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To think this woman is unreasonable.Dog walker.

(43 Posts)
Snugglepiggy Thu 16-Jul-15 20:03:32

I'm very annoyed on behalf of a good friend who is a dog walker - as am I.Several months ago I got a call from this woman to complain that we were unprofessional as dog walkers because our van had used her drive to turn round.We hadn't .My DH had simply executed a three point turn in the very wide road outside her property because the usual layby we use to turn round in was blocked by a stationary road cleaner.Not wanting to have any aggro because 2/3 times a week we park - on a public highway,not a private road ,on the opposite side of the road from her house to enter the woods via a public footpath I placated her,apologised if he had caused any offence (?!)and she agreed that we seemed caring and responsible unlike some other dog walkers that use the woods and take far too many dogs at once,don't have poo bags etc.
All well and good. then today my friend was parked in the same spot and was getting her dog and two others out of her van when this woman appeared behind her,hands on hips and said she was fed up of her parking there and her noisy dogs.My friend explained it was the third time in as many weeks she had come to the woods,that the dogs only barked for a minute or two till they got into the wood,and that it was a public highway and she had every right to park there.All very politely.Her response was that she was going to call the council,dog warden and stop 'all you dog walkers once and for all'.I know from my conversation with her she has previously owned and likes dogs.So why the nastiness,hostility and intolerance ffs.I live behind a school and at playtime and drop off /collect there's the babble of children.It's no big deal.It's not as if she's subjected to an incessantly barking dog all day.It's a very quiet area,and a huge wood that once we are in it we are well away from her.
I just feel exasperated that at a time when there are serious things to worry about in the world she is twitching her curtain and so nit picking or AIBU ?

Arkkorox Thu 16-Jul-15 20:06:27

I am so glad I closed my buisness last year. I feel for you still having to deal with busybodies like this, I miss the dog walking but I don't miss the shit that comes with it!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 16-Jul-15 20:10:16

She has said you are not the only dog walkers using the area. It might only be a short period of barking but if it is a place that "professional" dog walkers use frequently then there will be lots of vans parking up there, lots of barking, lots of not picked up dog shit, and lots of off-leash dogs bothering people.

"Professional" doig walkers are often (I'm being generous as always in my experience) are complete PITA. Thankfully after a few standoffs in my local park the locals have driven them off elsewhere to another local park that is now smothered in dog shit, and the number of doge is causing serious environmental damage

pigsDOfly Thu 16-Jul-15 20:18:57

For a start I'd stop apologising to her because clearly it's not making her any more reasonable and she'll probably thinks she's can bully you even more if you say sorry.

You and your friend are on a public highway and in the woods - I take it she doesn't own the woods - and it's sod all to do with her.

Might be an idea to have a word with the dog warden yourself just to let him/her know this woman's got some sort of bee in her bonnet.

Not sure what she thinks the dog warden is going to do to stop you going about your lawful business.

AlpacaLypse Thu 16-Jul-15 20:19:28

Hi Snugglepiggy <waves>

She's probably just got the grumps about life in general and is taking it out on anyone who stands still long enough to be shouted at. You and your friend both know she doesn't have a leg to stand on re you using that parking place and woodland.

I'm having trouble with a twunt deer stalker who has a licence to cull the deer in the 4000 acre woodland we use more than any other for our dogwalking. It's managed by the Forestry Commission and is 90% fully accessible. The 10% that isn't has always been clearly signed. It's a system that's worked beautifully for at least 20 years. However twunt has taken to sticking rude notes on parked cars, putting up unauthorised signs about dogs being kept on leads, and (on two occasions I know of) hurling abuse. He's also been spreading untrue stories on local social media. As far as I can make out he's trying to discourage anyone from walking in the quieter section of the woods, and confine us to the bit within ten minutes of the main car park. The local Forestry Commission warden has confirmed to me that twunt has absolutely no authority to put up signs, leave threatening notes, or generally act like he owns the place, but hasn't managed to stop him.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 16-Jul-15 20:20:55

Not sure what she thinks the dog warden is going to do to stop you going about your lawful business.

Depends who own the woods. Where I live, you are technically not allowed to use council owned areas to run your business. This is rarely enforced, but it could be.

AlpacaLypse Thu 16-Jul-15 20:24:08

ItsAllGoingToBeFine I'm sorry you've had a bad experience with other professional dog walkers. All I can say is that me and my staff always deal appropriately with poo, don't let dogs riot around where it's not acceptable for them to do so, and treat other people generally as they would expect to be treated themselves. I have 'let go' staff who fail to observe common courtesy.

Snugglepiggy Thu 16-Jul-15 20:27:17

Thanks Arkkorox.
These are huge woods not a park.We are on very good terms with all the locals who use them,some even walk round with us ,even the non dog owners and we do as the National Trust recommends as per shit ie. Pick it on paths or nearby or flick it well into leaves ,undergrowth and then it goes in the bin.Which is another reason for parking where we do near the bin.And no it's not constantly visited by umpteen dog walkers.I know from chatting to folks there's us,my friend and on or two others.And we don't all go every day.Thers plenty of dog owners with 3/4 dogs of their own nearby so we're hardly public enemy no one.

TendonQueen Thu 16-Jul-15 20:32:48

Polite deflection of the 'I'm sorry you feel that way. Of course you do what you feel you have to do' variety followed by continuing on your way is the best tack with professional complainers like this. Let them get on with writing letters to the council who, unfortunately, will be well used to this sort of thing.

Snugglepiggy Thu 16-Jul-15 20:53:21

Hi their alpaca .Yes I know I shouldn't let it get to me but this is the second whinge from her and I really feel it's unwarranted.I don't care if she was having a bad day the way I feel today.And my friend is the loveliest kindest person you could wish to meet,who would do anything to help anyone.Your situation with twunt sounds similar to mine a few years back in some other vast woods crossed by footpaths where some guy who kept pheasant coops at the far end well away from the entrance and where everyone walked.He tried to bully and intimidate dog owners and walkers,even put out rumours about adders to scare us off .
I'm sure like me you've done countless public spirited things too out on walks.I've picked up litter and fly tipping.Tipped off the council about stone theft.Gone to pains to find owner of lost car keys .Phoned farmers about escaped horses / cows.Taken numerous lost dogs to the vets to be scanned and re-united with owners.Scooped up dead cats and taken to the vets to be scanned so at least their owners know what happened.I've chatted for ages to elderly neighbours who love to see the dogs.I've taken in parcels .My DH has stayed for an hour with two young girls who's car got clipped by a lorry until the police and their dad arrived.It's all in a day's work.And I've done it responsibly for ten years ,as I can tell you have too.

hotfuzzra Thu 16-Jul-15 22:09:05

Shocked at your 'flick it away' comment! Can't believe NT tell people to do that.
Then I Googled it in case I made a knob of myself (as usual) and they say always pick up after yourself and that they have mess bins and spare mess bags if needed.
So I'm shock that professional dog walkers admit to flinging shit around! (Ok I know you're not flinging it onto the path but still...)
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/places/before-you-visit/dog-owners/

TheChandler Thu 16-Jul-15 22:14:41

I'm torn on this one. You're not doing anything wrong, but equally, having a dog walking business effectively operating right opposite your home would be a tad annoying. It might only be a couple of minutes barking to you, but it can be disturbing. I'm guessing she bought her home thinking it wasn't near any businesses, and you are using public land for the operation of a business. I suspect that's what also annoying her.

For the sake of keeping the peace, can't you park somewhere else or at least rotate a bit more?

Goldmandra Thu 16-Jul-15 22:16:12

It's forestry commission that recommend stick and flick in their forests. They do ask you to pick up on paths and car parks, etc.

AlpacaLypse Thu 16-Jul-15 22:22:51

I don't use any National Trust properties, only MOD, Forestry Commission, and some private land with public footpaths. The Forestry Commission still had posters up about flicking off paths into the nettles in the deep woods this spring. What really pisses them (and everyone else) off is the belief in the poo fairy, who will come along and pick up bagged up plops from the random places they get left. There was one bag dangling off a thorn bush for nearly three years. Totally unreachable, obviously someone had bagged it and thrown it with some force. If they'd flicked it into the thorns with a stick as advised, the slugs etc would have dealt with it within days.

Snugglepiggy Thu 16-Jul-15 22:32:53

Ok I'm a dreadful person who got it wrong.I was told pick it flick it by a National Trust volunteer in Wales sometime ago in relation to walking in WOODS.They were obviously wrong too, but maybe like me he thought made sense rather than filling hundreds of plastic bags destined for land fill and not degrading.I freely admit if in the middle of a sodding huge wood I flick it with a stick right into the bushes where there is already fox and badger shit a plenty.Sorry if that's shocking.But that is what I do.
I hate getting dog mess on my boots as much as anyone .Thats why I Bag it if its on or near a path anywhere other than right in the middle of the woods
Oh and by the way I abhor litter and pick up,broken bottles,plastic bags and all sorts of crap and bin it.Shocking.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 16-Jul-15 22:38:58

Use biodegradable poi bags. Kids love running around away from paths and exploring in bushes. Yes there may be badger or fox poo, but that doesn't mean you should add to it - especially as the volume of dog shit will be way higher than anything natural.

Snugglepiggy Thu 16-Jul-15 22:56:51

I do mainly use the biodegradable,but sometimes not if had to pick up some on travels that aren't.Tired and knocking off now and think I will exit for good from discussions of this kind.Dont know why I I started it really -just a bit dispirited today in that I try to be pleasant,responsible and do the right thing but it's obviously never,ever enough .Night all.Whats that saying?The more people I meet the more I like my dog ?

sadwidow28 Thu 16-Jul-15 23:08:16

Sugglepiggy, did you really say:

or flick it well into leaves ,undergrowth

I am a dog owner who walks everyday in woods, forests and along the canal banks. Never, ever, ever have I not picked up my dog's poo and placed it in an appropriate bin (often having to carry it a few miles and then put it in the boot of the car to transport home to OUR bin).

Have you heard about Toxocariasis, Whipworms, Hookworms, Roundworms, Tapeworms, Parvo, Salmonellosis etc etc

Dog poo is NOT a fertiliser. It is actually toxic mixed grasses, causing burns and unsightly discoloring.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 17-Jul-15 01:14:35

Yanbu, some people think living near a public right of way gives them a right to dictate what happens on it. The coming and going might be unpleasant, but you don't need the reasoning skills of a genius to figure out if you like living next to the footpath, other people may visit in vehicles.
Yabu not to pick up the poo though.

cruikshank Fri 17-Jul-15 01:49:31

I also cannot understand this mindset that it's ok to leave shit lying around as long as it's in the undergrowth. We have a nature reserve nearby (we are in a city so green spaces are precious) and it is all but unusable because of people like you, OP, who think that just because the shit isn't on the path that's ok. It would be lovely to have this green open space where kids can run around in and have fun, but instead it's full of dogs off their leashes, with so-called 'professional' dog-walkers not supervising them and texting their mates, crapping and shitting everywhere and if the kids stray off the paths at all (which by the way are covered in shit anyway but at least you can see it on the path) and onto the open land, they will end up with poo on them because of this stick and flick nonsense. You're in charge of the dogs. Just fucking pick it up and stop leaving shit behind you.

Zame Fri 17-Jul-15 05:17:50

Please stop flicking dog shit into the woods where children like to explore. Surely you shouldn't need to be asked that?

exLtEveDallasNoBollocks Fri 17-Jul-15 06:13:44

The National Trust encourages "Stick and Flick". If you have a problem with that then take it up with them.

If your child is burrowing in the undergrowth you've got more problems than a bit of dog shit - fox and badger shit is far more toxic and full of bugs than dog shit.

Snugglepiggy Fri 17-Jul-15 07:31:11

Sorry sad widow just had to reply as you're perfect and I am not.Does your dog never go off lead even in the forest then ?Can you honestly tell me you pick ups every poo its does ?Can you even find it in autumn leaves and under bushes?Just wondering because aside from my business I have two springer spaniels who are very well trained but as you can imagine cover some ground and like to do their stuff in private,and tuck it out of the way.Even if I tried,which at times I have , you cant find it because this is in deep,deep woodland.Maybe I should have a word with the local gamekeepers - I know a few - and insists the shoot picks up when out with the dogs.Also the local hunt.(and before I get roasted I am not pro fox hunting but love our countryside and accept the pack need to be out in some form)
Because I walk professionally I insist on up to date vaccinations for ALL the dogs I walk,and check them and remind customers about worming and flea and tick treatment.Its in my interest to do so.So yes I have of Parvovirus,hookworm and the lot and due to a very good relationship with our local vets a hell of a lot more.Only met one of the vets the other day out with his terriers and whilst we chatted his dogs scruffed about the wood quite a distance from us.No sign of a poo bag there.
Like alpaca I get infuriated with poo bags dumped on walls,hanging in trees and once I've bagged carry it around till I reach a bin - always.And to re-iterate this isn't a park or reserve in a city -it's open countryside.And not the wood I mentioned yesterday,but another one we visit several times a week is also huge,and private but the owner is happy for all the local dog walkers plus us to use it.We recently tipped him off about wood theft,and motor bikes that were wrecking his newly laid paths .There are some other dog walkers he's not happy about.Taking far too many and unruly dogs.But he told my DH he respects how we operate and we are very welcome,so I think I'll carry on as I am thanks .

Backforthis Fri 17-Jul-15 08:35:48

The National Trust do say flick poo off the path in some of the places they own.

'The Ashridge Estate covers 5000 acres, which is a lot to keep tidy. We ask dog owners to help us by using a stick to flick dog mess off the paths. If you bag mess please take it home with you.

New in 2014

Following requests from our visitors we have recently installed four dog waste bins near the visitor centre. In a year these bins will cost the same as looking after half of our ancient trees. This is a considerable cost to the estate and may be reviewed in future. If you would like to support our work please consider making a donation at the visitor centre or joining the National Trust during you visit.'

Backforthis Fri 17-Jul-15 08:37:39

'Hatfield Forest

Please always clear up after your dog. In the main visitor areas, car parks, road and footpaths please use the bins provided. In the wider Forest, use a stick and flick your dog's mess into a bush. If you've forgotten your bags, pop into the entrance kiosk or shop to pick one up.'

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