Saturday, March 3, 2012

A mystery

There's a strange mystery afoot in my neighborhood.

Almost everyone who lives in my neighborhood has a dog, and we've met most of our neighbors while dog-walking. No one likes dog-poop in their yard, so it's considered polite to pick up after your dog. Most people carry plastic bags for the job.

Committed dog owners live with multiple stashes of plastic bags. One tied to loop on the leash, one in the jacket pocket, a couple in the glove-box of the car....we all have them.

One neighbor gave out these clever dispensers of dog-poop bags as a Christmas gift this year. I notice that one civic-minded neighbor has hung one of these dispensers on her street-side fence, for the use of passers by.

It's not pleasant to pick up dog poop with your hand inside a plastic bag, but it's better than leaving it on your neighbor's property.

But lately I've been noticing this:

Someone is bagging the dog-poop, but leaving it on the street. I've seen this three times now.

The first time I saw this I was mystified - and I still am. Almost every house has street-side garbage bins, so if you pick up your dog's poop, you can easily find a convenient garbage bin to stow it in.

Sometimes your dog just chooses an inconvenient spot to do his business. I've had to walk several yards, holding a steaming, reeking knotted bag at arms length, but I always eventually find a bin.

Why would someone bag their dog's poop, and then leave it by the side of the road? Wouldn't it be better to just leave it to decompose, if you're not going to dispose of it?


Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm going to de-lurk to answer your question. The same thing as you describe started happening in our neighborhood a few years ago.

Come to find out it coincided with a new running club that uses our neighborhood as part of its practice path. Some of the runners take their dogs along on their runs.

The runners pick up after their dogs, just as you show above. Then the runner, not wanting to be weighed down by such things, just tosses the bag into the front yard of whoever's house.

I doubt that the runner even remembers where he or she was on the route when he or she left the bag, so he or she never comes back to collect it.

For us, it's not the most pleasant thing to find in our yard, but better than the unbagged alternative.

Wonder if the same sort of thing is happening in your neighborhood? Just a thought.

Deborah said...

I see a lot of this at our dog park but that's less surprising, since it is acres and acres of hiking trails, and the only trash bins are near the entrance. I've noticed people will leave them near the trail and pick them up on the way back to their cars. Sometimes others will feel charitable and pick up all the stray bags on their way downhill. But I don't see any excuse when there is a trash bin close by.

I've noticed a lot of neighborhood dog walkers tie the stinky bag to the dog's leash on the return trip, or until they reach a nearby trash bin.

Still, I agree with Ally that I'd rather find a poop bag in my yard than having to pick up the waste myself, when it's not from my dog.

Cassi Renee said...

It really amazes me that anyone --runner or walker-- would think it was okay to leave a poop-filled baggie for others to deal with. Do these people think they're so special that others should clean up after them? How incredibly rude.

Gilly said...

Well, they do it in the UK too! There are lots of Poop bins in our park, but whoever leaves the bags tossed in the hedge or bushes, just can't be bothered to find a bin.

So why bother to pick it up in the first place??

(And there are plenty of people who don't pick up - and that's not right in a park, where there are children, not to say honest upright adult citizens!)

laura said...

mmm, been doin' it in Toronto for years now; especially hateful when poop-bag-leaver HANGS it up or puts it UP on something so it is more obvious for someone else to pick up after them...sigh....better than unbagged but .....

cactus petunia said...

Idiots! As a walker of two rather large members of the canine persuasion, I can say that it has never even occurred to me to drop my bag anywhere but in my own garbage can...and sometimes that means carrying one or two bags of poop for a mile or more.
Also, tying the poop-filled bag to your dog's leash? That just doesn't seem right, either!

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I just have to say that you are lucky that people bag their poop. In Florida, even though it is a city and county ordinance where I live, almost no one picks up their dog's poop. My daily running/ walking route has become a mine field if you step off the sidewalk. Today there was even poop right in the middle of the sidewalk that no one could be bothered to pick up. It's so gross.

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

Ick! We have 2 dogs, but we also have a farm field behind our house. So, ours are trained to go at the back of the property line and then my husband uses a shovel to help fertilize the field!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I had a neighbor who would bag immediately then leave the bag for the return trip; however, she ALWAYS picked the bag up on the way home.

Frankly, picking up dog poop is the main reason I don't have a dog right now. That, and the cat would be very unhappy...

Life with Kaishon said...

That is insane!