Congratulations and thanks to all of you who made it through this winter and only left footprints and paw prints behind in the snow.
The record snowfall this winter was hard on people with dogs. First, there was the task of getting yourself dressed for each outing. Next, came adding a dog coat and boots if your pup is one who needs them.
Once outside, you had to find a spot where your dog would complete the task at hand. (Some dogs are fussy about things like that.)
Even if your dog was quick and would have been happy to return inside, you had to trudge the extra distance to find a waste receptacle for your pick up bag. And, in many cases, you found the trash bucket overflowing.
Back inside, you had to undress yourself and your dog, wash dirty paws, and attempt to dry wet fur. Plus, you had to do this 3 to 5 times a day depending on the age, size, breed, and overall health of your companion.
Just as it only took one smoker to create this pile of cigarette litter (almost all the same brand) outside a Back Bay residence, it only takes one scofflaw with a dog to mess up an entire block over the course of a few weeks.
It Only Takes One …
Shame on those who decided that since they were out there alone with no one in view, they didn’t have to pick up after their dog.
As with many social problems, a small number of people are at the core of the issue. As I used to say to one particularly nasty dog hater who expressed her displeasure with dogs to everyone who passed with leash in hand, “If the vast majority of us didn’t pick up after our dogs, you'd be knee deep in it.”
April Stools Day
If dog haters and people without dogs in their lives are upset over this issue, you can only imagine how maddening it is to those of us who do it right. What’s more, many of us with bag already in hand have been trying to clean up after those who give the dog community this black eye.
Portland, Maine has addressed this winter scofflaw problem with humor since the year 2000. Each April, responsible members of the dog community declare an “April Stools Day,” when dog lovers come out in force to clean up the parks. Portland’s day is official and includes event extras. But, around here, anyone with a bag can add goodness to the next day of sunshine with a visit to their favorite dog walking area to pick up a few extra droppings.
Words: Penny Cherubino - part of this post appeared in one of Penny's City Paws Newspaper columns
Photography: © 2015 Penny & Ed Cherubino