Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Magical Art of Pooper Scooping

Bunny Slippers, while amusing to bored dogs, are not proper poop-scooping attire

I am the self-ordained High Priestess of the Pooper Scooper. That's a fact. If this is your first visit, you do need to know that I have nine dogs and I live in a big old house on a small corner city lot. I am the Goddess of the Poop. Poop is my life. I am all about Poop.

And with nine dogs, it is indeed Poop. Not poop.

I was not always so talented. The fine art of Poopy Pickup is a learned skill. I am nothing if not generous, so I will share everything I have learned over the years with you, my Dear Readers.

There are two basic methods of Ca ca Compilation:
  1. The Bag and Shag It, and
  2. 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!




  1. Hi. We noticed you are new on DWB!! We loved the post - plus my human lived in Bagdad,Kentucky for a time when she was small. You post made us laugh yout loud as we live town on a corner lot and even with only one dog my human feels poop is her life too.

    Dory and Liza

  2. This was just the great post, Patience! I hooted from beginning to end! I can only imagine that you're out there every single day doing poop duty! I'll think of you tomorrow when I'm bending over doing my most favorite project!

    Maggie and Mitch's mom, Sue

  3. Oh dog do I love to read about Poop it always makes me laugh. Just saying poop makes me laugh! You sure did write a good story about it too, we love your blog!

  4. Oh Joe Stains, you saved the day! I had forgotten the best part of my poop story. I added it on at the end.
    Thank you so much!

    in deepest senility-
    Patience, servant to the poopin' whippetss

  5. Hi P. Muzzer and Dad are pretty good at scooping the poop, but not as good as you must be. You get 4.5 times more practice. We love walkies, and our second favorite words are "Ok, I'll get the bags."


  6. What a great story !!! Louie's is just a drooling looking at those bunny slippers ...........;-)

    Gus & Louie

  7. Hi Patience, I too use the rake, flick and bucket method. I too play the how high can we go on the scoop game, and when it comes to diarrhea poop, there's the magnificent, sometimes successful, side of the rake swipe! I have not yet mastered remembering never, NEVER to toss my last baggie, nor not to wear treaded shoes, hence a nail brush in the basement doggy tub..... I will improve. Susan Kirkham

  8. Oh Dear, Miss Patience, you have Mumsie rolling on the floor again. She does that a lot when she reads ur blog. Mumsie uses the bag method. So much so that her children state that no matter what outfit (formal attire) in no matter what venue (restaurant) that Mumise has a poop bag in her pocket. Always. Just like the sun rises and falls daily.

    We get SO embarassed on walkies when she does the "wave to the neighbor thing" with a large bag of our dog diddelies. Thankyou for pointing out that breach of "et i cut."

    You should see her with the scooper when the deer use our yard as their own private latrine. Do you know that deer poopies, if you rake them incorrectly, get caught in pants cuffs, and will be depostited in odd spots when one remembers to roll down the cuffs???
    Like walkin' into the grocery store?

    Yep...haven't seen old Mumsie eatin' much vanilla ice cream lately either.

    Interesting digression,Miss Patience. You have a way of making the mundane hilarious.

    Scruffy and Lacie

  9. I definitely enjoyed the poop story. But I guess that Paducah is missing the boat with freezing cold weather. Which leads to a couple of recommendations.

    First, I prefer the solid blade scrapers. They let you hack at the poop to get it loose when frozen.

    Second, and probably the most important tip when dealing with frozen poop, keep your mouth closed. 'Nuff said!!!

    Coming from a place where annual snowfall is around 6 feet, the worse aspect about poop scooping is the spring thaw! It's really hard to get it all when the ground is well covered with snow. Especially when it sinks down from its internal heat...


  10. Ha- great rules to live by. Sometimes I love to poop around every corner.


  11. Miss Patience,

    You have been coming to visit me and I've been remiss in returning the favor. Actually, though, it's not like I'm doing YOU a favor, it's just that you deserve to be visited!

    My hooman girl could learn a thing or two from you, and you instruct with such flair. Right now she's using a variation of the stoop & scoop poop scooping method. She uses an old set of plastic salad serving tongs (the kind that are hooked together & open up like scissors). That way she doesn't have to bend quite so far.

    Now, with my sissy here, the poop production has definitely gone UP. (That pup can sure poop with the best of them). And, my girl has fallen behind on scooper duty.

    After I make her read this post of yours, she will probably never ever complain again.

    Give some goober lovin' & smooches to all of your pups, please!

    I am,
    Your goober bud,

  12. Hi Paitence, I really look forward to the email I get saying that you have updated your blog. One of the pleasures of my day to read them. I am in awe not only of your writing ability but the self discpline you have to actually write. I bow to you.

  13. ROFLMAO!!! I can sooo relate to this. Thanks Pee.


    Vee and Nearly

  14. mom calls it poop patrol hehe

    wagging tails, Tx Trio barking loud

  15. Priceless! I,too, am from the frozen north country, and the hacking of the winter deposits is such fun! As we are "country folk".it all goes into the field here-and if you have "auto cleaners", well,that's another story.-martha c. and P-Doggy.

  16. This story reminds me of why I keep my fingernails short. Long nails and poop bags do not mix without nasty consequences!

  17. woofies again!!! me luved da pooper scooper instrushuns....u got a way wiff words... if its ok me will add u to me fends list so me can finded u again...has u got instrushuns fur a lost mind...heehee

    b safe,

  18. Your posts always pick me up. Just like you are an expert at picking up, poop...never
    mind. I just realized what I'm calling myself! All kidding aside, I love your posts. Thanks for your nice comments to me as well. Connecting with you has been a gift.

  19. Too funny! I can just see you now trying your best to scoop poop in your morning attire! And the description of the shoe queen scooping at her "set-up" is hysterically correct! That is the sad and funny truth.

    We toss our poop into the corn field. Only a few times have I actually hit our white picket fence with the Ca ca.

    You have given a whole new appreciation for the pooping game! r

  20. I was just reading your blog entry about Poop. Yup. I can relate. My husband sent me the link to your blog because we have a couple of whippets and he was amused by the pictures of your van. Needless to say, I scroll down and have to read the Poop entry! We have 8 dogs, 2 whippets, 3 border collies, 2 cairn terriers and 1 lab. my husband used to be lab man but has now gone whippet crazy. anyway, we too have way too much Poop to be going on with. And yes, my oldest border collie, affectionately known as the "super pooper" has taught me about the never throw away your last bag rule--the hard way : ) Enjoying your blog and will keep reading!


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