I saw it this morning: a woman watched her dog do it’s business. She then reached into her anorak pocket and produced a scrunched-up Morrison’s Supermarket carrier bag. She pulled it over her hand, picked up the dog shit, and pulled the bag back over so that the shite was contained within the bag.
Now, this is wrong and disgusting on many levels in my opinion. Let’s begin with the supermarket carrier bag — we’re supposed to be getting away from using these plastic bags as they last for millions of years on landfills and kill wild life. On top of this, Morrison’s carriers are largely clear and see-through — hardly appropriate for this purpose.
The next thing that gets me annoyed is that the dog is allowed to poop anywhere it likes, and the owner will pick it up. This is not right; humans picking up after dogs is wrong — we’re acting like they are superior and we are the servants.
Think about it, a dog crap on the pavement is something to be avoided — and it can be avoided most of the time because is obviously present. On the other hand, a dog poo that was lifted will leave residue and germs behind that are far less evident. People do not see the danger and walk on the fouled region to then spread the germs on floors and carpets at home and in cars. Kids drops things, bounce balls, and ride over such places to spread germs and infection far and wide.
The next issue I have with the pick-up scenario is the act of picking up the faeces — plastic bag or not. The way I see it, if you went to the toilet and did a poo, you would be just as separated from your own faecal matter — in your personal case, it’s toilet paper, in the dog fouling scenario, it is a plastic shopping bag.
The thing is you know that wiping your bum means you have germs and that you need to wash your hands — but people who pick up warm, freshly produced dog turds are in the street or in parks, and have no access to wash hand basins. They are walking about with germs — and it is exactly as bad as not washing your hands after defecating in a WC.
How would you feel if someone walked their dog and then made you a sandwich? I personally would feel that this is the same as someone making a sandwich after going for a dump and not washing their hands, or a mother changing a nappy and not washing her hands.
I saw Kim and Aggie’s TV show,”How Clean is Your House” a while back. It was explained that germs from the toilet can spread upto eight feet away from the WC bowl. They swabbed surfaces and items for laboratory testing, and faecal matter was discovered on toothbrushes and face flannels. Toothbrushes should be stored as far away as possible from toilet bowls — always inside bathroom cabinets and with a case too if possible.
That is why toilets cannot be accessed from public rooms — especially kitchens, but instead they have to be from hallways and corridors or, for example, in pubs and clubs, accessed via IVS spaces. Toilets without windows have to by law have an extraction fan wired up to the lightswitch with an over run fo 20 minutes after you leave and switch off the light — yes, it is that serious.
People can be paranoid about sitting on toilet seats or touching toilet door handles or flush handles – yet, while germs are definitely passed via contact, there is a significant airborne spread. If you wipe your bottom — you are not coming into direct contact with faeces by virtue of the toilet paper. Germs are in the toilet bowl, on the seat and on your wiping hand. You will touch surfaces and spread the germs that jumped onto your hand. Flushing creates the sneezing effect — a fine germ-filled mist or aerosol that spreads germs high and low, far and wide. May people consider hand air driers to spread germs too — particularly when people wet their hands rather than washing them with soap and warm water.
The point I am labouring here is that germs are invisible and that they spread fast and far. Despite toilet paper and plastic bags.
- I therefore think there should be a ban on people picking up after their pooches.
- I do not think dogs should be allowed to poop anywhere: dogs should be made by their owners to poop in designated areas — perhaps in gutters at the roadside of the kerb (not on the pavement), where rain water will wash them down the drain.
We live in a world filled with MRSA, superbugs, allergies, and all sorts of illnesses that could be eradicated by better hygiene. The “Bag it and Bin It” campaign — I have argued here — is unhealthy for us all and something should be done.