Before you say anything, I am aware that the snow has been and gone. Excuse my tardiness but it’s January and I’ve spent most of it with my head in a bowl of Vicks working through an industrial box of Antibacterial tissues. However, the British weather being what it is, it is not inconceivable that we might enjoy another bout of the white stuff before the winter is out – so please bear with me.
Before we go any further I feel the need to have a little rant about the phrase ‘the white stuff’. This is not THE rant to which the title of this post refers, it is simply a side rant or rantette. It has absolutely nothing to do with dogs whatsoever, but is important nonetheless (to me anyway). ‘The white stuff’ is a favourite and incredibly annoying phrase used by local newspapers, regional radio stations and Look North. They use it to make what is a terribly dull story about the fact that we have got some snow in January (can you believe it?) sound a bit more interesting. Why do they report snow in the first place – it’s just snow. We get half a centimetre of it and they go crazy. I’ve seen greater accumulations of ‘the white stuff’ when the Child has been baking buns – but I don’t expect Christa Ackroyd to make it a headline story. Other weather types don’t get such a fanfare from the media. They don’t say: “We’ve got some of the transparent stuff coming our way”. It’s snow – CALL IT SNOW!
The thing about snow, or weather of any kind for that matter, is that you have to walk the dog come what may. Dogs, unlike weather-obssessed Brits, don’t worry about snow or rain or hail or sun or anything. They just think: “Wey-hey a walk, I’ll be having one of those thank you very much. The longer the better in fact. If there is mud so be it. If there is half a centimetre of the white stuff so be it. If there is a force 10 gale so be it. If a nuclear bomb has just been dropped on Yorkshire so be it . . . Let’s be getting the lead and the poo bags and let’s be off owner-person.”
Toffee loves the snow – absolutely and completely. Being part cocker spaniel she thinks there is stuff under the snow that requires flushing out. She doesn’t know what the stuff is but there must be stuff because there’s an underneath to snow. Snow to a dog is merely a tantalising play blanket covering a trove of exciting bits and bobs. To get to the underneath you just have to get your nose down and give it a good snuffle. Who knows what treasures might be found? A twig. A crisp packet. A piece of moss. The meaning of life. . . . . . Another dog’s poo.
And so we arrive at THE ‘snowy rant’. Dog owners that think: “It’s snowing and the snow will cover up my dog’s poo so nobody will ever know that it was my dog that pooed on the pavement and anyway my hands are cold and I don’t want to take my glove off and put my hand in a bag to scoop up poo and a load of freezing snow to boot so I will just leave it aren’t I clever.” No you are not clever selfish dog owner, because snow does in fact melt revealing squashy poo for small children to tread in on their way to pre-school. The thaw has been and gone and I am absolutely appalled at the amount of dog poo on the streets. It gives decent dog owners a bad name. Nevermind a £50 on the spot fine for dog owners caught not clearing up their dog’s mess – I think that they should have to scoop it up in their bare hands and carry it home wearing a glow in the dark tabard sporting the words: “my dog is dirty but not as dirty as me”.
Snowy rant complete. And to counteract my grumpy outburst please enjoy some photos of Toffee wearing a lovely pair of snow boots and showcasing her snowtache (that is a snow moustache in case you didn’t know).