I like dogs. I really like them. I like most dog owners too, the key word here being most. Dogs are cute and cuddly and for the most part they just want to eat food and be useful to humans. It’s hard not to like dogs, except for one little thing…
Dogs poop. Of course everyone poops, it’s just that dogs do it outside. The dog owner is then supposed to clean the poop up and dispose of it. Most dog owners do this thing. These are the dog owners I like. However, an increasing number of dog owners in my area seem to be skipping this step. These are the dog owners that I would dearly like to smack on the head with a large garden spade, specifically the one that we have needed to use too often lately to do what they should have done in the first place.
I am not unsympathetic. Cleaning up poop is not fun. I have a toddler in diapers, I know that poop stinks and it’s messy and unpleasant and any sane person wants to limit their contact with it. On the other hand, this is something you should have thought of before getting a dog, for while my daughter will know how to use a toilet in a year or two, your dog will be pooping outside where you are obligated to clean it up until the day it dies. Changing diapers is my job, it’s something I willingly accepted as part of the whole parenting deal. Cleaning up dog poop is your job, not my job, because the dog belongs to you, not me. This is even more true, not less true, if your dog poops in my front yard. Also, bagging it and tossing it in our recently emptied trash can does not count as cleaning it up. I do not wish to store your dog’s poop on my porch for a week until the next trash day.
I am not posting this rant because of any single incident. No. A single pile of poop on the hell strip between the sidewalk and the street is something I would get over before I could work up the effort to post about it. There have been several new piles a week turning up there, and that is just not acceptable. There has also been the odd pile turning up next to our porch. This is not OK. Over the Thanksgiving holiday two of our guests stepped in the stuff and before they realized it they tracked it into my new minivan. The Christmas holidays have seen new piles on a daily basis. Several weeks back there was even a pile of dog poop in the Lexington playground, which is posted with signs saying “no dogs allowed”. One of the primary reasons why all the playgrounds in the area are off limits to dogs is to prevent dogs pooping in there.
I have a small child. For obvious health and cleanliness reasons I do not want dog poop around her. I do my part as a parent and I do not allow her to pet dogs we meet on walks without the enthusiastic agreement of the owners, as much to protect the dogs as to protect my child. If you have a dog please do what you are supposed to do and clean up after it. This is becoming much more than just a nuisance.