This is the latest from guest columnist, Melissa Grant, who is a pet expert and in-home dog trainer at Le Chic Pet in Issaquah. I have to admit, this one made me giggle. To get more training tips visit the LeChic website. Read on…
I started my own dog training business in 2003. In order to supplement my income while building my business, I took on any and all ways of making money. I was a magazine merchandiser, a sunglasses merchandiser, a hallmark card merchandiser and lastly, a dog walker. I’ve walked them all, large and small, from a Yorkie to a Newfoundland.
I ALWAYS pick up the poop of my canine charges. Dog poop can host harmful bacteria or parasites that could be passed on to other dogs or children. Dog poop can take an entire year to break down, get into ground water that can pollute streams and rivers and lastly, in most places, it’s illegal not to “scoop the poop.” In spite of this, I’ve seen a lot of avoidance when it comes to poop picking duties.
First one that comes to mind is the Ignorer. This the owner who stands there on the corner, gabbing on their cell phone, acting like they don’t notice their dog leaving a huge pile in their neighbor’s yard. We see you and know what you’re up to. You aren’t fooling us. I usually have poop bags in every pocket of every piece of clothing I own – and have been known to walk up and say “Whoops!” and hand them a bag.
Next is the Prolific Pooper. This is the dog whose owner is on a tight budget so he gets fed brightly colored grocery store brand dog food. Pssst. Pro tip. That green kibble isn’t peas and the orange stuff isn’t carrots. It’s full of fillers that will make your dog poop 6-8 times a day. Who has that many bags? Even on a tight budget, the premium food is going to be a better deal, with more protein and less filler, it means fewer poops. Think of all the money you’ll save on bags alone.
One of my personal favorites is the Hider. This owner sees the poop happen and tries to hide the evidence in the foliage. “Hey you! It’s still there potentially harming someone. Lean your lazy self over and pick up after your dog.” I’ve been known to run a bag over to this type, too. Shame usually works wonders on this one.
Have you ever walked through your neighborhood and noticed brightly colored bags littering the sidewalks? These are left by the suburban legend known as the Pick it up and leave it owner. Having walked several very large dogs in my time, I know carrying a five-pound bag of smelly poop isn’t fun. I have found a spot on the walking trail and left it for the walk back. But please, do go back and get it. Just because it’s in a bag doesn’t mean the job is done. It needs to find its way to trash receptacle.
Lastly, this avoider owner deserves an Oscar. It’s the Panicked Pretender. This pet parent walks along whistling, looking joyful to be out and about with their favorite fuzzy friend, and then….PANIC!! Fido poops and Momma goes through an exaggerated pantomime of pocket-patting and grimacing (trying to find a bag) before sheepishly sauntering away from the evidence. People, get yourself a bag container that clips to your leash and clean up. It is our responsibility as dog owners to keep the sidewalks clear for walking.