It might be bad enough walking the pooch with a plastic bag or two in your pocket to avoid the disapproving looks of one's fellow Mojácar-dwellers, but spare a thought for the City-folk of Almería who not only risk a nasty fine if their pooch drops one on the pavement, but from now, they can even be hit with a complaint for allowing their dog to take a whizz against a municipal tree. Where on earth can you take them - the apartment is no good, the stairwell doesn't work, the streets aren't available... it looks like a brisk twice-a-day visit to the city limits.
It's hard having a pet in the city. They need walking if they are a dog, and the reason they need walking is precisely to lighten the load on their kidneys and sundry other organs. Cats are easier, you just open the window and they take off over the roofs, leaving their calling cards strewn among the mess from the pigeons. Goldfish are good, because they pretty much leave their effluent inside the jar.
Elephants can also make a good pet, as there are no laws - at least in Almería - regarding their defecatory rights (however, you should know before you order one, that they eat seven bales of hay every day).
Should one be allowed pets in cities? Maybe not, but they make companions for their owners, some of whom are living alone.
Feral cats, on the other hand, fed by the neighbours... that's not very salubrious I think, and they supplement their packed-lunches with birdies, lizards, snakes and rodents. They also bring fleas to the party...
Returning to the dogs - the local newspaper, the Voz de Almería - recommends that one should use water and bleach to remove the doggy-urine from His Majesty's streets. You may need to get down on your knees with a sponge to fulfill this novel requirement.
The new rules about pets don't stop here. You shouldn't leave the animal on the terrace either 'as it is prohibited to disturb the life of the neighbours with noises emitted by the animals'.
So, no peacocks either.
Leaving food out for the wild animals - the feral cats mentioned above - is now also illegal (and fineable) in the Big Al. So, don't do it!
Lastly, as we clean up another pool of pee pee with our bucket and squeegee, know that any dog over 20 kilos in weight must wear a muzzle when taken outside.
In short, Mojácar-dwellers, you have it good. Stop moaning!