A Surprising Upside

It’s the bane of any dog owners life, but like it or not is a task they’ve to grin and bear on a daily basis… Well, it is the down side for the one’s who have the decency to pick up after their canine.

Gathering up a pooches poop won’t sit within even the most idiosyncratic of bucket lists. Neither is it likely to feature within a work resume under hobbies/pastimes; well, unless you’re moved to included it when applying for a role as a dog carer walker.

Footnote – If the odious task of cleaning up after a canine is amongst your hobbies, I’d like to limit our contact from now on, or (at the very least) desist from shaking my hand upon meeting.

As a dog owner by proxy, ie my partner Sarah owns a German Shepherd, Zella, occasionally I’m party to this tâche désagréable. A chore I relish about as much as watching a Richard Madeley interview or having my nostril hair waxed… And yes, that does explain why I occasionally sport unkempt conk bristles.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Zells to bits. A more beautiful creature inside and out you would never meet. In fact, once she’s perfected retrieving bottles of Sauvignon Blanc from the fridge and uncorking them, I’d say the enchanting fur ball could be classed as just about the perfect pet.

However, despite an undying affection for the 13 year old dog, gathering hers (or indeed any pooches) faeces never raises higher than an enthusiasm level of “Oh god, not again!” … That being said, this morning I was ‘pleasantly’ surprised to learn there is actually upside to this most repugnant of tasks.

As you sit there open-mouthed at what must seem an incredulous observation, if you bear with me I’ll endeavour to explain this controversial notion.

As you’ll know, or you will if you’ve read any of my essays over the last seven days, I’ve been on vacation in the Canary Islands. Now, as anyone who have taken similar hiatuses to hotter climes during the UK winter, reacclimatising to Britain’s freezing weather upon return ain’t easy.

And so it proved for yours truly this morning on my first day back in Blighty. The week long 20+ temperatures I’d enjoyed in the Canaries seeming a distant memory as I walked the adorable Zella around a local Ossett park.

A trek taken with hooded jacked zipped as high as it’d go to negate against the biting chill, while my frozen hands composed a stern metaphorical email for my decision not to wear gloves. Even the ordinarily uplifting sight of Zella chasing the sticks I was indiscriminately launching to all parts of the grassed area failed to lift my spirits.

Anyhow, back to my assertion there is actually an upside to cleaning up after your dog. This revelation springing to mind at around 8.30am after my canine buddy had done ‘her business’. A eureka notion manifesting as I approached the dog dirt, pooh bag in hand, ready to envelope and bin the aforementioned mess.

To add context I wanted to point out, prior to four legged friends entering my life in recent times, in the shape of (in chronological order) Coco, Zella and Deano, the biggest existential conundrum I faced bag wise was Sainsburys’ carrier sturdiness. In particular whether the supermarket giants bag were strong enough to hold six bottles of wine when I took advantage of their during six for the price of five promotions.

A dilemma faced when they ran out of appropriate boxes or bespoke bottle carriers mid-offer. Situations where, as I’d be losing some of the saving made on the free bottle of vino, I begrudge having to purchase an extra carrier bag. Even though it would spread the weight, reducing risk of package split.

These days, though, GJ Strachan’s bag jeopardy zeitgeist has risen to an altogether more worrying level. Sure, losing good sauvignon blanc through overloading and damaging a bag is galling. However, these days sturdiness of dog pooh bags far outweighs any jeopardy an unfit for purpose Sainsbury grocery carrier can introduce into my life.

Consequently, I approach each instance when I’m required to gather dog dirt praying the only thing stopping me from holding a poop in my bare hand holds firmer than a boxer’s handshake… When I say boxers I of course mean a pugilist. Not the breed of dog, or my underwear.

Footnote – Not that my underwear has the capability to shake hands!!… Incidentally, for the purposes of good taste and proprietary, yours truly has resisted adding what I was going to suggest as an advantageous perk of owning hand shaking underwear… God, how does my mind work?!!

Anyhow, talking of perks, it was during this morning’s picking up of the brown stuff mid-dog walk, the task’s unlikely boon hit me. A revelation manifesting when my frozen hands were briefly warmed from the heat emanating through the pooh bag.

To be clear, this prose is merely a relaying of an observation which blindsided me this morning. I am under no circumstances advocating this as a habitual ‘goto’ solution for replacing gloves to fight off palm and digit chills.

What do you mean, you don’t care as you stopped reading about this disgusting subject half way through the first chapter… Honestly, I don’t know why I bother!

Leave a Reply