It was only day two of wearing my new sneakers when I stepped squarely onto a dog’s business. Welcome to the world, Nikes.
I was ambushed, because the pile of you-know-what was not left in a typical place of abandonment, like any patch of grass by the curb. It was on the actual sidewalk. The sidewalk! What kind of dog owner would skip away from such a rude direct deposit?
I normally look where I’m going because it’s been heavily checkered out there lately. But that particular day I happened to be walking my grand-dog Sheriff, the family pet I always, always clean up after. He was on one of his wacky zig-zag sniffing frenzies. Somehow, as I detangled the leash in a very un-ballet-like pirouette, the awful splat happened.
Funny, my last column was about an unidentified person smacking into my parked car and taking off. Now we have a continuation. This “dog drop” flub qualifies as another kind of hit and run, or at least rhymes with it.
The frustration of dealing with a dinged up car feels similar to dealing with “baptized” waffle-sole shoes. Why do rule-followers have to spend time dealing with others’ carelessness? Depending on either type of hit and run, slow-boil anger simmers when one is forced to either call the auto insurance company, or figure out the most antiseptic way to clean a shoe’s intricate nooks and crannies. (Rubber gloves, germ-killing wipes wrapped around an unfurled paper clip, and 30 minutes of salty language does the trick.)
This is getting graphic, sorry, but not as graphic as what I’ve been dodging on the streets. I’ve always noticed this free range dog-do problem before Sheriff came into my life. But with the stop-and-go nature of walking a sniffy-sniffy pup, I have now memorized the many must-avoid spots on my routes where canine owners have left pet bombs. After a relatively dry winter, these mounds of recklessness can last for months.
Wait. No. Wrong. There’s a new trend in town that can make these “things” last for years: The Temporary Plastic Waste Bag Plant. This is another trick. A number of people take that extra step of bagging their dogs’ waste. But with some kind of magical thinking, these folks “temporarily” plant the bag by markers like a tree, a light pole, or even on a common grass patch. They probably tell themselves, and the universe, “I will circle back and pick this up on the way home!”
Except too often they don’t. The bag I notice by the fire hydrant on Thursday is still there on Monday. So now the hopscotching episodes for all of us with waffle soles have doubled. Because we really don’t want to discover the weakness of tied up plastic under accidental pressure.
On an aesthetic level, I don’t think most walkers and joggers want to look at these “forgotten” plastic gift bags as we’re trying to enjoy unfettered outdoor vistas.
The solution is simple. Dog owners should always walk with more than one waste bag. And never leave used ones behind. Extra bags, by the way, can also double as emergency cell phone protectors in sudden rain storms.
We have attached a little roll dispenser to Sheriff’s leash, though it doesn’t have to be that fancy. Just tying a spare bag to the hand loop will ensure folks will never be caught empty-handed. But if the unforeseen happens, there’s also the grand act of going back home and returning to the scene of the crime for a “clean up in aisle 7.”
Crazy how this whole rant centers around that popular triangular emoji with the googly eyes. This has truly been an exercise in gentle euphemisms. But as they say in this biz, one must figure the best way to report the scoop. Or lack thereof.
Reach Denise Snodell at email@example.com or on Twitter @DeniseSnodell