By Julia Trumpold
Dogs are great. They are cuddly, warm, always there when you need them. Having dogs in my life makes me a happier person. But of course there are the things that make it not so fun having a dog. They need to go out no matter what. If the snow is two feet deep or if the thermometer reads 110 degrees, dogs need to go out. It’s not only the taking them out (which I do enjoy 95% of the time), they also poop. Nothing wrong with it, everybody does. But being a responsible dog owner not only includes taking care of your dog by feeding them, providing them with vet care and give them exercise, in my opinion it extends to courtesy towards people around you. If you have a yard that your dog can do his business, great, do whatever you want, pick up the poop, leave it there, it’s up to everybody’s personal preference because the only people who are affected are you and your family. When you walk your dog in the neighborhood, though, you need to PICK UP AFTER HER. This should not be too much to ask of dog owners, and it’s an easy task as well. It’s easy to carry poop bags when on a walk with dogs. Personally, I have a poop bag dispenser fastened on the leash of one of my dogs, so I never forget to take them. If you don’t want to buy bags just use the grocery plastic bags you get at the grocery store. Everybody needs to buy groceries, so just recycle the bags. A lot of places (parks for example) also provide poop stations with bags and a trash can. My apartment complex does provide those as well, which I think is really great because it shows that they don’t only let dogs live there they are trying to make it pleasant for everyone as well. Looking at all of what I just described it’s really hard for me to understand how so many dog owners do not have the courtesy to clean up after their dogs. Really, what excuse do they have? It’s gross? Well, it’s part of owning a dog. They poop. It’s not convenient? Get over it. There are trash cans all over the place. If there are none in your neighborhood, get one to set it in front of the garage so you won’t have to throw the poop in your trash can in the house, because that’s really gross. Walking my dogs a lot, I encounter a lot of poop that other dog owners haven’t cleaned up. And sometimes even in spitting distance of the poop station (see pictures below). I started picking up that poop because I don’t want the apartment complex re-evaluating their pet policy because people don’t follow the rules.
One more thing, at the shelter we always pick up after the dogs we walk. We also get accused by people in the community that we don’t clean up, but that’s just not true. It’s so many other dog owners that cause the bad reputation. If everybody would just clean up after their own dogs everything would be much cleaner and a lot of friction could be avoided. J