Until last Sunday, when my husband and I adopted six-month-old Lulu, it had been more than three years since I’d walked a dog in my neighborhood [RELATED POST: Ode to My Dog, Pudge]. Back then my neighbors picked up their dogs’ poop. Sure, you’d occasionally come across an abandoned pile of fly-infested poop sizzling in the summer sun while out for a stroll with your pooch, but for the most part, people had an ounce of civic pride and respected their neighbors enough to clean up after their best friends. That’s why I’m shocked at the current pooper scooper habits – or lack thereof – of what appears to be an increased number of dog owners in my community.
Unfortunately shortly after joining our family, Lulu ate something that didn’t agree with her. It could have been anything including another dog’s poop. Whatever it was, the poor thing ended up on the fast track to house-breaking with a dreadful case of diarrhea.
Over a day and a half, Lulu pooped 21 times. By the grace of God she had only two accidents in the house which, if my math is correct (and I’m certain it is), means she made it outside 19 times and my husband or I managed to clean up every bowel movement. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. That’s right. We picked up every single one of her poops, even the putrid, runny ones. So yeah, stepping in a pile of well-formed dog poop on the heals of cleaning dog diarrhea for something like 36 hours kind of pissed me off, but not nearly as much as the ten minutes I spent cleaning someone else’s dog’s bacteria laden poop from between MY DOG’S TOES once she (finally) recovered. That REALLY pissed me off.
I haven’t witnessed a poop and run – one never does – but the 13 abandoned piles of dog poop I counted over a stretch of about a hundred yards, is strong evidence it is happening more than it should. I have to ask. What makes people think it’s okay not to pick up their dogs’ poop? Are they rude? Self-Absorbed? Uninformed? Entitled? Afraid to get poop on their hands? I don’t know, but I do know one thing. The reason you never catch a poop and run offender in the act is because they only let their dogs defecate and skulk off with them when no one is watching. If you ask me, THAT can mean only one thing: THEY KNOW IT’S WRONG.
Here’s the deal. Common courtesy and respect for others aside, not picking up your dog’s poop presents serious health hazards. If you’ve somehow convinced yourself it’s okay to leave dog feces for someone else to step in because it’s biodegradable or natural, you are WRONG. Dog poop contains parasites that can infect humans and toxins that seep into our water systems causing contamination. In 1991 the Environmental Protection Agency classified dog poop as a serious environmental pollutant and put it in the same category as “herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines.” For the record, one gram of dog poop contains 23 million different kinds of bacteria including round worm, tapeworm, Salmonella, Coccidia E.Coli, Giardia and Parvo just to name a few. Even if dog poop wasn’t toxic, it’s just plain icky and I do not want to be tracking it up my driveway or scraping it off the soles of my Allbirds. C’mon, people! We don’t live in a vacuum! SCOOP YOUR DOG’S POOP AND THROW IT AWAY. Just. Do. It.
Dog poop is gross. There’s not a day I wake up looking forward to the moment I get to pick up dog poop, let alone carry it around in a bag, and I sure as hell don’t want to step in a load of it because some self-absorbed, inconsiderate, irresponsible knave feels entitled to poop and run or has convinced himself (or herself) it’s fertilizer. (FYI only manure from herbivores is fertilizer). If there’s one thing I dread about being a dog owner, it’s picking up poop, but guess what. I do it anyway. Every single time my dog poops…even when no one is looking… even when it’s dark…even when I forget to bring a bag and need to go home, grab one and run straight back to the spot to pick it up… I do it. Bottom line is I pick up my dog’s poop because I am a decent human being and IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
Scooping dog poop is not rocket science, plus ignorantia juris non excusat, but just in case you’re attempting to parlay the inability to properly scoop poop as an excuse not to do it, take a look at these helpful instructional videos.
From an expert…
Spade & Hoe Method…
(NOTE: Pretty sure this guy means maggots not magnets)
Finally, I don’t want to be off-putting to the majority of my neighbors, who do indeed pick up their dogs’ poop. I know you’re out there! I see you every day and to all of you, I say…
…thank you, thank you very much.
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