The lives of dogs and humans have been intertwined for possibly as long as 33,000 years.
Scientists believe this is the earliest date that the domestic dog first arose and it followed the even earlier domestication of the Grey Wolf.
Over the many millennia since, dogs have repeatedly proved the truth of the old adage of being ‘man’s best friend’, and they can now be found in millions of homes around the world as family pets and companions. However, a growing problem in many urban areas with high canine densities is the fouling of parks and other open public green spaces.
And today, Tom Weatherston is hoping fellow Scottish Borders councillors will back his motion calling for a by-law banning dogs from sports pitches, as even with the best will in the world, it is often not possible to scrape up every drop of dog poo.
But the problem facing those in favour of such a ban is that many sports pitches are located in public parks, which by their very nature are for the use of all.
For many people, especially the elderly, a dog is often their only companion and the local park or around the edges of playing fields are the only nearby areas of green space to exercise their pets.
It is difficult to see how the local authority can tackle this problem, but it seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut, given those hit hardest will be responsible dog owners.
The ideal solution would be an adequately-resourced and manned local wardens service – pity the council’s doing away with ours.