MY DOG My name is My Dog and I live with a family of 4 – Jack and Mona and their 2 children – Martin and Delia. We all live near the Silvermine Wetlands near Fish Hoek.
One of our favourite walks is to the Wetlands, where the children and I can all run around. The children often bring their bikes, and I can spend a lot of time sniffing at all the different smells that are down there – everything from other dogs and the odd otter and porcupines. The Wetlands are looked after by a small group of people called the Riverine Rovers. They are mainly Grannies and Grandpas, and they spend a lot of time picking up the rubbish left by other people and also picking up all the dog mess left by other dogs.
The Wetlands are where I learnt about a lot of other dogs called My Dog, although I have never met them. We often hear a member of the Riverine Rovers asking a person walking their dogs to please pick up the dog mess left by their dog, and this where I learnt about the other dogs with my name! I hear the people saying, “My Dog didn’t do that mess”. “My Dog always does his mess in the garden, not at the Wetlands”. “That’s not My Dog’s mess – it doesn’t look like his – I know what I feed him on!” “I have been watching My Dog, and he hasn’t done anything”. Even if the Riverine Rovers saw it happen!
One day my family had their Granny walking with them and both she and Delia stepped into a very wet dump of Doggy-Do. Whew – did it smell, and my people were very cross and had to walk some way before they could get rid of the mess on their shoes. Martin also cycled through another pile of Doggy-Do before he saw it. Jack had to try and wash the mess off in a small puddle near the path – he was very angry! The Riverine Rovers have put up lots of white containers along the paths, and make sure there are plenty of bags in them, so that people can quickly pick up their My Dog’s poo and put it in the bin. This also means that the paths aren’t smelly. After all, none of us My Dogs can pick up our own mess and put it in the bins – even if we were trained to do it.
Another thing some My Dogs do is go and play in the ponds, despite being asked not to as they might frighten birds on nests and the otters. That’s when I hear the people saying “My Dog would never frighten the wildlife”. It is a pity that the wildlife doesn’t know this, and the birds are very scared of being chased off their nests and having to leave baby birds alone. It would be a great pity if all dogs were to be banned from the Wetlands because of this, as the My Dogs all have such fun down there, and many Grannies and Grandpas enjoy taking their My Dogs for walks when they have no-one else to walk with.
I do wish that all the My Dog owners would be responsible and help to keep the Wetlands a clean and lovely place for everyone to enjoy.
Submitted by Evanne Rothwell of Riverine Rovers