Monday, July 26, 2010

A letter to certain dog owners in my neighborhood..

I live in a great neighborhood. It was built in the 1960's, mostly ranchers, all with good sized yards. We have a mix of retired, middle aged with teenagers, and young couples with kids. It's quiet, as the neighborhood is a dead end so no through traffic. We have a lot of activity, bicyclists, joggers, moms walking with strollers, exercise groups, kids on skateboards, whole families out walking together (often to the community pool). Of course also a lot of people walking dogs.
We have a very active and friendly neighborhood. For the most part we all get along. As a dog owner I do my best to insure my pet is a good neighbor. Since I didn't own a dog for over 20 years, I know how it feels to walk in your yard and encounter dog poo. It's frankly infuriating. I didn't have a dog for all those years because I didn't want to clean up after a dog, so I certainly didn't want to be cleaning up after someone ELSE'S dog!

Because of that I always clean up after Finn. (not an easy task sometimes, trust me!) I make sure he isn't tinkling on someone's flowers, or esp in his case, walking on them and crushing the plants! I don't let him charge up to people, jump on them, or otherwise get near them unless he is invited. (esp if they are in work clothes!) I talk to neighbors, and make an effort for Finn and I to be ambassadors for dogs. I keep in contact with the other dog owners, and we discuss ways to insure everyone is happy with us and our pets.

Our city has a leash ordinance. You dog must be on a leash, and you MUST clean up after your dog when you walk him. I would say 90% of the dog owners in our neighborhood are good dog owners, and work as hard as I do to make sure everyone is happy to have the pets around.

But there are always a few who are seemingly deliberately trying to ruin the camaraderie we are working so hard to create.

This post is for you, the handful of dog owners, who refuse to clean up after your dog on walks. You know who you are, and trust me, everyone else in the neighborhood knows as well.

It doesn't matter how early you walk you dog, or how late, even if it is after dark. We see you. We watch you walk you dog and not clean up. It doesn't matter if it is a small dog, or where they go, it is still your responsibility to clean it up! This responsibility goes with the joy of pet ownership. Why should someone else have to clean it up?

What is worse is the couple of people who think because their dog goes in the street, they don't have to clean it up! That is even worse! Not only does the poo get run over and smeared everywhere by cars, but joggers, bikers, kids playing, everyone who is out on the road will step in it, spreading germs and carrying it back into their houses! Disgusting!

Then when it rains, all that ick gets washed into the gutters and streams, and contributes to the destruction of our waterways. It is runoff like this that is causing the algae blooms in the Chesapeake. It is runoff like this that is closing beaches with dangerous bacteria in the water.

Oh, and if you dog has diarrhea for longer than a day or two, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Take it to the vet, change the food, do whatever it takes. Imagine how miserable you would be with the runs day after day, and think about how it is impacting your dogs health.

You know, we are all happy you are taking the time to walk your dog. It's good for the dog and your relationship with them. But there is really no excuse you can give for not cleaning up after them, not even squeamishness, since you can get long handled 'scoopers' now. Don't even have to touch anything.

So, act like a grown up, be responsible, and stop being the person we're all embarrassed about.


Whole list of dog scoops



  2. Print it out and pass it around! Who know, it could be your neighborhood.....

  3. A! MEN! There is a man who walks his Japanese Chin on our street every day and every day that Japenese Chin poops on my lawn. Does the man pick it up? No. Does my lawn man yell at ME for not picking up the dog poo thinking that it's my dog's poo? Yes. GRR! It's incredibly frustrating and I feel like putting up a little sign that says "SCOOP THE POOP" but I have a feeling that would just be ignored.

    -Ashley aka dearprudie

  4. Do what some people in my neighborhood did to one offender. They would bag it up and go leave the bag in the middle of his lawn everyday. He finally got the hint. :-)