Few things ruin a family morning out at the park like having to walk home to wash dog poop off of your entire family.
By Victor North
Published October 29, 2015
An open letter to the dog owners of Hamilton:
I love dogs. I love your dogs! I like seeing them around, and I hold them blameless for their pooping ways. But good god people, you need to start picking up their poop.
Now, it must be said that most of you already do. Some simple back-of-the-napkin math tells us that the vast majority of Hamilton's dog owners must be responsibly scooping that doody, or else we would be living in some kind of Victorian pedestrian hellscape with our streets awash in dog poop and horse corpses and whatnot.
But I have never lived in a city where so many do not. It's gotten ridiculous. What is it, Hamilton?
Do you think that the poop disappears? Do you imagine that city parks are like some kind of adorable doggy sewage treatment facility? With little Scruffers in a reflective doggy vest and hard hat, all managing a doggy doop aerobic treatment system? Because that would be awesome and I am all for it.
But when your dog makes a deposit, it doesn't go anywhere. Do you not remember that one dude in the neighbourhood who let his dog out to poop in the back yard, but only cleaned it up maybe once a year? That backyard was a graveyard of ghostly turds.
That poop lingers. Do you think rain washes it away? No: if anything, rain only returns harmlessly desiccated dried up doodys to their full sticky potency. If it seems to you as though your dog's poop disappears in parks, it is only because other people pick it up - either intentionally or unintentionally.
Other people like my son, for example. He and my wife played for maybe ten or fifteen minutes before bed the other night in the park next door. It was awesome! He ran around and chased his mom behind a tree, giggling and hooting with pure baby joy; the kind of free-based joy that life slowly steals from you until your own children give it back.
The next morning, when I still had full sanity bars, when I wasn't a broken man who posted cathartic screeds online, I went to put his shoes in my pocket to carry them to daycare. I did this because it is raining hard and he needed to wear his adorable li'l rain boots.
His adorable li'l sneakers were covered in much less adorable poop. Luckily I noticed before the inside of my pockets were also covered in poop, but we haven't always been as lucky. (Lucky in this sense meaning just having to scrub poop out of the grooves of a tiny sneaker, so that poop doesn't get spread all around a daycares floor.)
You know that scene from Scrubs that tries to demonstrate the movement of bacteria?
That is what your dog's poop is like when you don't pick it up. Our son, playing in a park, might fall in poop. Forget "might", this absolutely happens. The particular incident I'm thinking of happened maybe two months ago. Without realizing that my son had dog poop on his ass, I picked him up and put him on my shoulders.
Once I did that, the poop was close enough to my nose that it made its presence known. "Poop," I thought. "Is there poop on my son and myself?"
Yes, indeed, we confirm the presence of poop, but we can't know when first contact was made. Did my wife get it on herself from playing with Davis? Did he touch himself and get it on his fingers? (Toddlers pop their fingers into their mouths with great regularity.) Did he touch other children?
I can tell you, few things ruin a family morning out at the park like having to walk home to wash poop off of your entire family.
When you let your dog poop in a park and you don't pick it up, you may not realize it, but you are in essence saying: "Hmm. That poop belongs on a child. Yes. I do believe that I would rather see this poop smeared on children than pick it up, for that is the lesser of two inconveniences, indeed."
Most times it isn't so bad. Most times it just ends up on shoes. But I poop you not, we either make contact with poop in some way, or have near misses with poop, on every single family walk or park visit we make.
It's gotten to the point where I feel like parks are some kind of fecal minefield, every uncalculated step a fresh opportunity to reveal some new and horrible hidden secret. Which is, of course, a crazy over-reaction. But again, I have been broken by your constant poop-traps.
So what's the deal? Do you really think parks are enchanted land, a magic, self-regulating doggy waste elimination facility? In your heart of hearts, I imagine that you must not.
So is this some kind of self-hate? Another example of Hamilton's weird psychology of denying ourselves nice things? A "I poop upon the crappy, crap-filled parks of Hamilton; because it's no less than we - than I - deserve!" kinda nonsense?
If so, dog owners of Hamilton, I implore you to cut that crap out. We have a great city with great parks, and the only problem I can see is that you keep pooping on it.
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