Columnist Michael Godfrey this week tackles the messy issue of dog poo!
I LOVE dogs, always have – they are great companions. During the lockdown, I saw a wonderful item on WhatsApp showing a dog hiding above kitchen presses as he complained about six occupants of the house who had already brought him for a walk.
Their paws must be walked off them, with owners stuck in the homes who hardly ever brought their dog for a walk now only too willing to do so.
But the amount of dog s**t on the footpaths and hiding in the long grass of public areas has become nothing short of a joke. I agree that a dog is man’s best friend, but their poo carries all sorts of diseases, which may not kill you as fast as Covid-19, but they aren’t too nice either.
For years, the old workhouse graveyard on the Green Road in Carlow town was overgrown and used as a dumping ground by some people. Thankfully that has all changed and today it is a lovely burial site, where a cross and burial stone commemorate the 3,000 men, women and children who are interred there.
Unfortunately, it is also an ideal spot for dogs to have a good run off the lead and, yes, to have a good sh**e at the same time.
It doesn’t matter that there are signs aplenty telling people this is not a dog run and certainly not a toilet for their pets, but some people either choose to be blind to the obvious or illiterate.
I remember former cllr Walter Lacey being involved in the project which eventually led to the site being taken over and converted into a proper burial ground.
In the past he has often complained that, sadly, not enough reverence is paid to this site when compared with St Mary’s Cemetery. Irish people have always shown a great respect for the dead, but sadly, it would appear that those who died in the old workhouse are still thought of in a different light.
Recently, a local resident, obviously frustrated with the site being used as a dog run, put up some temporary signage, but I can guarantee you that people will continue to use it as they want, not as they should.
I can understand the reluctance to pick up fresh dog poo, but if you are out for a walk with your dog, that is what you are supposed to do. A hand-held poop scooper costs around €15 to €20, while special dog-poo bags will set you back anything from a couple of cent each to an unscented biodegradable roll for less than €4 – not a lot if it means you are abiding by the law.
But, more than that, it also shows an element of respect for society in general. Yes, you are ensuring the wellbeing of your animal – which is very important – but at the same time, a little courtesy towards others. Surely that’s not a bad thing.