Please pick up
Yuck! I stepped in it again.
Copyright: By Irene Cook, 2008
Now that the spring weather is here and the leaves are starting to turn wonderful colors of green, it is natural to want to take your dog for a walk. While we enjoy the colors, our dogs also enjoy the smells of spring. We can walk along enjoying each other and all that nature offers.
One of the consequences of nice long walks is the need to eliminate. This is a natural process, but it can be aggravating to the recipients of the duty if we leave it where it fell. So what is a person to do? The dog has to go.
Owning dogs and loving dogs carries some responsibility to the dogs and ourselves. One of the things we need to do is be responsible for our behavior and that of our dogs. We protect our dogs and enjoy interacting with them. We must, however, make it so that our interactions do not infringe on the rights of other. This is where we have to remember to clean up, pick up, and throw it away properly.
Carry supplies with you on your walk that allow you to pick up after your dog. This is especially important in populated areas. In some places it is against the law not to clean up after pets. Personally, I do not like it when people let their dogs soil in my yard and leave it. Do you?
What you carry for clean up may be as simple as a couple of small sandwich bags in your pocket or as cumbersome as a scoop and rake. I have problems imagining carrying the latter for any length of time. In my opinion, the scoop and rake is better suited for cleaning your yard on a regular basis than packing along on a walk.
Have you thought about other alternatives for moments when you do not have a bag in your pocket? One of my favorites is a disposable cup from a soft drink like you purchase at fast food places. Keep the top, it is a good pusher if necessary, and it can be used to seal up the cup until you get to a garbage can to properly dispose of it and the contents. My first greyhound used to have to "think" about positioning himself just so to the extent that I was able to slip the cup (not a super gulper) under him. Usually this caught the stool with no mess. Once he stepped away, I popped the top on and picked it up. No mess and no problem. I do realize that this will not work with a lot of dogs, but it opens other possibilities up for consideration.
That cardboard box thing your hamburger came in will work really well also. Think of it as a different way to recycle. Scoop and dispose of appropriately. Easy.
What do you do with the bread sacks after you eat the loaf? These are good scoopers. Simply pull one over your hand. Pick up the pile, without letting go, bring the top down over your had so that the pile is fully enclosed. Loop the top into a knot and you are ready to go.
Marking or urinating is a little different problem. For this, please curb your dog. That means have the dog go in the street next to the curb rather than on someone’s fine ornamental shrubs or prize-winning flowers.
Dogs only do what comes naturally. It is up to us as the owners to be responsible and keep things cleaned up. Too many parks and trails are off limits to dogs because people did not do the right thing and clean up after their animals. Please be the responsible person that picks up.
Our community has a lot of parks that ban dogs. We were able to have a training class in a park once, and we spent the last few minutes of those classes "cleaning" the park. We all picked up after our own dogs, but in order to be able to use the park, we had to leave it without any piles that would be blamed on the class. The problem we encountered was that some park neighbors let their dogs out loose to relieve themselves in the park. We picked up a lot more than our own dogs’ waste. On the upside, we got to use the park. A sad after note is that eventually that park was added to the "no dogs allowed" list.
Dog waste is not an attractant for most things. Generally, people find it stinky, messy, and undesirable in the area where they are walking, sitting, picnicking, and so forth. Dogs who do not receive good care may also leave worms and diseases that can be transferred through stool droppings. – So when you are scooping after your own dog and see a pile carelessly left by someone else, please pick that one up too. Yes, it is distasteful, but it might make a difference in keeping an area open for dogs and their owners to use.