Editor's comment November 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:58 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:58 13 October 2014

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe

Cotswold Life magazine's editor, Mike Lowe

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The November edition of Cotswold Life is now on sale, and - as per tradition - it is the annual Pets Issue. Editor Mike Lowe introduces his own furry companions, and discusses the dog deposits causing trouble in the Cotswolds.

Sydney and CecilSydney and Cecil

As November’s Cotswold Life is our annual Pets Issue, I suppose I should mention my own menagerie. I have two dogs. One is a pedigree blue whippet Cecil with alopecia and a hernia who was purchased for an exorbitant sum during a drunken lunch at the polo; the other is a half-gundog, half-lurcher called Sydney who was the accidental result of an illicit Labrador-Bedlington assignation in the kennels at Trull House one night. I have suggested to the Kennel Club that he should be allocated the breed of Gloucestershire Shite Hound, given the rate that he converts tins of Chappies into waste product. And that waste product is what I really want to talk about.

Anyone who reads and loves their local weekly newspaper will know that the letters pages are dominated by regular subjects – the plaintive missive from the local Euro MP who no-one can remember voting for, the lunatic rant of a single-issue pressure group opposed to the slaughter of wombats in Timbuktoo, some old bloke who’s the last remaining member of the local Communist Party, that old chestnut, “Thank you to the kind gentleman who helped me when I fell over in the Market Place last Thursday...” and the righteous indignation of the local dog poo vigilantes. And I do have sympathy with the latter.

There is nothing more objectionable than stepping in something you shouldn’t have stepped in (apart from having one of your children do it). And it is all so unnecessary. I agree that it’s not a pleasant duty to have to pick up behind your dog, but a duty it is. It’s part of the unwritten contract when you take on a dog that you will then spend the next 15 years or so with your hand in a poo bag hovering over a steaming turd. Unfortunately, there are those people who don’t seem to have recognised this.

Distressing as it is to find an errant deposit on the streets of Cirencester or Cheltenham, let me assure you that things are much, much worse in the country. Walking the footpaths across the fields around my village is akin to negotiating an Afghan minefield. Dog owners seem to think that if their hound is running free across a field, then they have no further responsibility for what it leaves behind. Such is the problem that we now have signs going up in farmers’ fields banning dog walkers.

I don’t blame them. There is a shocking lack of consideration by some dog owners who obviously consider themselves to be above the accepted norm. It is our job to remind them of this whenever we see a woman in an immaculate Barbour blithely pretending that she hasn’t seen the deposit just despatched by her darling Dalmatian.

We’ll leave the issue of cats, who seem to have carte blanche to crap anywhere, EVEN IN OTHER PEOPLE’S GARDENS, for another day.

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Our brilliant Business & Professional magazine is full of stuff about renewable energy - solar farms, aneorobic digesters, and even a pub that’s installed an Archimedes screw. I’m expecting this issue to sell particularly well in Ambridge, where the likes of Lynda Snell need all the background information they can get.

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This article by Mike Lowe is from the November issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter: @cotslifeeditor

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