So that's my pet hate - dog fouling. I know it isn't the animals fault - just their irresponsible owners. I don't know how many times I have had to walk with my boy on the road as I take him to nursery as the pavement is covered in little 'presents'.

Apart from that we had a wonderful weekend and the weather was fantastic. The island is well worth a visit and we shall certainly be returning (with husband).

We laughed about the beach incident afterwards, only with the knowledge that the tide would turn and wash away the sorry business, leaving it perfect for the next intrepid explorers.


Frogdancer said...

Where I live (in the suburbs in Australia) you can be fined if you don't walk your dog with a plastic bag in hand to pick up any droppings your pet might do.

Since this council law came in, our footpaths and nature strips are virtually dog-poo free.

jane winton said...

Lucky you going to Colansay,my sister has a friend there and her photos show what a stunning place it is. It is one of my pet hates too, dog fouling. We always take a bag with us to the beach and the even if the tide will come in its just not fair on others. Its a shame you couldnt of picked it up and deposited it on his car or his back pocket! I love your little sheep and other little critters. Jane