- The Bag and Shag It, and
- The Poop, Scoop, and Bucket.
I subscribed solely to the Baggy Method for years. This has its benefits, as each collection is self contained. If the bag du jour is a Ziplock sandwich bag, there is a markedly diminished cumulative olfactory effect. During the bagging process I would assiduously remove all blades of grass that had been in contact with every turd, thus ensuring a totally poop-free yard. Unfortunately, it also eventually ensures a totally grass-free yard owing to the diminutive dimensions of the yard and the generous proportions of the poop.
And it's not so ecologically responsible. I have graduated to using a corn-based, biodegradable, vanilla scented baggy. I don't know which genius thought that adding vanilla would improve the smell of dog poop. It doesn't. It does have the unexpected benefit of being a diet aid: I haven't had vanilla ice cream in months. No sirree, not going there.
Another drawback to baggies. We had to summon a local law enforcement officer once to investigate an act of vandalism. As he was interviewing us, he spied a collection of Ziploc baggies in the flower bed. "Were those there before you were vandalised? Do you know about them? What are they? Exactly what do they contain?" He was quite excited with the notion that someone had planted a stash of something highly illegal in our day lilies. He was quite mortified when he learned the truth.
I use the Bag It and Shag It method exclusively for Nonresident Poopage now. The yard is patrolled with the Poop, Scoop, and Bucket method. I can thank Lindy Loo's granddaddyhuman for that. Jim and Sue came for a visit, and Jim watched me bending down bagging poop after poop, along with the few brave surviving blades of grass, and he grabbed me mid swipe and he and Sue drove me to the pet supply store and bought me a deluxe Scooper Set. Rake and flat scooper receiver device with sporty matching yellow handles. State of the Scooping Art.
"You were going to ruin your back with all that bending," kind Jim said. Deftly demonstrating the New Apparatus he said, "It's all in the wrist; you'll get the hang of it in no time."
I have no hand/eye coordination, Dear Readers. I cannot catch a baseball, and I have a very crooked, thrice broken finger to prove it. Do not ask me to hit a tennis ball with a tennis racket. (And duck if you do!) I eyed my New Implements with serious concern. How hard could it be? Into my brain flashed the image of x-pens set up outside of RV's at dog shows, with people leaning over, still in their jammies, deftly flicking turds into the scoop with the rake, all with a cigarette dangling from their lips, while simultaneously discussing the new best food supplement. Surely I could manage without all of that going on.
It took six flicks to get the first turd in the scoop. It flew over the scoop and rolled down my leg. It got stuck between the tines of the rake. It remained exactly where it originally sat. Twice. And then Bazooka! Scoooooore! I did a celebratory dance, which of course caused the poop to fly out of the scoop and I started all over again.
Practice does make perfect, and now, twelve months and three weeks later, I average only four flicks per poop. This would be less if I would dump the scoop into the bucket after every third or fourth turd. But I like the challenge of how many dumpers will stay on the scoop, and so we get many roller-offers. Little turdy avalanches. The grass has regrown, and I can't imagine going back to the old days.
Doo Doo Duty Do's and Dont's
Do wear proper footwear when scooping. Bunny slippers are NOT proper. They can provide much entertainment for bored dogs, but they will not do for poop patrole. Old worn out Krocs or any shoe without treads in the soul is appropriate. Mushed poo in shoe treads is just gross.
Do always carry baggies in your pocket when Out with Dogs.
Don't ever, ever, ever toss your last baggie when you are Out with Dogs. It doesn't matter if your dog has pooped 1000 times. The minute you toss that last bag, the dog will assume the position and produce. And the Animal Control Officer will happen by and write a citation.
Do carry extra baggies so that when you see a Ca Ca Criminal leaving the scene of a crime you can run down the block, frantically waving your extra baggie over your head, screaming, "Here! Here! Do you need a baggie? Or are you a bigger example of what your dog just deposited and you plan to leave it for the kids to play in and tourists to step in?"
Do scoop with panache. If you have to do it, do it with style!
Do not wave to passers by with the hand holding the full baggies. This is tacky. Same goes for gesticulating, and covering your mouth when you cough. Doing so with a full baggie can be off-putting even to a dog lover.
Well, Dear Readers, I hoped these little hints have helped. It's time for me to go... guess what!
Oh I did forget something important! If you have a five year old neighbor, you can build just the best rapport with him while scooping. Five year olds love, love, love the word poop. Usually they are chastised for using the word in public. But my little neighbor would say to me, "Hi Miss Patience. Watcha doing?" "Hi Gavon! I'm Scooping Poop." [giggle] "Poop?" "Yup. I'm scooping Poop!" "Lots of Poop?" "Enormous amounts of Poop." "There's a Poop!" "Thanks, buddy, I would have missed that one."
A five year old boy's dream come true!