Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dogs in The City

So I stepped out of my car after Christian parked just outside our apartment only to be greeted by a wonderful surprise.


A giant steaming pile of poo.

Thanks neighbor!

Dogs are very popular in Oakland and extremely popular in our little alcove of Jingletown. And I have no problem with them. I like dogs. I like their playfulness and can appreciate the companionship and comfort they provide to their owners, however...owners are a different story.

Now, don't misunderstand. Most of my neighbors are responsible friendly types who religiously leash their pets and carry a large supply of doggie bags. And I love these people.

I'm concerned with owners who feel that despite the fact their dog's shit will wash right into the bay (a mere 2 blocks away) - and their neighbors' front doors are right on the sidewalk - it is okay to not pick up poop.

Multiple times has Christian come home to find a pile sitting on his motorcycle cable. Regularly there are piles in the *middle* of the sidewalk. This is nothing short of disgusting, and without a doubt irresponsible.

When a person chooses to become a pet owner, that means becoming responsible for the pet's needs. This includes grooming, sheltering, feeding, playing, and exercising the animal if necessary. So with my cat, I understand I need to check her ears, nose, and eyes to make sure they are clean. If they aren't, I clean them. I clip her nails and make sure they don't get too thick which means I have to peel off the outer dead claw layers as needed (if you have a cat, you know what I mean). I play with her, but I do not need to walk her. Instead of picking up poop, we clean her litter box as needed. It's simple.

Apparently some people don't realize the added work and care required for keeping a dog.

If you don't like walking, you shouldn't own a dog. If you don't like cleaning up animal poop, you shouldn't have a pet period (all animals need their enclosures cleaned periodically even if you're not scooping poop off the curb).

I have to think people who leave their dog feces on my front stoop must feel they are outsourcing their animal care. But I wonder, if they're being lazy about this aspect of pet ownership, are they just as lazy with others?

In short, if you are considering pet ownership, make sure you're ready for everything involved. If you see someone being a jerk, kindly remind them the grocery store has snack bags that work just fine in a pinch (though most parks have bags for free where dogs are allowed). Or, if you have a regular culprit and you know where they live, you could be creative; collect samples until you have an enormous pile which you could then drop on their stoop. After all, it's only fair.

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