My sidewalk is full of dog poop. Walk around my block and the worst stretch is on my corner. I pick it up and throw it out, weekly. But the dogs keep coming and the pileup grows again. It is as if dogs have declared my stretch as a dumping ground. They sniff for that perfect spot until there, right in front of my house, they find it, the very patch from yesterday. And they let it go. And their owners think nothing of leaving it behind.
Give in? Maybe.
Educate the careless, ill-educated, moronic and self-centered owners?
That’s a thought.
I have thought of many possibilities, from passing out plastic bags with a smile and a message: Keep Our City Clean, Pick Up the Poop. Another is to shoot dog owners with paint guns as a sign of how they are marring the city streets. Maybe something a bit more press-oriented option would be like the late Harvey Milk’s dog poop campaign in San Francisco. Anything to raise awareness about the hazards of a shit-strewn street and the pleasures of smelling flowers on a sunny day or the damp on a rainy day, all without the stench of shit assailing the nostrils.
I have not yet launched my campaign, but my four-ton dog, herself a producer of large mounds, did take a stab at an inventive way to encourage her peers and their owners. She swallowed a plastic bag. A day later it came out with her poop. I watched the process, and thought, what a brilliant idea! If we could avoid the swallowing bit, of course, we could maybe strap a plastic bag like a diaper to catch the poop. Then a casual stoop to pick it up and throw it in the bin, and the streets would turn clean.
But then my dog started to struggle and the bag – not just your supermarket size version, but a triple-sized bag – stopped coming out. She struggled more. People came to check us out. I turned bright red. We bolted down the street, with my dog trailing behind her the long bag. It gathered up other poop and leaves and dirt. We walked quicker. We avoided people. We went home and there on my very sidewalk she pumped out the last end of the bag and there it lay with all and sunder. She sighed with relief, and I thought, maybe it would be easier to just give in and declare my sidewalk an official dog toilet.