No Surprises Living in Devizes: A country gone to the dogs?

An overflowing dog mess bin near the Kennet and Avon Canal, Devizes


Tories dubbed Labour’s nationalisation manifesto as “a return to the 1970s,” while our titanium-lady called for a return to ripping foxes to shreds and squabbling with Europeans akin to Sir Francis Drake. Whatever fluctuations, Mrs May is certain we’ll face them together; no dinner for her then.

What British institutions will she reintroduce next on her maniac “mainstream” death-tax-manifesto; voting restricted to gentry, public executions, the slave trade, or burning witches perhaps? Bell-bottoms and Love Thy Neighbour aside, if we’re going backwards either way, I’d rather return to the 1970s then the 1570s.

Can we expect the return of plague (solving NHS underfunding,) a reappearance of grave robbers maybe? Or will Jim’ll Fix It be back on tele? Can we hope to see white dog poo again?

Just because things happened in days gone-by doesn’t make them right. Our fondness for a bygone era is shrouded with nostalgia; crushing white dog poo underfoot and hurling brown snowballs really wasn’t as much fun as you reminisce.

Oh dog poo; a subject I’ve avoided to date, primarily because it’s a national issue and secondly, because I talk enough toilet already. However nothing floods local Facebook groups with comments like a dog poo rant; election, Brexit, even bad parking doesn’t compare. So I’ve been driven to slip in the matter.

Believe it or nuts, dog fouling has been illegal for 21 years. Turd bagging has become as second nature as Facebooking a picture of your tea. Now though, owners are fed up with pocketing poo and have returned to antiquated methods, covering with environmental excuses.

Alas I know nothing of the thrill of poop scooping. So blindly pondering; who here packages biodegradable matter in an imperishable bag and who opts to stick-flick it at passing ramblers? And what to do with your bag of poo; take it home, try find a bin not teetering already or post it to 10 Downing Street?

I’m told some opt to tie the bag to a tree like an undesirable Christmas decoration; well done you, double whammy for irresponsibleness. While 5p reduced our usage of plastic shopping bags we’ve upped other uses; dog poo, nappies and sick bags every time Katie Hopkins Tweets.

Our villagers travel afar sanctioning their pooches to defecate along the school path, because we live in such an urbanised area with lack fields to walk dogs: “Just taking Fi-Fi for a dump on the council estate honey…”

Unsure if they uphold increasing our children’s immune system, they figure it’s harmless because they bagged it, or they simple don’t give a….

My confusion; how can baggers be sure they’ve collected everything?

Owners shriek, “what can I do – I’m doomed if I bag, doomed if I flick?”

The answer is simple, to other single-celled organisms and above. Buy a flipping reusable lunchbox and a bottle of water, scoop your doggie doing in it, wash down the affected area, and take said lunchbox home for washing. Is that as hard to grasp as squelcher?

Better still; train your pooch to poo in your own garden rather than leave it to the heroic CUDS and Wiltshire Council Green Party candidate Geoff Brewer, who have been tidying discarded poo sacks in Drew’s Pond Wood, the worst affected area of Devizes. At last, here’s a councillor cleaning poo rather than dishing it out.

Why do we make an issue of dogs’ doings? Cats poo at liberty in neighbour’s gardens, or roadkill sprawls over our highway; a testament of our need to speed to work, or even, particularly in Wiltshire, horse poo is legal tender; they’re permitted to produce a mountain of the stuff in any road and no one raises an eyebrow.

Someone always brings horse poo to the table on any online dog poo debate, but it’s fiercely defended because we love a bit of that round ‘ere; spread it over yer field, proper jarb.

One memorable response I read appealed you couldn’t expect a horse rider to dismount to clean as the horse would bolt. These folk never watched westerns; cowboys been tying horses to posts for centuries to go play poker in the saloon, drink a bottle of bourbon and have a gunfight; I’m sure you could tie yours too for the duration of a quick shovelling. Opps a daisy, did I offend the wealthy again?

I asked this and the response was; “not all horse riders are wealthy what-what?” Slightly misguided in a country where nurses need food banks; looks like my column has come full circle.

Sure we’ve a responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of our streets, but there’s a mountain of other faeces to sort; and it’s rotting our country.

We have a duty to vote in this strategically placed election, to turn tables, but unfortunately here in the Conservative safe-zone we can hope only to scoop a miniscule dog turd against the mountain of manure.

Darren Warrow

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