As I was walking at the park with the dogs today, it happened. Splat, I stepped into a big old pile of poop, right there on the walking track. Some rude, inconsiderate idiot did not have the common courtesy to clean up after their dog. The responsible party was so dismissive of other walkers and joggers that they did not even bother to guide their dog to the grass. What a great way to ruin a beautiful bonding experience between human and dog. Feces is not exactly a topic readily discussed in polite conversation. For those of you who are a bit squeamish, you may want to skip this blog, but it is a personal pet peeve that drives me nuts. The jokes, all those awful bodily function jokes, are out there. South Park even has a character who is a piece of poo. But up front and personal, it is no laughing matter.
My dogs, Ida and Stanley, and my Planned Pethood foster dogs and I walk every day, rain or shine, cold or hot. Walking helps establish yourself as the pack leader. It is the first thing I do with every new foster. We usually head to a neighborhood park dedicated to kids’ baseball and football practice. It is a crime when people don’t clean up after their dogs, really I think it is an actual crime. It is not uncommon for the poor kids to end up running into a nasty pile or two. It is bad enough for them to have to deal with the hazards of dodging the goose crap. Many times I have politely offered a bag to these deadbeats. But instead of USING it, they become upset and defensive. They offer all kinds of excuses why it really doesn’t matter if they take the responsibility to clean up. I am sure these people do not consider nor care about the resulting health hazards involved for both humans and canines.
On several occasions, I have seen a man come to the park with his dog in an SUV. Not only does he not pick up after his dog, he never even gets out of the vehicle. He opens the door and the large dog hops out unleashed and unsupervised. Plus the dog is threatening and probably dangerous. This information comes from the owner himself who warns any other dogs away when they head his way. Talk about lazy AND ignorant. This looks like an unfortunate incident waiting to happen.
One day I was walking my senior lab Rudy when he rolled in a mammoth pile of sh*t. One whole side was a thick coat of it. I am positive he thought his smell was irresistible (and it probably was to another dog) so rolling in it was a no-brainer. It didn’t do any good to get angry with him. But I had to gag, on the verge of vomiting on what seemed like a very long walk home. He had to be bathed three times before he was fit for human companionship.
I even have a neighbor who does not clean up the crap in her yard. It smells like a defective sewer in the summer. And, after this winter, that situation is not going to be pretty. I filled many, many bags after the snow melted in my yard. In many cases, it is the people like her who neglect their pets in other ways as well. They don’t vaccinate them or make sure the dogs are on heart worm protection. They don’t spay/neuter. They allow their dogs to roam the neighborhood, unconcerned about the potential dire consequences. It takes a great deal of time, energy, and yes, money to be a responsible pet owner.
Hopefully, at this point, you are not thinking, geez, Judy is like the cranky old dude in the neighborhood who keeps the kids’ ball that comes in her yard. Nothing could be further from the truth. And, don’t get me wrong, I have forgotten the poop bags on occasion. But I always either try to borrow one or try to pinpoint exactly the scene of the crime, so I can get it the next day. And, hey you can get a 100 bag pack at the dollar store. Many of my friends save their bags for me for the cause. And if I can pick up while walking three large dogs, I know you can clean up too. I just ask you to walk a mile in my shoes. Literally, walk a mile in my gross, disgusting, poop covered shoes. Don’t be the one to ruin a beautiful walk, allow families to enjoy their surroundings in the great outdoors. Pick up after your dogs, people!
-submitted by Judy S.