Some Questions About Dogs and Droppings

DogpoopsignSummer’s coming. Let’s keep it clean.

I grew up on Princeton. We had a great block and played outside all summer. Every now and then, someone would step in dog poop. Then they’d scream like there’s no tomorrow, hobble over to the garden hose, wash it off, and rejoin the game as if nothing happened. Mothers never got involved. We probably never even told them.

Well, times have changed. Mothers are always involved, and it’s the law to leash and clean up after your dog.

I walk my dog every day, never leaving the house with fewer than three bags. Every now and then, I’m accosted by a neighbor, even though I’m standing there, hand in bag, ready to clean up. Their number one question: Why I can’t have my dog do this in my yard?

My route takes me through Highland Park Village; sometimes Snider Plaza. There are days when someone’s dog has used the sidewalk, and the owner has chosen to leave it there. In a shopping center. On a sidewalk. Why leave it on any sidewalk?

So here are my questions: What is the trick to making your dog go on command? You know, when it’s convenient for you? And if you don’t clean up after your dog, why?

You’re anonymous here; go ahead and answer.

By Dorothy Wood Mar. 28, 2014 | 10:37 am | 15 Comments | Comments RSS
  • Observer

    Why? I have decided they think the only people stepping in it will be someone’s lawn crew. We mow our own lawn, however, and have no pets, so we are peeved by the poop. I have seen people walking dogs who carry all the necessary bags apparently for appearances, because they don’t pick up the poop. Poop collection, like stepping in it, must be for the little people.

  • Entitled Few

    Dorothy, may I call you Dot? I’ve always like that name.

    Anyhoo, When your dog is young you have to teach it to go potty by using the word “potty” as she is going. She squats, you say “potty” and when she’s done you say “good potty.” You can also do this with your husband.

    I actually understand not picking up poop when it’s entangled in Asian Jasmine, Monkey Grass or other complicated hedging material. By the time you dig around, you have spread the poop and just pick up mulch and leaves, which smells like poop but isn’t.

    People who don’t pick up poop in wide open areas, particularly Bermuda grass or shopping center aggregate, are called entitled a$$hole$. I used the dollar sign there because usually these folks are wealthy and cannot be bothered to pick up poop. I often wonder if those people actually poop themselves, or are they too superior to poop?

    So, poople, I mean people. Pick up poop. God is watching and so are security cameras, nosy neighbors, and your dog. And when you bitch at your dog for pooping in your living room and make a big show of picking it up, you really, really confuse him when he poops in the right place but you don’t pick it up.

  • Miss La Tee Da

    Most living creatures can’t poop on command. Can you? Many dogs require a walk to get the bowel movement working and it’s not easy for the pet to evacuate in a select spot (it comes when it comes). I was hoping you would pose another question:

    Why do morons throw their dog poop bags in other people’s trash barrels?

  • Observer

    @Miss La. So difficult to carry the stinky stuff home to their own trash can when they’ve got a leash in one hand and their phone at their ear in the other. (Maybe some people don’t scoop the poop because they would have to interrupt their phone calls.) Lots of people treat our trash cans as community property for all kinds of garbage.

  • Unleashed

    I’ve trained my dog, we take a couple of usual routes and I keep him in a “heal” until we get to the spot where it’s okay to go and then he goes. But I do OF COURSE pick it up.

    @Miss La. I’m guilty of throwing my dog bags in someone’s trash, it’s trash… why does it bother you so much? Are you regularly digging in your trash and sticking your hand in it?

  • Share the can?

    I don’t care if someone throws a bag of dog poop in my garbage cans. I would love to find a nearby garbage can to toss my dog’s poop. I am always nervous the home owner will yell at me (or glare at me) for using their garbage, so I lug the loads home. I walk 2 big dogs. By the end of my walk I am carrying so much poop that I struggle to hold it all. Is it bad to throw trash/poop in your neighbors trash can? Oh and do the no poop dog signs mean ‘keep your dog off my lawn’ or ‘clean up your poop?’

  • Z

    I’ve lived in UP since I was a little kid, now I have a family of my own here. The only bad aspect to living here these days, in my personal opinion, is that over the past 20 years or so, a significant percentage of the people have somehow lost all common sense about the behavior of their teenagers, and their dogs. They let both run free and crap all over everything they see with impunity. But for the purposes of this post, I’ll stick to dogs.

    First of all, there’s a freaking leash law. It is an actual law. This means you. On the street, in the parks, anywhere that isn’t your own yard, if your dog is running free, you’re breaking the law. Unfortunately, UP’s “Animal Control” department is a complete joke on leash enforcement. It’s up to you to be a good citizen and use a leash.

    As for dog pooping, keep it out of my yard. I don’t care if you pick it up, because it leaves reside that still ruins my shoes. Next time your dog craps, and you “pick it up,” take a step right into the brown residue spot you left behind and tell me you’d be happy with that on your shoe. I dare you.

    Also, your “picked up” spot still attracts the bowel movements of unleashed dogs, so pretty soon my yard is a dog toilet, because of your dog’s smelly invitation.

    The simple answer? If you own a dog, have your dog relive itself on your own property. Period. If you don’t do that, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

    The comment about a dog needing to walk a bit before it can poop is correct. But guess what? Your dog can walk around a bit IN YOUR OWN YARD. Anyone who thinks their dog needs to walk a mile before it poops, or has to “run free off its leash” to poop, is simply too lazy to train their dog properly. If your yard is tiny, it can walk in a circle and achieve the same effect (I swear to you). If you don’t have a yard at all, you should not have a dog.

    I love dogs. I have always owned dogs. I have a dog now. I have TRAINED my dog to go to the bathroom in her own back yard. Period. I cannot imagine letting my dog use my neighbor’s property as a toilet. I can scarcely imagine anything much more disrespectful. Yet my neighbors let their dogs crap in my front yard all the time. I simply cannot understand it. It is as disgusting and disrespectful to me as if they were crapping there themselves.

    Perhaps I’m a plebeian, but my yard is touched by more feet than those of my yard man. I have to walk across my front yard to get to my driveway. I step in dog crap. My little girl plays in our front yard. She steps in dog crap. Why are people so thoughtless and disrespectful?

    A few weeks back, a couple on Rosedale walked past my house with their two dogs, just as my little girl and I were getting home from the grocery store. They let one of their dogs crap in our yard as we were walking into our front door with our bags—not on the parkway, but less than two feet from our front porch steps! The lady whipped out a plastic bag, as if she was going to make it perfectly okay that her dog had just crapped two feet from our porch. When we got inside, my little girl asked me why those people would do such a thing. I told her I had no earthly idea. I see these people walking around the neighborhood doing the same thing to other people all the time. They stand on the sidewalk, but let their dogs run up into people’s yards, flower beds, and hedges to relive themselves. There is NO WAY that’s appropriate behavior in any normal person’s mind, is there? If they saw nothing wrong with letting their dogs crap at our porch while we were standing there watching it happen, what in the world would such people do if we HADN’T been standing there? Where is city leadership on this?

    In short, if you have a dog in your household, grow up and act like a responsible adult. Train your dog properly, and keep your poop on your own property.

    (P.S.: Tossing the poop into someone’s garbage can makes it the smelliest target on the block for rummaging by raccoons and possums—THAT’S why it’s a crappy thing to do. That, aside from the fact that you’re using someone else’s property without their permission, just like you are when you let your dog crap on someone else’s yard to begin with. I guess people either respect personal property, or they don’t. But I’m gong to continue to insist people respect mine.)

  • One scared puppy

    @Z. Wow, I am now officially afraid to walk my dog in daylight lest I venture by your house and my dog can’t hold it until he gets home.

  • Observer

    @Share. I don’t like others using our trash can. We are careful about not putting smelly things in until pickup time. Others do not care what day it is. Poop bags tend to fall down between our bags to the bottom of the can where they ripen in the Dallas heat and are not always dumped out with the rest of the trash. I don’t like the neighborhood teenagers dumping smelly, messy ashtrays and liquor bottles in the can, nor do I like poorly bagged excess food and beer bottles from nearby parties. Residue and aroma stay long after trash day. All that said, better in my trash than in my yard.

  • really

    Z, I enjoyed your comments. You make some good points. What are your thoughts on dogs pooping between your sidewalk and the street?

  • 1st anon

    @Z is my hero!!!!! So tired of poop all over my yard. Tired of my neighbors letting their dogs run all over. We can’t let our kids in the front yard, for the reasons that Z so eloquently relates. And throwing your dog’s feces in someone else’s trashcan? @Unleashed, what dump did you grow up in? I grew up in a piss-ant poor, tiny redneck West Texas town, and we would never do that. Never. Besides, it’s illegal (like the prank of leaving poop on the neighbor’s front porch).

  • Den b

    Really good points here. What I don’t get is that they can put a man on the moon but they can’t find an airplane or find a way to make dogs not poop at all. Like, can someone invent a dog that doesn’t poop. Or maybe has a bag surgically implanted that you only have to unload once a month. Voila. No grass poop. No poop bags in strangers’ trash and now your maid has some free time to do something else besides take your dog for a poop. I’m also really weirded out about the lite beer cans that show up in my monkey grass. That miller lite is total sh*t beer and I would expect more from the juniors that get ass and the seniors that kick it.

  • Miss La Tee Da

    @Unleashed said, “I’m guilty of throwing my dog bags in someone’s trash, it’s trash… why does it bother you so much? Are you regularly digging in your trash and sticking your hand in it?”

    No, I don’t don’t like smelling poop when I throw trash bags in the barrel (especially when it’s 90+ degrees and cooking). Obnoxious people like you deserve a kick in the arse or burning bag of poop at the front door with a couple rings for good measure

  • Miss La Tee Da

    @Z said, “The comment about a dog needing to walk a bit before it can poop is correct. But guess what? Your dog can walk around a bit IN YOUR OWN YARD.”

    Not the sharpest tool in the shed are you? What if you walk the dog around your yard for an hour and it doesn’t poop. Do you then decide not to take it for a walk. It comes when it comes but I guess you have a magic dog. BTW, my dog’s poops are small and solid; it’s easy to pick them up and leave no residue.

  • http://NA Concerned Neighbor

    I have never seen a lack of respect and lazy dog owners in my life. Of course not all dog owners, but the many who won’t do the right thing. Especially around the middle school on Granada and High School. There have been times that I have asked individuals, who won’t pick up the poop, do you need a bag? I always get the same reply, “”I forgot mine” They don’t forget their cell phones, or cup of coffee. If they see a $10.00 bill on the ground, would they pick it up? I wonder? A few months ago I was watching a neighbor getting all upset because she stepped in her own dog poop. Why get all mad? All she had to do was pick it up in the first place. Maybe we should follow the example of the following article printed in the New York Daily News, Wednesday, June 5,2013, “Spanish town mails dog droppings back to offending hound owners” Oh, by the way, this program caused a 70 percent drop in dog droppings on the street.

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