Dogs seem a perfectly nice bunch of creatures. It’s their human owners I can’t stand.

At the risk of becoming a figure of national contempt (what’s new, I hear cynics cry), there’s a certain breed of dog-owner whose selfish stupidity brings out my inner extremist.

I’m probably more likely to get cancelled for slagging off dog-owners than demanding a nationwide baby-ban. I know this is my personal cross to bear. Most folk own dogs, so I’m screaming into the wind like Lear upon the heath.

It’s this time of year which flips my switch. Sunny days bring out the type who think humans should be subservient to their animals. Walk through your local park and you’ll find them: ‘the cult of the very long dog leads’.

You’ll be strolling under the trees and there they are, a cluster of goonish dog-walkers standing on opposite sides of the pavement grinning gormlessly at each other, their six-foot-long dog leads turning the road into one of those scenes from Mission Impossible, where Tom Cruise abseils from the ceiling and then has to tip-toe his way like an acrobat through laser-beams which trigger deadly alarms.


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How am I - or that small child riding a bike, or that nice couple with their pram, or that old lady - meant to walk along a road when these drongos have turned the place into a spiderweb of interlocking dog leads.

My eyeballs sweat in fury. And yes, I know there’s many more troubling issues in the world, but I live inside my brain and my brain doesn’t like self-centred dunder-whelps.

Sometimes those in ‘the cult of the incredibly long lead’ will walk towards you bold as brass - them on one side of the road, their dog on the other - and expect you to move out of the way for their lead. It’s tantamount to an act of war.

I simply stand there, staring at these ill-reared brats until they move either the lead, or themselves. I’d wait until the crack of doom before I’d budge for these bumptious park-killing cretins.

Evidently, you may say, ‘well, Neilly, old boy, can’t you hop off the path and onto the grass on your daily peregrinations through the municipal parks of Glasgow?’. And I’d say, ‘yes, of course, I could … if dog owners hadn’t allowed their animals to turn the green brown’. Grass seems, to some, like one big pretty dog toilet.

Clearly, others are more considerate. They watch their dog hobbling around freakishly at its toilette, then hang the results in lovely little blue bags from a bush. How wonderful. Here was I, looking for a bloom of rhododendron, yet I receive a placky bag of dog curls instead.

Call me obsessed, but I’ve been keeping a newspaper clippings file marked ‘Dog Idiots’. I’ve got articles in there about people buying dog translator apps. (Let me sell you some magic beans). There’s a story about ‘barkitecture’, the art of designing homes around dogs. I’d actually jail these people. I’m don’t know for what, but I’m sure we can invent a crime.

A piece about puppy yoga simply broke me. I writhed on the floor in silent rage, praying for a pandemic which specifically targets people who take their dogs to new age therapy.

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These are the same halfwits who dress their dogs in day-glo jumpsuits. Pity me. If I see another dog in a baby-grow, I’ll abduct the animal for its own safety. How can you say you love a creature then make a total side-show spectacle out it, for your stupid entertainment?

Look, I’ve even seen people push dogs around in prams. Jail, right? Spare me these dumbbells and their dog babies.

The worse type is what I call the ‘metaphysical dog idiot’ - the ones who’ve somehow decided dogs are more important than humans. You hear these nihilistic, droning, old bores everywhere. ‘Dogs are so much nicer than people’. Shut up. Idiot.

One day you’ll probably be lying dead on your living floor all alone - because clearly no other human is going to like you or care about you if this is the way you carry on - and your beloved dog will be eating your face off, as you aren’t able to open their can of beefy chunks anymore. How nice will your furry friend be then?

Here’s a good tip for social media: if you see someone with a dog avatar as their profile picture, block them. The dog avatar people are among the most horrible, nasty, cruel monsters on the face of the planet. Watch for a Twitter pile-on, and it’ll be the dog avatars leading the attack.

I haven’t even touched on the chimps who stare glaikitly while their dog barks at old people or children without lifting a damn, lazy entitled finger. Or the wannabe gangsters stoating about with monster dogs on the end of leashes.

If you want to look like a gangster, let’s treat you like one. Anyone with a devil dog should be subjected to stop-and-search measures by police every ten minutes for the remainder of their life.


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Clearly, this issue taxes my liberalism and I’d soon fill the country’s jails with dog-owners on a series of trumped up charges - another good reason why I never entered politics.

However, there’s a serious side to this. We call ourselves a nation of dog lovers but we often treat them abysmally. We buy dogs bred specifically for deformity, with squished faces and bandy legs. They suffer their entire lives and die early. We bought dogs in their thousands during Covid - then when it ended, abandoned them. Dog lovers? Wise up.

We don’t just need dog licences, we need mandatory training for humans before they can own a dog.

I don’t own a dog. My family had dogs when I was little. They were lovely creatures. But I don’t have the lifestyle to look after a dog. I struggle to keep my goldfish alive.

Would I like a dog? Yes, when I retire. I reiterate, it’s not dogs I detest, it’s their owners. If I get a dog, I’d definitely take some lessons on how to look after of it. And I’d buy a short lead.