May 08, 2014

What’s the scoop on all the poop?

I started trying to walk again a couple of years ago, but ended up doing too much which caused my Lyme disease symptoms to worsen to some really dark and ugly places.  Earlier this year, I had to put to sleep the dog who had been sharing my life for a couple of years.  I walked when I was up to it, and it was nice to be able to swing along when I could without having to stop (or be forcibly stopped) for the being on the other end of the lead to investigate some interesting scent or overlay her own upon someone elses.

Six weeks ago, I adopted another dog, a small one, something I have never had before.  Well, other than the toy poodle I was raised with (which may 'splain some things....).  In recognition of the fact that I am getting older, can no longer lift a 50+ pound dog who doesn't want to be lifted, and I might some day move into a place where a 50+ pound dog may not be welcomed or fit, I decided to downsize.  Meet Bodhi, a sweet four year old chihuahua who may, by birth or past life, have some terrier in him.

And so it is that I am once again having to notice all the things the being at the other end of the lead notices when we are out walking, which includes all the other dogs' poop that the beings on the other end of their leads didn't notice them leaving or, more likely, didn't give a shit.  

No pun intended.

Since I know that my neighborhood, as nice as it is, is not unique in having self-centered dog keepers out walking their dogs, I figured I'd break my long silence on this blog and share the what I wrote to submit to my neighborhood's monthly newsletter.  

If it is something you might find useful to put in your neighborhood newsletter, feel free to reprint with attribution.

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What's the Scoop on All the Poop?

The scoop is that there are people out there walking their dogs who don’t feel they have to pick up their dog’s poop.  There’s poop in yards near the sidewalk, poop in the parking strip between the sidewalk and street, and, my personal favorite, poop on the sidewalk.  Really?  If I, with my impaired memory and being in physical pain pretty much all the time, can remember to carry a couple of poop bags with me when I take my dog for a walk and use them when my dog poops, others can, too.  The very few times I find myself without a bag, I note the spot and came back to pick it up after I get back home to grab a bag.  If you don’t have used produce bags, newspaper wrappers and other used bags that will securely hold poop until you get home or to an accessible trash can, you can buy them at pretty much any place that sells pet supplies, including drugstores, grocery stores, WalTargKMart, even the Dollar-type stores.  Don’t have pockets? Wear a waist pack, stick ‘em in your waistband, under your watchband, or tuck one in your bra (really?  I’m the only one who does this??).  Or, you can buy little canisters that clip onto your dog’s leash or onto your waistband that hold a roll of bags.  Life’s poopy enough without having to step in someone else’s.  So, please police your pooch and pick up the poop.

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Lest you think it is just me being cranky and crazy about other people's (dog's) poop, it is truly a health hazard, to other dogs, to the children who play on the sidewalks and in their yards, and to the the wildlife and pet dogs and cats, children and adults who walk along and splash through the creeks that wend through our town and into which the water tha runs off our streets into the storm drains flows...along with the trash and dog crap that flow along with it.

A friend of mine writes at some length about the health risks to other dogs and humans from the dog feces left festooning our walkways in her article Poop Parity: Just Pick It Up.


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