Thursday, May 28, 2009

Preaching to the Choir about Poop

(this originally appeared on - you should subscribe so you don't miss out!)

My favorite tee shirt. Available at the Market @ 315, or online from me!

Last week, the dogs gave us the scoop: if they're out in public, they're going to poop.

Back in the Middle Ages, there weren't all that many people, and even fewer dogs. A dog could find a private, out of the way field or forest and leave a deposit before rejoining his knight and carrying on with the business of hunting his stag. Or hoisting his petard or whatever. No harm, no foul.

Nowadays, people and dogs abound. Dogs love us, guard us, depend on us, help us heal, lead us, keep us company, make us laugh, and make sure we get enough exercise. And did I mention how perfectly they love us?

All we have to do in return is love them back.

And pick up after them.

I had a shocking conversation recently with a clever writer whom I admire. "I don't believe in picking up after my dogs," quoth the clever writer. "You know, nature's fertilizer, ecology, all that."

My ass.

You go to a friend's house for dinner. You realize the chili dog you had for lunch was a mistake. You excuse yourself to use the powder room. You flush. You don't leave it there because it's Nature.

NEWS FLASH: no one enjoys your dog's poops either! And there's that whole mysterious magnetic quality of dog poop. If there is a human foot within 300 yards of a virgin field with one little dog turd in it, that foot will land in that turd. There's a Law of Nature for you.

And another NEWS FLASH: folks in a neighborhood KNOW who's not picking up after their dogs.

So here's a cool/not cool list to use as an easy reference tool.

Cool: Always pick up after your dog. Always. If you walk in the dark, carry a flashlight. Some retractable leads have a light built into the handle.

Not cool: Throwing away your last baggy. (The dogs must then poop again, according to The Rules)

Cool: As soon as your dog assumes the position, whip out your baggie with a flourish, Oh yeah, you got it goin' on. And if the baggie is color coordinated with your outfit? Hot.

Not cool: Your dog is taking a dump and suddenly you must examine a fascinating freckle on your finger, or identify that bird on the wire. You la la la don't happen to notice the steaming pile and you 'innocently' walk on. People hate you. Dog people especially. Like a good kindergarten teacher hates a pedophile. You cast aspersions on us all.

Commissioner Gayle Kaler

Cool: You're a City Commissioner who is willing to address the Poop Problem. Rock on, Commissioner Kaler, I'm at your service!

Not cool: Forgetting which hand you are carrying the full baggie in, and waving with the wrong hand to passersby.Holding the poop bag in the same hand as your cell phone, water bottle, etc. That's just gross.

Cool: If you're worried about being green, you can recycle plastic shopping bags, or buy biodegradable pooh bags. Leaving brown all over town is NOT green.

Not cool: Thinking that since I pick up after all of my dogs, I wouldn't mind picking up after yours. What kind of crack are you smoking?

Paducah Mayor Bill Paxton flexes some political muscle for a clean city

Definitely cool: Respecting your city, your neighborhood and your neighbors by cleaning up after your dog.

I would never advocate bagging up your neighbor's dog poop and returning it to their yard. Or porch. Or getting fed up enough to hurl it in their open car window as they drive by.

But I have been known to run screaming across a park, waving a poop bag overhead, yelling "HEY! YOUR DOG JUST TOOK A DUMP. DO YOU NEED TO BORROW A BAGGIE?"
hug your sweet poopin' hounds


  1. Dear Patience:: Muzzer has refined poop-picking to a science, and can tell people how to get two poops in one bag (three if it is Teka) without touching the poop with your bare hands. She also has found that shaking the little blue bag at an oncoming dog is pretty effective at turning him/her away. When in doubt...toss it at his nose. but be sure you have a good knot in the top first. (we learn from experience!)

    gussie d

  2. Absolutely wonderfully written!

    Hugging my NEW hound,
    and picking up after him,


  3. GREAT post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My peeps hate it when others don't pick up after their pooch. They have even seen this at public parks and gardens that provide poop bags throughout the venue... free for the taking... and trash cans for their disposal. Still, some people are too dang lazy to use them. Unbelievable.

  4. My biggest pet peeve is going to the dog park and finding dog poop that hasn't been picked up.

    Are there really some dog owners out there who aren't "dog person" enough to clean up after their own dog? Do they not realize that they make the rest of us look bad and that by doing (or not doing, as the case is), they are the cause for some much 'no dogs allowed' stuff?

    I mean, come on... it's gross! I don't want my whippets out running around and accidently smearing across a big pile. YUCK.

    My very first move when unleashing the hounds at the park is to stop off at one of the many poop bag stations and grab off three or four (because we all know they will poop more than once just because). It's courtesy folks!!

  5. Well said, Patience!
    You are a hoot, ya know! Have we told you how much we love you?!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  6. Oh my dear, you have a way with words, I can see you yelling across the park, if they need a baggie!!LOL
    I'm sure this post is much needed!

    Since now so many dogs have been abandoned because of the economy, have you seen the "Crazy Shirt" came our with an "adopt-a-dog" T-shirt?

  7. I don't poo outside my house but we find lots of poo when we go out for walkies! Yuck!
    Kisses and hugs

  8. Great post! So true, and yet so humorously written! Is "humorously" a word? I totally know who in the neighborhood doesn't pick up after their dog!

  9. i had to do the legal work for a dog control order in our area so i learned even more than i already knew about poo. and one thing that i learned is the ecology argument is crap (sic!) in fact if you add extra fertiliser in the form of dog poo (which is very different to herbivore poo) you disturb the natural ecological balance big time. some of our local beauty spots have become pretty much unusable because of the amount of poo - i am sure a lot of the people who leave it there think it is the countryside so it doesn't matter. ick!

  10. very well spoken, as usual! we always hear at the agility trials "if you see it, you own it". of course we are all looking up after that announcement! ;o)

  11. I love this article. You just forgot one point:

    Not Cool: Throwing your dog poop over the fence into your neighbour's yard.

    We have this issue with a neighbour of ours. It is truly sick!

    I love reading this blog. Keep it up.

  12. Phew -- Poo! If ANY of us have an accident in the house, we hear about it! Emmy haaates to go outside in the rain, so she's the one that poo's in the house. Boy did she get in trouble.. at least Ollie goes on the papers if he can't go outside. I just grin and hold it!

    Got another 'not cool' for ya:

    Not cool: Having no success getting your dog to do his business before his agility run and then watching him assume the position on the dog walk!

    Now where did Mom get THAT one, I wonder??


  13. Great post, Patience.

    One more not cool: bagging the poop and then dropping the poop bag some place besides a trash can. News Flash: poop in a plastic bag is NOT better than bare poop (not that I am advocating not picking it up. Too many negatives in THAT sentence. Oh, well).

    Of course, I have been known to place well contained poop in places that shall not be mentioned 'less you know how totally gone to the dogs I am....I just have a confidence in my ability to contain poop and not have it linked (oh....did I just bait the Whippet Gods?).

  14. Wonderful tidbit. I do like the flinging the poop in the car window, but then you would probably get arrested for major crime against nitwits.

  15. we hate/love poop! our mom goes ballistic when she finds dog poop in our FRONT YARD. it's not ours, so you know what that means. she once caught a young man letting his dog poop in the front yard - he thought she wasn't looking. she ran out there with a poop bag for him and then let him come inside the house to wash his hands. the next time she saw him he was walking his dog on the other side of the road.


  16. I loved this post and agree with it 100%. I always pick up after my dog and have little patience for those who don't. We live in cities people and dog poop just isn't sanitary.

    Recently some idiot at one of my local parks has been picking up after his/her dog, carefully tying the plastic bag and then throwing it into the bushes; where, instead of the dog poop decomposing in a week or so, it will sit in all its malignancy for the next five hundred years!

    There is a special place in hell for such people.

  17. Why don't we just bag up the offenders? :)

  18. Neil, I love it! Of course, we need to include the offenses in the bags with them! heh heh heh.

  19. I have a confession. When I was in my first trimester I walked the dogs in the state forest and didn't pick up their poop. It was just too nauseating. I wouldn't let them go in the middle of the trail, though, and pulled them off the trail. I did pick it up when I walked in the neighborhood. I just gagged and about lost my lunch when I did, though. Now that the nausea is over, I'm back to picking up after my girls wherever we go.

  20. Great post! We just bought one of the poop bag-holders that the Mayor and the Commissioner are sporting! We got lots of compliments on it at our dog walk this weekend!

    Gus and Waldo


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