Friday, February 05, 2016
Every dog his poo
Quite some time ago I Tweeted about watching a person out my train window on the way work waiting patiently while their dog pooped and then diligently picking it up with a poop bag. My Tweet was something to the effect of, "So which one is the dumb animal."
This was of course before we got a dog. And I was blocking out the fact that we had cats and everyday I was scooping cat poop out of a cat box and regularly cleaning up cat puke. But at least I wasn't having to pick up warm poop with my hand encased in a plastic bag.
That has all changed. Just over a year ago we decided to get a dog. We'd had to put down two of our three geriatric cats due to kidney failure and cancer. This opened the option of another pet that my children had been lobbying for for some time.
I grew up with dogs and eventually cats (who are much more independent and require less maintenance). But in my era, you let the dog run loose in the yard and we never dreamed of walking along behind them with a plastic bag and picking up poop. Our yard growing up was filled with dog poop land mines that were triggered when we'd mow the lawn or play tag football. Occasionally we'd remove the dried poop with a shovel but never by hand.
Times have changed. We have a very small yard and my wife made it very clear that we would not have a free range puppy pooping untamed and randomly without instant clean up. Fortunately we got a small dog.
So now I find myself standing outside in the rain late at night with a flashlight in one hand and a plastic bag on the other coaxing a dog to find a spot and poop so I can grab it, wrap it up, dump it in the trash and return to binge watching. Rosey (the name my children gave the dog), is very particular about the exact spot she will poop. And it is never in the same spot as the time before. She will circle and sniff and zig zag around before finally relieving herself.
My children (for whom we got the dog) will not pick up the poop. They will sometimes take Rosey out to relieve herself and then run in to tell me where she has pooped. Dog poop, along with scooping poop from the remaining geriatric cat's box (who produces an amazing amount of poop for one cat), garbage and recycling have become my unofficial responsibilities.
I have yet to get used to the feel of picking up warm, steaming dog poop even with a plastic bag over my hand. It is particularly unsettling when the poor dog has the runs and I am attempting to pick up multiple spots of poop with a single bag. I have started scooping up divots of grass and dirt with the poop to try and mitigate the feel of the poop in my hand. Our backyard looks like it has been overrun by moles.
So now I repeat my Tweet, "Who really is the dumb animal?"