You Catch More Dog Turds With Honey Than Vinegar
Avid Fans (all both of them) will recall I do not, as the transatlantikers say, "go a bundle" on dogs going a bundle on my yard, sidewalk or, indeed, on my planet.
So yesterday I was mortified to watch an overweight middle-aged brass-haired trailer troglodyte, sweating in her canvas shorts and flowered blouse, tug her wee little dog along the sidewalk on The Main Street, with Fido cheerfully shitting every five feet for roughly half the block.
The output was so disproportionate to the outputter as to invite inadvertent and unwilling comparison to a video of a python swallowing a pig, shown in reverse.
The owner, looking exasperatedly at the animal, looked up and spotted me. Our eyes met and she turned away, dragging the animal to its next drop. Which turned out to be five feet from the door of a business I'll call K9 Kollege. It's primarily a grooming studio. And it was the destination for the turd parade. On the door I noticed adverts for dog obedience training. None on owner obedience training.
I felt really mad about this. I dislike litter of any type, but when it's somebody's pet's effluvia, I find the whole business stomach-churning. I wish there were a way to force dogs to crap indoors, so that we'd have a guarantee that at least 60% of owners would clean up every time.
But instead of raising the issue, I decided that perhaps the woman, whom I now saw busilly chatting with the salon's owner, was asking for a plastic bag. Of course, it was a vain hope: we all know that the bag is, these days, simply a badge used as camouflage for all those people who simply tie the bag to the leash and leave it there forever. But this woman hadn't even gone that far.
Still, rather than ratchet everyone's tempers up (besides mine own, which was winched to about 140 ft-lbs), I walked down to Timmy's and got a coffee.
As it happened, I met a co-worker and returned via a different route. So the issue remained unresolved. But I had deep faith that Trailer Trog had left the precious bundles of joy to delight and amuse other patrons of the sidewalk.
Today as I headed for Timmy's I noticed the wee doggie spa across the street (I was unconsciously avoiding any leftover doggie land mines) and determined to say something. I imagined berating the shopowner and venting my spleen across her floor the way her customer or employee had allowed her pet to shit across the sidewalk.
Then I stopped. There's really enough aggravation in the world. Why I would actually cause any more of it is beyond me. Not that I don't sometimes enjoy the idea, but really we have to live, all six billion of us, in a relatively small space. When you adopt the enemy's aggressive offensiveness, you can easily become what you hate most.
So I went in.
"Can I help you?" quoth the owner, scanning for a terrier at my feet.
"I just wanted to say thanks," I lied convincingly. I still had no idea whether the outsize dog bombs were lying on the sidewalk still or not.
"Sorry?" she apologized instinctively.
"Well yesterday I followed a customer of yours, and about every five feet her dog would have a crap, then she'd pull the leash and drag it another five feet. She turned in here. I was pretty put out by the dog turds on the sidewalk, but today I noticed they seemed to have disappeared, and I just wanted to say 'thanks'."
Now she was contrite:
"Jeez I'm sorry. I hate it when the customers won't walk their dogs and they crap all over the floor. It's happened twice today," she said, indicating the general area where I was standing.
"I just wanted to thank whoever cleaned that up," I said, lying only a little.
"Well it wasn't us," the owner sighed, "But if you ever see that kind of thing again, please, let us know and we'll clean it up. It's so embarrasing."
And off I went, with a little of my faith in humanity restored. I do like good neighbours.