Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Scoop the Poop Week - Dogs

Here's a segue for you. Did you know it's "Scoop the Poop" week? I know you're saying, "Jungle Jane. We were talking about saving the earth and now you want to talk about poo?" There's a broader connection to those two topics than you might think. Did you know that the out-product of cow digestion (burping, flatulence and poop) is a constant source of methane – a greenhouse gas? But don't worry. I'm not asking you run to the nearest ranch, baggies in hand, to clear the pastures. Let's stay closer to home.

While driving my son to school one morning, we saw a fellow walking his dog. Well, he wasn't actually walking his dog. His dog was busy following other doggly pursuits, mainly despoiling the parkway. As we approached, the guy reached into his pocket and produced the requisite plastic bag. He began to bend over to retrieve his dog's calling card. We passed, and as I continued watching him in the rearview mirror, I beheld a most amazing sight. He didn't pick it up! He left that poo right where it was and put the baggie back in his pocket! It was all a pantomime, a performance, put on for the benefit of a passing stranger. Mainly - me.

I was flabbergasted. So I stopped the car. That caused him to reach again for his plastic bag. If my son hadn't been cringing in the front seat, begging me to drive on, I would have backed up and made sure he did the job properly. As it is, I have to assume his next course of actions resulted in picking up after his dog.

For this post, we'll be putting aside the shear audacity of the man. (Only doing the right thing because other people are watching you is a different topic and for a different blogger.) Dog poop contains a number of bacteria and parasites that can not only be passed from dog to dog, but from dogs to people. An example is fecal coliform bacteria which causes severe stomach illness and rashes. Children are especially susceptible. For the sake of yourself, your kids, your pets, pick up your dog's poop. I know it isn't a pleasant job (I've got a dog myself), but it is a necessary one, even when no one is looking.

I don't get as fancy as Martha, but I do always carry multiple bags when walking my dog. Just in case my Airedale decides to "double dip."

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