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Don't sweat the dog days of summer

Listen — do you hear them barking in the still of night? They are definitely here. The dog days of August have been released from the puppy mill and are now making their way towards fire hydrants everywhere.

Listen — do you hear them barking in the still of night? They are definitely here. The dog days of August have been released from the puppy mill and are now making their way towards fire hydrants everywhere. Or are they?

Noses sniffing out prime turf, our little and not so little canine companions saunter along paths and streets, taking their owners for a walk. The dogs get to do their business and the pet owners get a little exercise. The vast majority of dog owners are very responsible in cleaning waste off of the morning dew, but no one can retrieve the urine left on my rose bushes, fledgling lawn and garden gnomes.

I’m not one to bark up the wrong tree, but really, how hard is it to keep Fido, Rex or Chlöe on the boulevard to do their waterworks? Letting your dog off-leash for a few moments to roam my yard is very neighbourly. If you want to let Max or Fifi go ‘au natural,’ there’s an app for that. It’s called the Lacombe Park Lake off-leash area or better yet, your own backyard. I do not own a dog and sadly, do not have the time, let alone the proper leash or license to take the kids’ hamster out for a leisurely stroll. But if I did I would not ever consider letting Hammie traipse across your bedding plants or rummage through your tomatoes on the vine. So what makes you think your pet can do this?

I am fond of pets. As a boy we had an old English sheepdog, a miniature poodle and several cats. I have done my duty in clearing the dog’s duty off of the back lawn. I have taken my turn being the pooper-scooper and while this form of ordnance disposal is not always pleasant, it comes with the territory. Speaking of territory. It is always best when you know where the ‘mines’ are. I believe a best friend of Confucius once said: “man who steps in doggy doo must clean his own shoe.”

It is said in places north that ‘the lead dog has the best view.’ I love to watch the parade of classic cars that move along our city streets for the Rock’n August kick off. Often people sit along the grass near my home to watch the festivities. Nothing says ‘what fun’ like sitting down in a poodle puddle on the grass. Sure it evaporates or sinks into the soil but trust me, not everyone wants vitamin P added into their local ecosystem, let alone their new pair of Dockers.

I get it that some dogs are fussy about where they go and perhaps have a favourite watering hole. I don’t wish to get into some kind of contest; all I am asking is that dog owners continue to be mindful of the wee routines of their pet and respect where business unfolds.

Perhaps I am just barking at the moon, but I have observed many pets boldly go where they should not. If I can respect your property as I make my travels by picking up wrappers and other debris up off sidewalks in my bid to keep the neighbourhood a cleaner place, then so can you. After all, it’s a dog eat dog kind of world!

Tim Cusack thought better about getting his children ponies.