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Monday, February 16, 2009

Pet Peeve, Literally

Time for a Monday morning rant. I hate it when pet owners don't pick up their dog poop. I don't understand why in the world someone would feel that it is unnecessary to clean up after their dog. I mean, seriously, would anyone change their child's diaper and then just chuck it into the park or onto the sidewalk? Do people leave dirty diapers lying around bathrooms? No, we civilly dispose of diapers in a manner that creates a pleasant environment for all. And herein lies the heart of my peeve...not picking up one's own pet's poop creates a nightmare for enjoying the great outdoors. And here in Sweden, we love to enjoy the great outdoors as often as we can.
For some reason, people think that when it snows, and the poop drops silently and deeply into the freshly fallen snow that somehow because they can't see it on the ground surface, it is totally acceptable to just leave it. The problem is, the poop doesn't melt with the snow and when a little warm up occurs, every surface of park, sidewalk and street is littered with dog crap.
The reason that this has become an acute peeve of mine is because of late, the park where Tanner does his morning business is totally covered in dog poop of all shapes and sizes. I feel like I'm walking through a mine field during our morning outing and it disgusts me. I've stepped in a pile on more than one occasion, with my waffle bottom shoes, and believe me, getting those soles clean adds at least 15 minutes to my already packed morning routine, easily foiling my plans to get into work on time. Additionally, some insensitive idiot allowed, (by the size of the package), his/her rather large dog to relieve itself at the base of the steps that lead out of our apartment. How in the world you could feel that leaving a big 'ol pile of dog crap on someone's entry is a socially acceptable move is beyond me.
Here in Sweden, they even make these wonderful bags, called poop bags, bajs (poop in Swedish) pasar (bags) that are the perfect size and shape for making a quick swoop scoop of your pet's excrement and being done with whole nasty business in less than 10 seconds, creating hours of enjoyment for the rest of society.
Now, I will grant you that even the most responsible dog owner, (present company included) forgets to carry enough bajs pasar. There are the rare occasions when Tanner will take a double dump walk and it sometimes catches us off guard. But even then, I scrounge around in the trash, look for something acceptable on the street that I could use to pick it up, or at the very least, return to the scene of my transgression later in the day, with bag in hand, to pluck up the offending pile. It's not that hard to do your part to keep your city clean and acceptable for the public.
I honestly do not mind for a minute picking up Tanner's business, especially because it takes less than a minute. But I absolutely do not want to see or touch or for sure step in another dog's. It's like the kid'll clean up anything your own kid does, but anyone else's...well, they are on their own!
Some final thoughts on public excrement while I'm in rant mode. If you don't want to pick up your dog's poop, don't have a dog. Dogs have to poop and while they can be trained to poop outside, they cannot figure out how to dispose of it. We as their loving and caring owners must help them with this step. If you don't want to do this, get a horse. For some reason, when a horse lets loose of its bowels, we're fine with it staying on the path or the street. Which is unfortunate because Tanner loves to eat and roll in horse crap, but that's a story for another day.
Finally, as much as it disturbs me to see our fine city and parks littered with dog crap, even more distressing is the human element, mainly male urine. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's from watching all the dogs lift their legs on trees, lamp posts, anything erect, but why, oh why, do men feel that if they pee against something...a wall, a tree, a corner, then it makes it OK to do so in public? It's not. It stinks, it's unsanitary and perhaps by some weird twist of events, it encourages dog owners to leave their dog's crap all over the city. So let's just agree, men, quit peeing in public. Dog owners. Pick it up. The combination of these two commitments will restore our public areas to the beauty and joy our tax kroner help create.