Dog owners are getting a bad reputation

I regularly walk along the promenade with my husband and our dog and we both agree that the problem has got worse. However, I would like to offer another perspective regarding this issue, from a responsible dog owner.

One day whilst out walking with my dog, a man was staring at me from the entrance to his driveway. His stares were such that they made me feel uncomfortable.

I looked down at my dog who had just finished her wee. Then it dawned on me – he had made the assumption that she had pooped. As we walked past, he was staring at me accusingly.

Because of this, I felt the need to give him a lesson about the toileting habits of female dogs (for those who do not know, lady dogs squat to pee!)

On another occasion, my husband and I were walking with our dog and as usual, she squatted to do a wee on the grass verge. As we continued on our way, a car parked along the road beeped at us frantically.

We carried on walking but realised it was probably aimed at us. We decided to walk back to where the car was parked to approach the people concerned.

At this point, we saw the man walking across the road and therefore we confronted him to ask if he had intended to beep his horn at us – what a surprise, he and his wife thought that our dog had pooped, and that we had walked off and left it on the verge.

Yet again I ended up explaining that female dogs squat to pee.

These are not isolated incidents and I am finding that the walks with my dog are becoming less pleasurable – if it’s not filthy looks, it’s sly comments, beeping cars and even intimidation.

Most of the time we have the opportunity to put people straight (in an informative way), however I am in no doubt that there are people we have missed who considered us irresponsible.

I would just like to clarify that my husband and I always carry poo bags and act responsibly by picking up our dog’s poo and placing it into a bin.

So what can be done to prevent the amount of dog mess around the area? Firstly, the council needs to do more to assist dog owners to be responsible.

More dog waste bins are required. I often walk for quite a distance in the Meads area with a full poo bag in my hand before I come across a bin, and even then very few bins are designated for dog waste.

Secondly, there needs to be more council presence on the streets to catch the irresponsible dog owners who are not picking up after their dogs. Last but certainly not least, the public should not be so judgemental and should consider the fact that not all dog owners are irresponsible! Please don’t get me wrong – both my husband and I think that the amount of dog mess left on the ground is irresponsible, but please do not associate all dog owners with the mess!

K DERBYSHIRE, Gaudick Road.