redbandita does NOT want to be facebooked, twittered or shared.
To enrich our environment, make the street prettier for everyone and to forecome people leaning their bicyles against our living room window, we had the city open the first two rows of concrete slabs alongside our house front. They came one morning and did this for us within 10 minutes. We only had to work the soil, as there was only sand, and put hardy plants in. This is called a “geveltuin” in Dutch and can be a very nice experience.
The thing which has ticked me off immensely lately is that dog owners in Amsterdam seem to think that it’s OK to have their dogs dig up that tiny sidewalk bed.
And digging is just the start, if you catch my drift…
My BF has made a self standing thingy out of 5 bamboo sticks (2 X 2 crossed and the 5th used as wide cross bar) and he stuck it into the middle of our patch, between the Hebe and the lavender, where the roots of the astilba are resting (that plant can get like 30 years old!).
Dog owners have ignored this “barrier” (approx. 30X30X50cm!) during the entire last week. Every morning when I leave the house, the first thing that comes out of my mouth in the street, looking at the flower bed, is “f@cking dogs!!!” I should be saying “F@cking dog owners”, and in Dutch, as the majority of dog owners here are Dutch, but “Kut-hondenbaasen!” just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily.
What do I have to do?!? Post a sign “not for your dog’s paws and ass, for your eyes and nose only”?
I have to get over this. People just don’t give a shit. Excuse my French, but it’s so hopeless. We live right next to the biggest park in Amsterdam, so, naturally, a lot of dog owners in the area use our cul-de-sac to go into Vondelpark through the metal gate at it’s end. Many dogs with an inconsiderate owner does it’s poo in our street (right next to a creche! Dog poo is TOXIC!!!) and these people think it’s OK, just because it’s on MY heather!
Some unlucky person stepped into one of those landmines just outside our house today.
Why don’t people get that a dog does not belong in a city, which is by definition a place already too crowded with people for their own good. Dogs can NEVER be given the freedom they need to live a happy dog’s life, which includes digging.
I am not saying that these people torture their animals, but where can you let your dog dig in a city, seriously? Sidewalk? Concrete slabs. Sand boxes on playgrounds? Risk of a hefty fine plus being confronted by all the parents witnessing this. Park? Damaging public property (a lot of people don’t care about that, either!). So the only thing left is my 2m by 40cm patch.
Why, oh why are they doing this to me? We even mulched this mini patch, but now the bark bits are lying on the sidewalk, and we get to brush up the mess and put it back into the hole, just to find a new one the next morning.
I also wonder how much time does a dog get on our bed? I mean, if one walks past the thing with the dog on a leash, on the way to the park, the dog could maybe sniff it, but then be cheered on into the park. Only if the owner takes the time to wait outside my house for 10 – 15 seconds does an unwatched dog get the chance, and there are no sights to admire! So where are people looking while their Fido is killing my plants?!?
We are not te only ones with that problem: I have spotted a house with a geveltuin only like 300m from ours with a SIGN in the WINDOW PLEADING owners not to let their dogs p@ss and sh@t on the plants, because they WILL DIE, need to be replaced ($$$!), and the person planting REALLY gets to get his hands dirty. Yueck!
I am considering the following drastic measures:
Leaving sharp “surprises” like glass just under the surface of the mulch for dog noses and sensitive paws to “find”.
An electric fence.
Rat poison on a burger.
Following them home and dropping my intestine’s contents onto their doorstep.
The trouble is that I’ll either get arrested or poor or both from being sued by people who I’d like to sue on a daily basis. And of course, I am NOT a dog hater. At all! I’d never hurt the animal, it’s the human being on the other end f the leash that needs to be income-related fined.
So, please, if you need to have a dog in the city, take responsibility for what he or she does. And bring your own poo bag at all times.
Astilba picture taken from: