Sunday, 14 December 2014

Please, Please, PLEASE Pick Up After Your Pet!

It's pretty much the most disgusting job that comes with owning a dog.  Yes, I'm talking about picking up after them once they've done their business.  It's not only the law in most places, it's just the right thing to do.  But unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of unscrupulous dog owners who don't think they have to pick up Fido's mess.

There are a few reasons why you should pick up after your dog.  Firstly, none of us, whether we own a dog or not, should have to go through the misfortune of stepping in your doggie's doo doo and having to clean it off our footwear - or for that matter any other part of our clothes.  The second reason is all about having respect for both private and public property.  Back in the summer, I wrote a post that I called The Great Dog Debate.  Among the things I discussed in that post was that sometimes you do have no choice but to allow your dog to urinate or defecate on someone's private lawn.  When you gotta go, you gotta go, right?  This is often the situation I'm faced with because all the lawns on my street are private lawns, most of them belonging to apartment or condo complexes.  And quite frankly I'm fed up with seeing the amount of dog feces that dots these private lawns.  There is no reason why the owners of whichever dogs left the mess behind should not have picked it up.  Okay, if your dog has the runs, I'm a little more understanding.  But most of the mess I've seen on frequent trips with my own dog could have easily been picked up.  This becomes especially clear whenever there's big snowstorm followed by a big meltdown.  Here in Toronto this week, for example, we had a pretty decent snowfall with much of the city getting ten to fifteen centimeters worth of accumulation.  Fast forward a couple of days and a warm spell has started melting all of the white stuff to the point where almost all of it should be gone in the next few days.  What does all this have to do with dog owners not picking up?  Well, once all the snow melts, the lawns on which it accumulated essentially become minefields.  Step on these lawns at your own risks and take extra caution, lest you step on one of the landmines - or perhaps we should call them poop mines.  Thankfully, there will be no explosion and your feet will stay intact, but you'll be left with a nice, brown surprise to clean off the soles of your boots.  You could, of course, try to avoid the minefields by keeping off the lawns, but even this is no guarantee that you'll stay clean, because many dog owners allow their best friends to defecate on the streets and sidewalks without having the decency to pick up after them.  It's bad enough that some dog owners don't have respect for private property, but they show no respect for public property either.  What part of stoop and scoop do these people not understand!?

And if the reasons I have stated above don't convince dog owners to pick up after Rover, then how about this: Getting feces on yourself is not only unsightly and gross, it's also unhealthy and unsanitary.  Check out this list of diseases that human beings can get from dog feces.  Scary, isn't it?  Now of course, all people who come into contact with pet waste should do their due diligence and wash their hands after they've been exposed.  But dog owners in particular must also do their part - PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET!

Okay, I understand that no dog owner is perfect.  I'm sure that most of us have failed to pick up after Fido on certain occasions.  Nevertheless, we should always do our best to make sure that our best friend's mess is not there for some poor soul to step on or even get sick from.  So let's all be smart, be responsible and do the right thing.  Let's pick up after our pets. 

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