Barking blondes: A grim tail of grooming

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

dog grooming 300x225 Barking blondes: A grim tail of groomingSo the proud owner of Biskit, a golden retriever and Rocky a German shepherd, was fined £50 this week for sprinkling a section of her local park with dog hair. The owner claimed that grooming her dogs helped to relieve them from some discomfort of summer heat.

The warden, however, considered it to be litter.

We also groom our dogs in the local park as, being city dwellers, we lack a garden. However, we were always convinced that, rather than causing social issues, we are helping the environment.

We love removing all the loose hairs from our mutts,  Molly and Matilda, and believe the beady Blackbirds and Blue tits scoop up a beaks full of fuzzy hairs for their nest furnishings.

We pictured the sight of young chicks emerging from cracked shells nestled into little twiggy homes lined softly with bulldog and bull terrier fur!

Or maybe some of our animals hair blows into an urban flower bed then mulches down to assist the compost surrounding a struggling rose bush.

Dog hair is natural and re-cycled sustainably either by birds, mice and other nest builders.

Granted it’s not sociable to groom a St Bernard close to someone eating an egg sandwich on a park bench.

Surely local authorities would find their time was better spent fining owners who don’t pick up after their animals? Or penalising the picnic enthusiasts forever leaving chicken bones, bottles and debris strewn around. These offences cost the tax payer over £2 million a year to clear up.

And what about human hair? Is all public grooming taboo? Is the act of brushing your own locks down at the local tennis courts then removing it from your Mason and Pearson before releasing it to the breeze, going to cost you in fines?

Our plumber, attempting to unblock our U bend this week, informed us that the main culprit leading to blocked drains in London was human hair. Combined with fat and oil it goes hard and is “the devil to Victorian plumbing”. Our advice, therefore, would be to groom away from sinks and plug holes preferably finding a safe place outdoors, whilst avoiding park wardens.

Others this week have thought more kindly towards dogs in the blistering heat-wave.

Peter Jones, the iconic department store in Sloane Square opened a water fountain just for dogs. Hurrah!

Do they understand the lure of “the hound pound”?

Is their NO DOGS policy about to be relaxed and is this their first step towards allowing dogs into the store? (Liberty and Selfridges already do/ if they can be carried). So that well mannered mutts can enjoy some retail therapy?

Or maybe its because many scenes of  the reality series, Made In Chelsea, are shot opposite, in Sloane Square, whenever cast members include their pooches?

Whatever the reason, offering fresh chilled refreshment for Chelsea pooches has set tails wagging.

And just how humane is the sight of a dog bowl of fresh water outside a shop?

For us, it spells out , THIS SHOP IS RUN BY NICE PEOPLE and that bowl is more of a magnet than a red SALE sign.

The Barking Hour, every Thursday, BBC London 94.9FM

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  • marcbletchley

    afternoon jo and anna
    when i first read that last week i thought it was a bit out of order draconian im glad you covered it on here and on the barking hour.
    great reading as usual as i listen to the cambridge folk festival coverage with ex dog owner sue marchant on bbc cambs.
    woof woof from bletchley towers

  • 5brian5

    Hi “Girls”; I had a hard time believing that a park employee i.e. the park would be so petty as to give someone a fine for dog grooming. In fact, you should tell them to give me a ticket for not brushing Logan (pit) enough! It seems like all our small pleasures are being eroded away these days, in the name of public health & welfare. What a load of rubbish! Grooming a dog isn’t any more polluting, and in fact isn’t polluting at all compared to “cotton-wood” trees. I can’t walk out the door without that menacing white fuzz blowing in my eyes and nose when they shed. I’ve never had to vacuum the air conditioning condenser unit because of the neighbours dog grooming activities. Its high time park wardens did something constructive with their taxpayer salaries, and pinned tickets on all the dangerous park plants and polluting trees, and “got a life”! LOL! Take Care! Brian (Detroit)

  • MrReasons2Bcheerful

    1 woman grooming her dog in the park against 50 people just discarding their litter “because they can”?
    Dog hair is not litter, really, is it? Although I’d not be very happy if a great big tuft blew my way!

    Why don’t these “wardens” start by targetting those that drop crisp packets and the like? If they made a good job, then they could go on to the lesser litter items.

  • Gizwiz

    I think the Warden was just another example of the small minded pettiness that is ruining this country. Of course pet hair is not litter.Anyone – with the exception of a council employee – knows that. Why can’t can’t these busy bodies target people who cause real nuisance? Probably because they’re not such soft targets. Move along now, nothing to see here……..

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