On the 2nd day of Christmas my true dog gave to me…
…two walking dogs
and a Georgie in a pear(less) tree.
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true dog gave to me…
…two walking dogs
and a Georgie in a pear(less) tree.
“Leave my dog’s butt out of this!”
There’s this crazy phenomenon going around. I’m not sure if it’s new or not. Maybe it’s just relatively new to me. I say relatively because I was introduced to it quite a while ago, but passed it off as a singular event because it has not been repeated . . . until this past weekend that is.
It goes like this.
You’re on a lively walk with your dog. He or she is behaving wonderfully. You look before you cross the street. You pass by friendly people who comment on your good dog. You feel good. All of a sudden your dog performs a normal bodily function. He or she poops. You take it in stride, pull out your disposable plastic bag, turn it inside out over your hand, and set to bend over to pick up the mess. Unfortunately, that’s when the poop HITS THE FAN!
What do I mean?
Well, a ne’er do well human being passing by takes it upon themselves to perform their self-imposed “civic” duty and yell at you to “Pick up the poop!”
That’s right people. Poop-shaming is alive, and it’s real.
It’s happened quite a few times when Theresa and I have taken Simon and Rosee out on their daily walks with people from inside their houses and driving in cars passing by taking it upon themselves to tell us what to do with our dogs’ output, despite the fact that we are already taking care of the problem.
And it’s not like our dogs are relieving themselves on someone’s well-maintained, pristine bed of crisp green blades. They go in public parks, in street gutters, and in empty desolate fields that are scattered around our hometown. Theresa and I are always very careful to make sure that Simon and Rosee go in places that don’t disturb the people around us. And considering all of the “waste” left in our public parks for weeks, you know until the city gardeners come and clean everything up, I feel pretty good about the way in which our dogs “go” in this world.
It’s just other people that don’t feel so great about it, unfortunately, and decide to impose their will on us otherwise unsuspecting good people.
Poop-shaming, it’s a terrible, horrible, no good thing.
Take last weekend’s jaunt for example. We are walking past an EMPTY field (one, mind you, that is already full of dirt, weeds, and every other piece of trash that exists—and is one that the City cleans up every few months or so) when Simon decided he needed to relieve himself. As I waited for him to finish and prepared to pick everything up, plastic bag already overturned on my hand, a lady pulled up in her car and decided I needed more “motivation.” She yelled not once, but twice to “Pick up the poop!” She proceeded to sit in her car and stare at me for a good few minutes. I refused to do anything with her creepily watching me, but after she yelled the second time and I actually heard exactly what she said you better believe I started walking towards her car asking her what was wrong with her?!?! Of course she took the coward’s way out and drove off as fast as she could. You know, so she didn’t actually have to deal with the consequences of her mean action, she just left that for me. Lucky me, right?
So, if my general audience doesn’t mind me taking a few lines to address all the poop-shamers out there. If you feel the need to poop-shame me, then do me a favor. One: Don’t yell at me. Two: Don’t yell at me. If I see my dog poop and walk away from it without doing anything, go ahead, say something, if only to put your mind at ease and feel like you did something productive during the day. But when I’m being a responsible pet owner, with a plastic bag on my hand, bending over to scrap the ground of excrement then DON’T YELL AT ME!
I have absolutely NO PROBLEM walking right up to you and telling you exactly how much better my dog’s poop smells than the vitriol you are spitting out at me at the moment.
You’re so-called civic duty is being wasted and I would hate to take that away from anybody else. Because, as of right now the poop is not on my face.
Whew! Thanks for that. Sometimes you’ve just got to let it out.
Anyway, for those of you who have ever been shamed or might be shamed don’t worry. It’s their problem, not yours. You know you are a responsible pet owner, so don’t let others three second judgments get you down. Ignore them, and keep on walking. I know, I know easier said than done, but it is so not worth getting a stomachache over a complete stranger, especially when you’ve got an excited and happy pup that has already moved on.
Learn from me! And don’t accept poop-shaming!
I guess it’s not just dogs who like to go on walks…
I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way.
I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way as we crossed the street.
I’m sorry that my dog and I were in your way as we crossed the street on a cold, but clear Saturday morning, after looking both ways to ensure that no cars were coming our way, after we had already made it to the middle of the crosswalk, as we were decked out in bright colors to be easily seen on an already bright morning, as you came upon us from behind so we had no way to get out of your way should your foot on the brake hesitated one second too long.
I’m sorry you were in such a hurry and we were not. What is a daily ritual and relaxing time for me and my dog, was nothing more than an inconvenience and something to run over for you.
I’m sorry that you obviously don’t understand the bond between a human and his/her dog, that you don’t know the feeling of such unconditional and non-judgmental love that dogs and animals in general are capable of towards their human companions and vice versa. I’m sorry that no such relationship exists for you because even if just one did, then you would have allowed me and my dog to cross the street safely.
If you had any sort of compassion and consideration for others in the world you wouldn’t have driven up so fast and close to me that I almost had the front of your truck imprinted on my shirt. You wouldn’t have stopped right in front of me in the middle of the crosswalk and stared at me like I was doing something wrong when I had started crossing before you even approached the street to turn. You wouldn’t have snuck up on me from behind, leaving me and my dog to scatter while you kept going with your day, wholly unbothered. (I’m sorry my death glare did absolutely nothing to you.)
But mostly, I’m not sorry that you didn’t hit us. I’m not sorry that our lives weren’t changed in indescribable ways, because I would have hated (and I mean hated) to ruin your life.
Monica and Simon
P.S. Let’s not meet at the same crosswalk next Saturday. Deal?
Originally, I had a completely different post planned for this week. In fact, I even wrote most of that other post (which I’ll share next week), and I was pretty happy with how it was coming along (I can be a bit too much of a perfectionist sometimes). Then, today something happened. It was unexpected, obviously, and quite upsetting. It even inspired my Pawndered Thought for the day, and the most surprising thing was that it had really nothing to do with Rosee or Simon. (I know this blog is dedicated to all things dog, specifically if those dogs are named Rosee and/or Simon, but I felt the need to share this particular experience.)
You see, what happened today had to do with a cat. It’s a cat that I see almost every morning on our daily walk, and she would always be playing or laying around with her three kittens. The cat and her kittens had made their home by a garden shed that was located in a local elementary school’s garden. Every morning we (me, Monica, Rosee, and Simon) would walk by the school’s garden, and notice these four. Unfortunately, today as me and Monica were driving by after running some errands in town we passed by and saw the cat lying in the middle of the road. It was apparent that she had been hit by a car and that it had happened recently. We immediately pulled over to see if the kittens were okay, but we were unable to see them anywhere. I suspect that they were hiding underneath the garden shed and just too scared to come out. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. It was dumb, ridiculous, senseless, and should have never happened. Not only was it a school zone, so cars should not be driving that fast anyways, but it was pretty much right next to an intersection so cars would be just taking off. Therefore, if a car was coming down this particular road, they should have been able to stop or swerve out of the way. Yet, none of this happened. Instead a car hit this cat and just kept on going.
I must admit that at this point I was disheartened. I felt let down by my fellow humans. I wanted to yell at someone, and demand an answer for what happened. My brain couldn’t comprehend the fact that some people seem to care so little, even though studies show that the majority of drivers will try and hit an animal in a road rather than swerve to avoid it. So, I did what any normal person would do. I went to talk to my mom. I needed an ear to listen, and possibly a shoulder to lean on.
Afterwards, I felt better, meaning that I didn’t feel the urge to cry. Yet, I was still feeling let down by humankind, and it didn’t help that I was having one of those days. The kind of day where every person I encountered seemed to be inconsiderate or just plain rude. I mean I try my best to have faith in the goodness of others. Usually, it’s not hard. All I have to do is look around my neighborhood and see how almost everyone leaves a bowl of food and water out for the neighborhood cats to know that there are people that do care. Still, some days it’s hard to hold on to this hope, and today was just one of those days. Simon and Rosee did their best to cheer me up, and neither one complained when I smothered them with hugs. They really are the best medicine sometimes.
Then my mom called. She said that she went driving by where the cat was and stopped to see if she could see the kittens. While she was there a man came out from one of the houses from across the street, and he took the time to move the cat from out of the middle of the road. He took care of this cat that wasn’t even his. He didn’t have to, and nobody expected it, but he did. He cared. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so bleak.
Earlier today when I posted my Pawndered Thought it wasn’t necessarily meant to be optimistic. It was a thought in reference to someone’s callous action that cost three kittens their mother. However, I realize now that I shouldn’t give up so quickly. There are caring people out there. So, I’m going to end this post by saying Thank You to all caring people out there. Thank You for loving your animals, and for taking care of them.