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There are a lot of things that can come as a surprise to new dog owners, even if they do their homework ahead of time. For example, I naively assumed that a dog who only stands under 5 feel tall on her back legs couldn’t possibly reach items on a shelf that’s overhead for me (I stand a mighty 5’8”). I thought when my boyfriend said “no, she can’t sleep on the bed” that he’d stick with it for more than a week. I thought my dog, Kali, would learn to come when called as easily as my last dog.
I thought a lot of stupid things.
But I damn sure knew my dog was going to poop. Several times a day. (Occasionally in the house, alas!) I knew I was going to be responsible for picking it up. I assumed that most people over the age of 12 also knew and accepted this social norm when they took their dogs outside. Turns out that was just the latest in my string of foolish assumptions.
I live in a neighbourhood with a lot of dogs. It’s awesome, mostly. But today I was out walking Kali, with 3 poop bags because sometimes she just likes to mess with me, and in a single block I nearly stepped in dog crap 5 times. That’s a lot of shit for a one block stretch of road. Actually, it’s a lot of shit for anywhere outside a government agency.
It’s not like people already have the dog, and they love it, and can’t bear to give it up but WHOA THERE! It’s pooping? This was not anticipated, and in protest the owner refuses to pick it up! Anybody stupid enough to be surprised by this turn of events is far too stupid to be in charge of another living being.
You can’t even make an argument for it based on selfishness. I walk my dog up to 90 minutes at a time, and I don’t get notably far from my home. Plus, the areas I walk my dog are grassy parks, there’s not a ton of those walking distance from any home in an urban area. That means I’m walking in the same area several times a week, and my dog has been known to poop three times on a single walk. I won’t paint you a picture in cubic feet of poop, but it’s a lot and that’s just from one dog.
I don’t consider myself super fancy but I prefer not to dodge feces when I’m out for a stroll, so it’s in my own best interest to pick it up. Am I crazy? Should I just buy a pair of those stupid rainboots everybody suddenly thinks are so hip and forge ahead through the remnants of yesterday’s walk?