Thursday, 2 April 2015

Bad Dog - No Biscuit

I’ve had some pretty rum bosses in my time (if any of them are reading this – I’m not talking about you), but none of them have ever taken my cereal bowl from the office kitchen and used it as a receptacle to feed one of their dogs. 

I know, it’s horrible. I therefore owe Naomi (chief ticket pixie, racecourse office administrator supreme and bowl-owner) a most sincere apology. It was the wrong thing to do – even if time was short, the dogs hungry and the bowl a bit chipped. Naomi, I am very sorry! 

I am a bad person. I know this because for a brief moment I considered blaming the whole thing on Anthea Morshead, Cartmel’s Clerk of the Course, and her dog Jack. It seemed so simple: Anthea had been in the office the day before, Jack had enjoyed a walk around the course – why wouldn’t she have fed Jack using any old bowl from the kitchen cupboard? Even better, Anthea was away at York Racecourse when Naomi found the bowl on the floor… 

But I couldn’t do that to Anthea; her credibility as a Clerk hinges on her unimpeachable integrity – she simply wouldn’t behave like that. Jack of course is a different matter; he behaves badly all the time, although we love him all the more for it. Unlike my dogs, he also keeps the rabbits away, which keeps the maintenance team happy.  

When the telephone rings in the racecourse office, one of the most frequently asked questions (apart from “What’s going to win this week?” -  Uisge Beatha in the 2.35 at Haydock on Saturday) is whether dogs are allowed to attend the races. The answer, of course, is that we welcome well behaved dogs in the same way that we welcome well behaved children – they are not allowed to consume alcohol and they should not place any bets unless they are over 18 years of age. They should also be kept on a lead at all times (the last bit doesn’t apply to children).  

We ask that dog owners clear up after their dogs – on all days, not just racedays. If you’ve visited Cartmel Racecourse recently you may have noticed one of our new signs which read “There is no such thing as the poop fairy – please place it in one of the bins provided”. The park is used by a large variety of people including footballers, cricketers, the local schools, cubs, scouts and tourists as well as dog-walkers. None of them like the smell of dog poop – but none get more upset than one of our ground-staff after they’ve struck poop with the grass-strimmer.  

You’d almost think someone had pinched their cereal bowl and used it to feed the dogs. But no one could be that bad…


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