Now that Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has opened the bathroom door, so to speak, perhaps we’ll be able to have an adult discussion about, well, poop. Still, proceed at your own risk. I’ll try not to get too graphic, but I can’t promise anything.
No, I’m not of an age where I will regale you with details of my kids’ defecation habits, as so many young parents seem to do, nor am I so old that I feel it necessary to openly discuss my own regularity (or lack thereof). Being somewhere in between, my gripe is with the neighborhood hounds (or, more accurately, their owners).
I can appreciate the fact that, like politics or religion, it’s a topic that makes many people uncomfortable, and not one that I step into lightly (unlike the manner in which I pick my way across the greenspace behind the house). And yet, as the snow melts here in Colorado, there can be no denying that Crapocalypse is upon us (not the most original “end-of-the-world”-type moniker, I’ll grant you – personally, I liked “Turdnado” better, but didn’t want to give the lawyers at the Syfy Channel a reason to call).
A little background. My dog Riley isn’t the most patient of pets. On walks she typically tugs at the end of her leash like a sled-dog pulling for the finish line at the Iditarod. She’s a Jack Russell – it’s what she does. It also makes for a nice workout, provided we keep moving. The only thing that slows her down is a brown calling-card left behind by the other fur-covered quadrupeds that preceded her. While she is quick to dismiss any “poser” poop – rocks, pine cones, rotting apples – every real tootsie roll we come across requires a thorough inspection and, sadly, there are plenty that warrant her attention.
And this is Fort Collins, a town that has been anointed as one of the country’s “Top Ten Best Places to Live” for several years now – a town rumored to have been the model for Disneyland’s “Main Street, USA.”
Here the svelte thirty-somethings jog along tree-lined paths in their designer gear with their designer dogs in tow. In fact, people take their pooches just about everywhere – most businesses are dog-friendly, and any summer afternoon you can find dozens of them tied up outside of the various restaurant patios that line the downtown streets. With so many opportunities, I suppose you have to expect a few surprises, but the number of canine cookies that dot this town is the dark little secret that no one at the Chamber of Commerce will ever admit to. This despite laws against abandoning your pet’s boom-boom, and a high density of strategically placed stool stations, fully equipped with baggies and trash cans.
Honestly, I could probably overlook these transgressions by adopting a WTH attitude and steering clear of most common areas. But there are those who insist on personalizing the fight by letting Fido leave his funk in my front yard. If ever there was an indication that the fabric of society is coming unraveled…hell, even Riley isn’t allowed to drop a deuce in my front yard. She has free reign in the fenced backyard, but once we’re on the other side, her business is my business.
A few years ago, shortly after moving to a new neighborhood in Michigan, my wife and I were sitting on the porch enjoying a spring morning. Before long we spotted our next-door neighbor coming down the street, walking his dog. The two of them moseyed over to my yard, where the dog immediately assumed the position and commenced discharging DNA. They then did an abrupt about-face and headed back to the barn without so much as a “How do you do?” Not one for confrontation, I quickly ducked into the garage and grabbed a shovel, sprinted out to the offending pile and relocated it to the other side of the property line before they were in the door. It was the last time I would have to deal with the problem.
If it worked then, it should work now. Of course, I realize this isn’t a practical solution when it comes to city-wide enforcement, but for my little corner of the world, it will suffice. Besides, I’m unemployed – what else have I got to do?
So fair warning, dog owners. If you’re coming down my street, I’m the guy in the lawn chair with shovel in hand. Proceed at your own risk.
Photo: Yours truly