The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

One man and his (fetid) dog

with 8 comments

Today in the region: heartless bastards strike again.

Basildon Echo, 4 November 2009:

Guide dog Hamish is ‘too smelly’ for Rose cafe

By Max Orbach

A BLIND pensioner is furious after his guide dog was refused entry to a cafe for being too smelly.

Arthur Holman, 73, and his wife Sylvia, 72, planned to have lunch at the Rose Cafe in Northlands Pavements, Pitsea, because their kitchen cooker was out of action.

But the restaurant manager banned Arthur from taking his guide dog Hamish – a golden retriever – inside.

Arthur, who has been almost completely blind in both eyes since 2004, said: “I tried to explain to him Hamish was for my sight, but he didn’t want to know. It was embarrassing and humiliating to be turfed out.”

The manager told Arthur the dog’s smell would put off other customers.

Criminally, the Basildon Echo really leaves the reader hanging on this occasion and fails to specify the nature of the olfactory nightmare in question. Mind you, something suggests Hamish wasn’t emitting an intense and overpowering scent of fresh laundry that day.

Arthur said: “He doesn’t smell any more than any other dog. I should know because I groom him every day.”

Thankfully, Basildon’s wonderful sense of community means it’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone and a good samaritan will always step forward to offer refuge for those in need:

After arguing with the owner the couple gave up and went to eat in KFC instead.

Result. But ‘gave up’ on what, exactly? Healthy cuisine? Independent cafe culture? Life itself? Again, we’re left hanging. Nevertheless, it’s useful to know KFC will take anyone in; even if your dog does smell like it’s decomposing and exhaling sulphur at the same time.

It’s excellent when a news report concludes with a quote that really makes you take a step back and think:

This is not the first time it has happened to Arthur. He was also barred from taking Hamish into George’s Cafe, in Station Lane, Pitsea, four years ago.

He said: “It is not just for me, there are other blind people in Basildon.

“We shouldn’t be treated like this. We have enough trouble as it is.”

Link: Guide dog Hamish is ‘too smelly’ for Rose cafe


Written by Paddy

January 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Tsk! Where are all the bad dog puns in the headline? “Ruff justice”? “Arthur’s barking mad”? “Hounded out”? “Dog-gone”? “Cafe owners say ‘nein’ to canine”? I just don’t know what local papers are coming to … wouldn’t have passed up an opportunity for rubbishy jokes in my day.


    January 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    • He does smell a bit due to his anal gland problem but he is terribly sweet.

      Adam Buxton

      January 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

  2. I like the detail that they were only eating out because their cooker was on the blink. As if public sympathy would only be on their side if they weren’t seen as frivolous.


    January 26, 2010 at 10:15 am



    January 26, 2010 at 11:21 am

  4. Why couldn’t the photographer be bothered to take a step to the left in order to get the entire sign in?

    How does Authur know if he’s posing in front of the right place?

    Has he tried George’s Cafe since, I mean it’s been four years?

    Perhaps Authur and his visually impaired neighbours could start some kind of militia, barracking those establishments which have wronged them (and those in the general area too) – Basildon Blind Bandits?

    So many questions.

    In farness though, his dog does look a little ruff round the edges .


    January 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

  5. The photograph looks like it has been taken by the dog. You can just imagine Arthur saying to Hamish, “right quick, I’ll stand here, somewhere near the caf, and you press the button with your paw and run quickly before the shutter clicks”


    January 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

  6. Arthur is clearly at fault here, Basildon is well known for it’s continental cafe culture and european flair, dammit, how are such high standards to be maintained if we allow every Tom, Dick, Harry and Arthur with smelly dog in tow access…

    John Shannon

    February 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    • Basildon cafe culture, up there with the greats like Jaywick…

      John Shannon

      February 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

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