Shocking smell wafts up train commuter’s nose

... and other ‘dirty’ stories from Honiton resident Wendy Carton.

‘Dirty experiences’ have become an all-too-often distraction for this walker.

Honiton resident Wendy Carton explains all...

Following another ‘dirty experience’ in the Glen last week, I feel compelled to entertain fellow residents with my tales from the four years that I have lived very near to this ‘beautiful place’.

Indeed, if one dares to keep one’s head up as one walks through, the Glen is stunning and more so since the considerable regeneration work that has been recently done there.

However, particularly at this time of year, when damp leaves on the paths provide excellent camouflage, it is much more likely that walkers keep eyes to the ground as they stroll through.

Last week, my partner and I were enjoying a very pleasant stroll back home through the Glen to be greeted enthusiastically by a sweet and friendly little spaniel gambolling along the path towards us. He was followed (not too closely) by his owner, who was calling to us not to be worried - “he is very friendly and won’t bite, but I can’t control him and he likes to say hello to everyone”.

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The little dog said ‘Hello’ to my partner by jumping up and putting filthy paw marks all over the lower legs of his trousers (which have stained badly and ruined them).

Last autumn, as we returned from town this way, I had the misfortune to slip over in an enormous pile of dog excrement on the path.... my coat, boots and trousers were plastered.

Luckily, I bounced, no damage done - other than the mortification of being made to walk out of sniffing distance from my partner all the way home and having to undress on our doorstep! No staining that time, thankfully.

Summer 2009, as I walked through the Glen to catch my train into Exeter to work early one morning, I was greeted by a sweet little dog who jumped up at my knees before I could get away - followed by an apologetic lady owner, who raised her hands in helplessness saying: “Oh he is sooooo lovely AND FRIENDLY, isn’t he?”

Unfortunately, it was not until a dreadfully familiar, foul smell filtered up to my nose once I was seated on the train that I realised it was not MUD that the sweet, friendly little doggie had shared with me and my work trousers!

First job for me on arriving at work was to endeavour to remove the foul stuff from my clothing before seeing my first patient.

I like dogs very much. I am beginning to dislike untrained, inadequate and unnecessarily apologetic dog owners.

If people do not have adequate home/garden facilities to keep a dog healthy and happy without taking it to a place of Outstanding Natural Beauty to do it’s business, they may reconsider owning one.

If they cannot resist their selfish urge to keep a dog in inadequate housing, they might at least take responsibility for their dear dog and get themselves socially trained together and PUT THE DOG ON A LEAD IN PUBLIC PLACES.

This would mean that the dog mess would be more accessible for the devoted owners to collect and dispose of in the conveniently placed bins and hopefully negate the need for their apologies to those of us who have our enjoyment of the Glen spoiled by them and their pets.

Wendy Carton