I’m sure we’ve all been there – strangers telling you how to raise your dog child. It takes every bit of strength you have not to unstrap your pup’s training collar and wrap it around the accuser’s neck “too tight” while repeatedly pushing the button on the highest setting. Okay, while the incident today wasn’t exactly an unwelcome tip as to what’s best for Ella, it was borderline a question of how well I know my own child’s elimination habits.
Our bike ride started out the same as any other, except for the slight blanket of snow on the ground. There were fresh dog and human tracks along the path that Ella had her nose glued to the whole way to the corner of the subdivision. When we reached the corner, we made a left into the neighborhood, Ella right beside me on my bike as always. Barely making it past the stop sign, between the neighborhood sidewalk and road, she quickly squatted as lady-like as was possible with a public audience. Not more than five seconds later, she was up and off again, her sniffer working overtime.
It just so happened at that moment, a guy was pulling into the subdivision and into the first driveway in front of us. We hadn’t even made it beyond the brick wall tht marked the entrance to the neighborhood, before he had his window rolled down yelling, “hey, did your dog just poop back there?!” His tone was about as arrogant as could be, like he was trying to impress some uninterested woman by starting a fight with me. “No, she just peed,” was all I said back. He ended the conversation with an “oh, okay,” but I was already pedaling past his driveway. I didn’t turn around to look, but I am confident he probably went to check for sure that I wasn’t lying. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but feel like Ella and I were being scrutinized by pairs of eyes looking out the windows of every house we went by for the duration of our ride.
Now, I understand it’s a $500 fine for any person you catch not picking up thier dog’s poo piles, and the guy didn’t know me or Ella (and never will with that act), but I’d much rather have to scrub fully digested kibble out from under my fingernails than pay a $500 fine. Luckily, the only time I’ve forgotten a bag on a walk was during the fall, and I’d never been as thankful for all the dead leaves. They work just as well, are free, AND are fully biodegradable.
Not everyone does pick up after their dog. We see petrified turds all the time along the sidewalks. We weren’t even close to his yard, and technically the area of grass between the sidewalk and road isn’t even his property anyway. But if you see a dog in the process of relieving itself, be sure it’s in the posture circled below before you go accusing and making a scene if the owner doesn’t bend down to pick something up. Just mind your own dog’s business and don’t be like the guy Ella and I had the pleasure of meeting today, or you could end up with a full bag of fire on your front porch.