The Scoop

My dog can embarrass me. I think he knows it, too. There are certain activities that I would prefer he conduct in the privacy of my yard or designated areas in public that I have first approved. I have three rules that I have established in order to help alleviate some of these more memorable moments in dog ownership:

1. Be prepared! Keep doggy clean-up bags or even plastic grocery bags handy at all times. Don’t leave home without these essential items and always bring extra.

2. Remember the Double Drop! My dog loves to “hold some back”. So even if I believe that he has done his doggy duties, he hasn’t. He is banking it and waiting for that perfect moment.

3. You can’t stop gravity! Once it starts any amount of energy or effort spent to stop it is a waste of time and can make matters worse. Refer to Rule #1 after gravity takes over.

Be Prepared: When my cousin Samantha encouraged the entire Southern family to participate in the Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure in Atlanta many years ago, it seemed a logical choice to bring Chase along. He wore his backpack with pride and even had Samantha’s number pinned to his pack in support of her cause. He carried treats and water bottles and a roll of doggy bags. I was prepared and even was able to give a bag to a man who was much less prepared. That was not the case during an embarrassing dog walk from my sister’s home in East Atlanta Village to the town center. First, I made him use her front yard facilities before we embarked but I was suspicious of the scant pile of poo and the fact that Chase was walking in a manner that suggested he was packing a pile toward his back end. It was a beautiful day and the entire neighborhood appeared to be working in their well-manicured front yards. I struggled to keep him confined to the sidewalk. He sniffed with disdain at the abandoned lots I offered as an alternative and soon I was confident that he had done all he needed to do back at the house. As my sister and I paused in front of a favorite shop window, Chase proceeded to squat in the middle of the city sidewalk. Liz offered to help by extending her hand to hold his leash. I grabbed a stack of napkins from a nearby cafĂ© table and attempted to clean up the mess. A fresh streak of brown stained the cement and I looked up at the sky, praying for rain. Did I learn my lesson? Hardly. There are tennis courts that are close to my house and are a perfect place to take the four dogs late at night. The gates can be closed, leashes removed and the dogs can pursue forgotten tennis balls on the enclosed courts. The walk to the courts is long enough for all doggy business to be conducted beforehand. As my friend and I threw tennis balls to George, Molly and Charlie, I spied my dog at the far end of the court in the squat position. I screamed at him to stop but it was too late (see rule number 3). I found a discarded terry cloth tennis towel that seemed to be in very good condition in a corner of the court. I approached the steaming pile while my friend chuckled on the other side of the court. Cursing my dog for using the furthest corner from the trash can, I plucked at the pile as best I could and gagged from the smell as I walked quickly to throw it away. As with cement sidewalks, it is difficult to clean and a fresh stain bore evidence of his disrespect.

Remember the Double Drop: Last year I took a leisurely walk around my condo grounds and parking lot with my dog. There are two areas that have a dog bag station so I rarely had problems with Rule #1. He conducted a very impressive amount of dog business by the first station I was certain that he couldn’t have any more in him. Just in case, I walked toward the next dog station and spent extra time on that area of the lawn. Nothing. Feeling confident, we walked toward the far end of the complex. As we crossed a large parking lot, I felt his leash give a sharp tug. My dog had squatted in the middle of a parking space and produced an award-winning pile. I had no dog bags with me and both dog stations were very far away. Hoping no one would think I was shirking off my civic duties, I sprinted back to a dog station, grabbed two bags and returned to the parking space. It only took one bag but at that point, I wasn’t taking any chances on a Triple Play!

You Can’t Stop Gravity: While visiting a friend’s home and confident in my dog’s house manners, he excitedly sniffed his new surroundings. As I picked up my glass of wine, I noticed that Chase was in the squat position by her front door. I lunged toward him, opened the door and dragged him out by the collar. A thin line of poo marked our path like a trail of sticky breadcrumbs….the carpet by the front door, the stairs, the sidewalk and finally the grass. I had a lot to clean up.

Encore: A relative was staying at the condo and had agreed to walk Chase while I was at work. I left a roll of dog bags on the counter and put in an eight hour day. When I arrived home I asked how many times Chase had been walked. I was told none because Chase hadn’t asked to go out and only wanted to sleep. I glared at the family member and put Chase on his leash. I made it to the second floor landing when the leash became taut. Chase scrunched up directly in front of the front door of a sweet old lady’s condo. I tugged and tugged but to no avail. I returned to the condo to retrieve paper towels and cleaning solution and while cleaning up one pile, Chase dropped a second. I prayed that the woman stayed in her apartment as I struggled to clean up the mess on the concrete surface.

There are so many joys of having a dog in your life, even if that means four dogs. They brighten my day, they keep me company and they keep my secrets safe. But there are other things to consider. The things that no one seems to talk about until you have already made that commitment. I try to follow my rules but there have been times (clearly) that even I have forgotten – and paid the embarrassing consequences sooner than later. So, that’s my scoop and I’m sticking to it!

“Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?” ~Jerry Seinfeld


Touchatou said...

Very funny ! I have two dogs and some stories to relate too ! lolll
Lulubiz from swap-bot

Coleen said...

Hang in there on the gardening. I kept trying too and after many years a have a beautiful yard. It was all hit and miss, but it paid off. There are lots of easy things to grow. I was reading your profile.
I"m following already. Would you follow on my blogs as well?
Coleen Franks, Swap-Bot, Want More Followers

Jennifer McLean said...

yep, I love the Seinfeld comment! When I was little I had an afghan hound, a very large, loveable but dumb dog. I can't tell you how embarrassing it is to have your dog use someone's pristine lawn instead of your own backyard as a toilet. ya gotta just laugh.
I'm Jaemac from -bot, by the way. I'm not happily following your lovely blog.

Faiza said...

ha ha ha "the double drop!"

this is faizazarin from swap-bot. looking forward to reading more of your blog.

Brittany said...

I love your writing style. Too funny!

APlusAmigurumi from swap-bot following your blog