Monday, March 10, 2014

Please Stop Shitting On Our Lawn

A warning for the sensitive and morally-upright: This post is going to include some frank discussion about the act of pooping. And I'm going to use some grownups-only words to talk about it. If this is a problem for you, then you may leave now.

After a long and bitterly,perhaps hatefully cold winter, the snow is starting to melt, and that means dog crap is everywhere. All winter long it's been building up, hidden by falling flakes, or buried under snowdrifts furtively kicked-over by lazy dog-owners to hide their shame and incompetence.

Believe me, I understand the impulse to just leave it where it lies. I've owned a few dogs in my time, and I know the embarrassment of seeing your dog pop a squat and realizing, to your horror, that you forgot to grab a plastic bag when you left the house, and now Fido is doing the deed on your neighbor's front lawn, and people are cruising through the neighborhood and you have to fumble in your pocket as they drive by, to send a clear message that I am being a responsible citizen and am picking up after my dog like a good dog-owning person should. Yep, that's totally what I'm doing, Mrs. Prius-Driver, just keep on driving by while I get this imaginary bag out of my pocket and you... drive past me... and turn the corner... aaaaannnnnd.... RUN AWAY!!!

I understand that feeling. And I understand that it's cold outside and that it'll be even darker by the time you get back to this spot and it seems like a waste of time and fossil fuels to drag your butt back all this way to where the Fido-bomb is situated and pick it up and have to carry it all the way back home in your car and then throw it away. But the difference is that when I forget to grab a bag before I leave home, I actually go back and do exactly that, because it's my job.

Frankly, there is no difference between letting your dog take a dump on someone else's property and dropping your pants in the middle of the street and doing it yourself. Both acts are equally disgusting, both are mortally-rude gestures towards the owner of the property in question, and either way it's still your fault that there's a steaming turd on somebody's front lawn.

I'm reminded of a sign I saw once on a small hill beside an apartment complex. It featured a dog holding a plastic baggie and wearing a disapproving scowl, saying "I would if I could,/ But I can't, so you should." To be fair, even if they could, they probably wouldn't (they'd just trot away over the next hill in pursuit of more caribou or something), but you're a human, you have the gift of sapience, and it's your job as a pet-owner to keep your pet clean, and that includes their living-space. Which just so happens to be the same space that the rest of us live in, thank-you-very-much.

A parent who was taking their child on a walk and allowed said child to remove their diaper and make a doodie on a neighbor's lawn could be reported to the State, and might have their child taken away from them because they're raising that child in an unclean and unfit environment. Maybe it's time we started doing the same thing for dog-owners.

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