Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gift Almost Nobody Wants

Dear Abby had a question some time ago from a person who walked their dog in the neighborhood, picked up the dog's poop, sealed it in a baggie, and deposited it in the nearest trash can. Not a public, municipal trash can, but some homeowner's private can, put out at the curb for collection. Abby thought that was a perfectly acceptable practice, but she got called out by her readers. They pointed out that many trash companies merely yank the large trash bag out of the can, and anything smaller falls on the ground or back into the can. One acknowledged that people can be territorial about their trash cans. Another said depositing your trash of any kind in someone else's can would get you fined and told to clean it up.
It would never have occurred to me to deposit my dog's doo in someone else's garbage can, but apparently some people think that is accepted practice. I can just see someone, somewhere, sometime, being shot over this.
I do have a problem when cities or counties provide parks and trails, but no way to be a responsible owner and clean up after your dog. . . i.e., no trash can. When the Olympic Discovery Trail was begun here some years ago, people were jumping to donate to have benches installed along the trail with plaques in memory of family or friends. I endowed a garbage can in memory of deceased dogs. At the time, it was the only garbage can on the trail for miles. Now, thankfully, there are others. I don't mind carrying a poop-laden baggie to reach a can, but if I'm miles out on a trail, I don't want to have to carry it all the way back and then put it in the car to take home. That seems like an awful lot to ask!
I wonder if anyone will ever do a survey on the poop disposal habits of those who walk with dogs. It might prove interesting. Meantime, I would advise against dropping your poop, even if it is securely bagged, in the trash of strangers.

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