Less than half a block away is a cute little almost country-kitchen type of sign – the type of sign that you might find in a gift shop. It’s wooden and painted red with black happy writing. It reads, “No dumping” with a tiny doggy paw print. Across the street, there is a handwritten note on cardboard thumb-tacked to a tree. “Please pick up after your dog.” Firm and to the point. Around the corner and up a private driveway where a boat is stored in colder weather, is another handwritten sign. This one has writing in black sharpie marker. “Pick up the dog sh_t. A_ _ hole!” I like how the author didn’t want to fully commit to the obscenities but instead let the reader fill in the blanks and make their own conclusions. But honestly, who lets a dog off its leash to run up someone’s driveway to poop? Most likely the same person who watches the dog take a big, steaming dump and leaves it there.
One of my neighbors from up the street has an ongoing issue with dog poop in front of his house. Each morning, when he leaves his house, he finds of a large pile of dog crap. That’s no way to start a day! He has tried in vain to catch this dog and more so its owner in the act. He has sat in his window late at night and early in the morning. He even had his own version of a stakeout where he was “lying in wait” in the back seat of his car hidden only by the tinted windows of his SUV. He has his suspicions who the dog and owner might be. On his tree is a handmade wooden sign that reads, “Thanks for the dog poop! You jerk!” Not as harsh as the boat owner but no one wants to be called a jerk and as my wife always says, “Nobody likes a jerk.” My neighbor’s sign hung proudly on the tree outside his front door until one morning he found it broken in two next to another pile of poop. What a jerk! It has now become my neighbor’s mission in life to find this bastard.
So what kind of person doesn’t pick up after their dog? Even better – what kind of person doesn’t pick up after their dog especially when it’s on the sidewalk in front of someone’s home? A menace to society is what I say. I like to think that most dog owners are good neighbors and would pick up their dog’s poop. That’s part of being a responsible dog owner and a good neighbor, right? The stereotypical dog lover, like the people involved with the Bark Park certainly don’t seem like the type to do it. They have their little contraption of handy dandy poop bags at the ready. I’ve seen them.
I suspect the type of person that doesn’t pick up after their dog is someone who lives in the neighborhood where you find the poop since it’s my experience as a dog owner to Vito the Pug, dogs pretty much like to poop in the same spot. Now I’m no Cesar Millan – the dog whisperer – but I know the basic habits of dogs such as their sniffing a spot followed by the little doggy circling of the spot before going to the bathroom. So when you see your dog doing this and you don’t have a bag to pick it up, pull him away before he can squat. If you don’t have a bag, take the extra ten minutes to walk to your house, get one and go pick it up.
My own issue
A few years ago, I caught a neighbor leaving his dog’s poop right out in front of my house. It was 10 o’clock on a hot summer’s night and the windows were open. As I was locking the front door and shutting off lights, I heard someone outside and took a look out the window. A 50 year-old man with a large build stood by as his little dog took a big dump right out in front of my house where my kids play. I watched and waited, knowing that of course he would remove a bag from his pocket and pick up the poop. But he didn’t he began to walk down the street.
“Pick it up! Pick it up!” I shouted through the open window. He began to quicken his step and turn the corner. Without hesitation, I ran out of the house with no shirt or shoes on and chased him around the corner. When confronted with why didn’t he pick up the poop, he stated he didn’t have a bag. I took him at his word and told him I’d give him one. I ran in the house and grabbed a plastic shopping bag. When I came back, he was still there waiting and he was pissed. He snatched the bag from my hand and said, “You don’t have to make a federal case out of it.” I told him that he was the one who was wrong. He walked away and headed to his house – which was right around the corner from me. That guy was my neighbor.
When I came back in the house, my wife was waiting wondering what I was up to. I explained to her what happened and she then told me the story about her father when she was little. He was also frustrated with dog poop in front of his house. When he would find the dog mess he would shout out to anyone on the block within earshot, “If I find out who is leaving this dog shit, I’m gonna get an elephant and have it take a massive dump in front of your house!”
Dog Poop Memories
Several years back, my family and I had a”run-in” with dog shit on M Street. I was getting into the car to take the kids to school and then drop my wife to work and as usual we were running 10 minutes behind schedule and I had exactly 2 minutes to drive 8 blocks to the kids’ school. As I was helping my youngest son into my truck my older son says, “What smells?” My wife turns around to look and there is dog poop all over the back seat. Not only tracked across the floor mats but it has managed to get on my son Henry’s leg. And with that, the gagging ensues. All are ordered from the car. My wife runs back into the house for paper towels and plastic bags. I tell my son with the dog shit on his sneaker to stick it in a puddle on the street. My wife wipes away the poop on Henry’s leg and off of the car mats. I find a stick to extract the poop stuck in the treads of my son’s sneakers. Our schedule has gone out the window. My kids are officially late for school. Suddenly a trip to the car wash is added to my already busy day and I can’t help but think this all could have been avoided if some dog owner would have just picked up his dog’s shit.
So a friendly reminder, be a good neighbor and don’t be a jerk- pick up the poop!