The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Pet Peeve

I find them almost every time I take my two dogs for a walk -- those little blue or brown-knotted bags of poop.

They sit by the side of the twisty roads in my Mill Valley neighborhood like offerings to the God of Dog Doo. They dangle from the branches of trees beside otherwise pristine hiking trails. They lurk in the shrubs along the bike path even though trashcans aren’t hard to find.

I know Marin isn’t the only place where dog owners are lazy about cleaning up after their companions. But it strikes me as particularly ironic in a land where concern for the environment is akin to religion.

I wonder if some of the people who think nothing of discarding their doggie bags are the same ones who whip out reusable totes at Whole Foods, or consider it a crime to toss an old newspaper into anything other than a recycling bin.

Perhaps some pet owners are comfortable with this practice because -- unlike me-- they’re hip to a secret Poop Patrol that collects and disposes of the bags in the middle of the night.

Perhaps the fact that they take the time to wrap their dogs’ business in tidy packages allows them to continue on their way with clear consciences.

I guess I should be grateful that their thoughtfulness at least helps others avoid stepping into a stinky landmine. But they’re still littering. They still seem to expect someone else to pick up after them.

I know it’s not pleasant to lug around a bag of crap when you’re out with your dog on a beautiful spring day. My golden retriever can drop two or more “calling cards” during a twenty-minute stroll, which is why a garland of plastic grocery bags always flutters from his collar.

Have I ever been tempted to leave a full one by the side of the road or in some bushes? You bet. But I suck it up and try to breath through my mouth -- a technique that years of diaper changing helped me perfect -- until I find a public wastebasket or arrive home.

I don’t expect anyone else to pay for my dogs’ food or vet care. Why would I expect someone else to clean up their poop?

By Dorothy O’Donnell


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This should air on KQED's Perspectives -- especially with that kick ass title.
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