Your “Doodie” Duties

Your “Doodie” Duties

That I have determined that this topic qualifies as a legitimate blog entry seems ridiculous, does it not?  Then again, we have also reached the point where apparently even we humans have necessitated the installation of automatically flushing toilets in public facilities, so maybe not.  In fact, this is apparently such an epidemic that there is actually a National Scoop the Poop week in August.  Who knew?  And what about the other 51 weeks?

The bottom line: if your dog does a “number two” while on a walk, pick it up.  Simple?  Sure.  Unpleasant?  Yep.  Do it anyway.

As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility, and it is also probably mandated by some by-law in your municipality.  Be prepared and always leave the house with plenty of bags.

Until you train your dog to do this (or use a toilet), it's your responsibility.

I walk around my city often enough that I happen to know for a fact there is a good proportion of dog owners out there who still fail at this and set a very bad example for the rest of us.  And it’s these very folks that get locations such as city parks deemed dog-restricted areas.

Sure, as a first time dog owner, it’s not the most pleasant thing to have to do.  But after a while, you just kind of become immune to it to a certain degree and it’s no longer a big deal – it’s just another chore and a part of taking care of your canine companion.  You even get to the point where you actually find yourself having a discussion about dog poop with a fellow dog owner – how messed up is that?  But it’s true.  I guess it’s kind of akin to those new mothers and their similar discussions about baby bodily functions.  Although, at least the dog owners I know don’t share these conversations with the rest of the world via Facebook status update (you know who you are).

Vancouver, B.C.

We dog owners know it’s an especially lucky day if Fido happens to do his business within 100 metres of a garbage.  And then there are the days where you have to detour or find yourself walking for half an hour or more with a bag of dog poop.  Half an hour!  Thirty whole minutes!  We’ve all been there.

And what goes through one’s head whilst walking down the street with leash in one hand and bag-o-poop in the other?  First is humiliation, of course.  You’re carrying feces around in a plastic bag.  At the foundation of it, it’s pretty gross and pretty embarrassing.  Passers-by definitely give you the stink eye and take a wide berth around. 

Second comes an odd version of pride.  Strange as it sounds, the more people see you picking up the after your dog and carrying said waste to a proper receptacle, the more you are setting a good example for the dog-owning community and you know it.  People appreciate your diligence, and you can carry your bag around as a badge of honour.

And third?  You feel like a total badass.  Okay, maybe that’s just me.  On pretty much any dog walk, no matter the time of day or night or what neighbourhood I’m in, I generally feel pretty safe and secure with my man-sized dog walking beside me.  Sure, I know he’s generally happy-go-lucky, but the unknown stranger doesn’t necessarily know that, and sometimes I even lie about it when it’s convenient.  Not to mention, we all know any dog can bite in the right circumstances.  And I may be no criminal mastermind, but I like to think that the potential bad guy might think twice seeing a dog of his size walking down the street, regardless of how wussy looking the chick walking him looks.  But now add to the picture that the wuss is also carrying a big bag of poop.  Sure, it’s no revolver or set of nunchucks, but mug me. Do it.  I dare you.  Because I am armed.  And I will throw my bag-o-poop.  At you.  Right at your face.

And there you have the hidden bonus: picking up after your dog further ensures your personal safety.  Okay, maybe I’ve travelled down some bizarre tangent, but these thoughts can creep up when you find yourself carrying a poop bag upwards of 3 kilometres late at night.

Anyway, my point is: shit happens, and when it does, pick it up.  Whether you’re on a walk in your neighbourhood or it’s during play time in the off-leash park, you are obligated as the dog’s guardian.  It’s unpleasant and unsanitary for everyone when you don’t. 

And no, you can’t leave it to “go back to nature”.  Not in our urban settings; the population of pet dogs in Canada in the United States means that there would be crap everywhere if everyone thought that.  Dog waste actually counts as litter and is detrimental to the environment as it contributes to local water pollution.  It’s also just plain gross and stinky and unpleasant for everyone to see, even if you have a dog of your own.  Who hasn’t been enjoying a nice day outside when all of a sudden your bliss is defiled because you’ve just stepped in someone’s negligence?

And while I’m at it, a special note to the folks to take the effort to bag their dog’s poop and then leave the bag just off the path:  wtf?  I might go so far as to reckon that this practice is actually worse than not picking it up at all.  I mean, at this point you’ve survived the worst of it, so why not just carry it to the garbage?  Anticipating a potential response, sure, biodegradable bags are great and I do recommend picking some up to reduce the amount of plastic waste, but they still need to make it to a garbage can.  Otherwise you’re still littering and still guilty of all of the above complaints.

I think this sign says it all.

The Brits say it best.

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

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