Dear Barb – Do the Doo

Dear Barb:

Last weekend the weather was beautiful so my husband and I went out for a walk. Unfortunately, we had a few incidents with dog poop! We were walking down the sidewalk and right in the middle of the sidewalk was a huge pile of dog poop. We actually had to walk around it. It’s not like the owner wouldn’t have noticed their dog depositing that pile. Unbelievable! So we continued walking through the park and along comes an older man driving a scooter and walking two little dogs, maybe poodle crosses. As we approached we noticed one dog hunching over and obviously ready to poop. The man, who was extremely overweight and smoking a cigarette, started pulling something out of his pocket. I had a feeling he was doing this for our sake and I was right. As we walked past I turned around a few times and he just continued on his journey, without picking up the poop. don’t people realize young kids play in the parks and could easy come in contact with animal feces and ultimately become very sick. I feel if this man was not able to get off his scooter to pick up his dog’s poop, then he shouldn’t be walking his dog. He should hire a dog walker. As far as the dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk, come on people, pick it up. When I mentioned these incidents to a friend of mine she came up with all kinds of scenarios, like maybe the man on the scooter couldn’t afford a dog walker, and that I was not being sensitive to his disability. I don’t feel I am being insensitive, I think I am being realistic. It is the owner’s responsibility to pick up after their dog, that is part of owning a dog. What is your opinion on this issue? Thanks Jill.

Hi Jill:
You outline some situations that we have all experienced at one time or another. People don’t pick up their dog’s poop for a variety of reasons, which, fortunately, all have solutions. For example, the man on the scooter may have a hard time getting up and bending over to pick up after his dogs, but there is a solution. The GoGo Stik is an invention where you can attach any size plastic bag and pick up your dog’s poop without having to get off the scooter. Another reason people do not pick up their dog’s droppings is because they are on a run and don’t want to carry the bag. A quick solution to this problem is a Turdle Bag, which is a plastic bag that attaches to your dogs leash. I agree with you that it is the owner’s responsibility to pick up after their dogs. Most provinces have bylaws requiring people to clean such materials. For example, in Toronto there is a municipal bylaw which requires individuals to pick up after their pets or risk a $255 fine. Unfortunately, this by-law is very difficult to enforce as you need to catch the perpetrator in the act. I don’t think you are being inconsiderate, but rather the individuals leaving their dogs feces for others to step in, or children to play near, are being inconsiderate. Thanks for bringing up this excellent topic.

Follow Barb on twitter @BarbGod

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length and to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.