Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Straight Poop (Dog, That Is)

Can this face really do wrong?
To the lady at the park today, yelling at me from 50 yards away to come up and pick up my dog’s poop:

I’m pretty darn sure that my dog did not do that.  I’m pretty sure she was leaving a #1, although I can’t be certain because she was about twenty feet behind me, but I do know she had done her business at the house shortly before we left.  And don’t you see the ream of bright blue, perfume free, biodegradable dog waste bags tied onto the leash?  If I did miss it, I’m sorry.  The only three or four times I’ve been caught out without a bag seems to be when the poop police are on patrol.

Who ever thought that picking up dog poop could actually become a successful profession that advertises in respectable newspapers and magazines.  But consider that America’s 78 million dogs produce 10 million tons of waste a year, there’s enough to go around.  Some days I think at least 5 million tons have been left in my front yard since my house is a corner lot along a well-traveled route to school, parks, coffee shops, and every place you’d want to take your dog.

There’s other ways to make money off of it just waiting to be created.  To encourage citizens to pick up after their pet, one city in Taiwan is offering them a chance at a lottery for all the poop they bring to a central poop depository.  France has over 8 million dogs, and some days it seems as if they’re all leaving their calling cards in Paris.  The French dog owners are only just now learning to pick up after themselves.  I’ve noticed the streets of Dijon are a little cleaner each year I’ve gone.  It costs the cities of France hundreds of millions of euros each year to clean up after them all, so the city of Toulouse is trying to conquer this by working on a formula to compost it into useable fertilizer.

So lady, believe me.  I’m trying to be part of the solution, not the problem.  When you shuffled past me later on the walking path, scooting your walker along looking for other scofflaws to scold, at least remember that in your eternal vigilance there was no reason for you to scowl and me and let loose with one final expletive.  In the 30 years I’ve picking up poop in rain, shine, cold, snow, and stinking heat I might have missed one or two.  Give me a break.

What kind of neighbors do you have? How considerate are they about this issue? Does your town encourage healthy habits by setting up boxes that distribute mutt mitts?  Give us the straight poop in the comments box.


Melinda Farrar said...

Would you mind having a "Pick-up station" on the corner like I see at Shaw Park, etc? It could be distracting, but it is a reminder that each pet owner is responsible for cleaning up after their pet. They are showing up more and more around town.

Julie Farrar said...

While I always carry my own bags, Forest Park doesn't have enough pick-up stations on the walking trails.

Jennifer Willis said...

Some people just like yelling at other people, whether there's been an actual infraction or not.

I used to have a neighbor like that . . . She had a reputation for yelling at everyone about everything and anything. Each time I tried to engage her in a lower-volume, expletive-free, reasonable conversation about her concerns, I got a door slammed in my face.

Anonymous said...

What is it with people and dogs?! I mean, I have two, clearly. But I would never dream of not picking up after them on a walk. But what's worse is our neighbor's dog. She lets him bark and bark and doesn't care.

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