It’s commonly thought dogs are banned from beaches because they frighten some people, fight amongst themselves and leave smelly poos.
But that’s not true – it’s because dogs are incompatible with fishing. They’re such greedy gutses they will nick your bait, hook, line but probably not your sinker and gobble down entire fish – including smelly old heads and bones.
When our fencer Tony was away it fell on me to walk his young dog, King, who adored fish including aged skeletons. He was so cunning, he’d grab a disgusting, stinking fish then nimbly sidle away when I pursued him.
Once he even nicked a mullet out of someone’s bait bin when we were at the point where several people were fishing. His audacity earned him instant forgiveness because he delighted everyone by lunging around proudly waving his catch in the air all the while munching away until the entire fish disappeared.
Another day he wasn’t quite so lucky. He attempted to gobble some bait on a hook that had been carelessly left on the beach. The hook caught in his lip and Murphy’s Law meant the Vet Centre was due to close any second. Luckily, I extracted the hook, but Rex wasn’t so lucky a few weeks later. By the time he’d reached his dog Mo, she’d demolished bait on a hook that had been left lying around.
It was a Friday evening and Rex, figuring it was too late to do much, cut off the nylon line that dangled from Mo’s mouth and hoped for the best. (He didn’t tell me this until after the happy ending because I’d have wanted to rush Mo to the vet which would have cost an even bigger fortune than it eventually did.)
First thing Monday Rex whisked Mo to the vet. Two x-rays later, he learned the hook had proceeded on its merry way and was shortly due to be expelled. If he’d waited just one more hour, Mo would have done the crucial poo that carried the fish hook to safety.
Hot Dog Tip: When I thought my dog Floss had eaten paper staples, the vet advised me to feed her cottonwool balls dipped in wet dog or cat food, the concept being the staples would catch in the cottonwool and sail safely through her gut.