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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poop Bags

One of my favorite parts of the day is my morning constitutional with my mildly-retarded, baby-eating half-pit bull, Buckley. Buck is an odd little fella with myriad idiosyncrasies and personality quirks. For example, he's obsessed with his tail. Like, Captain Ahab - Moby Dick obsessed. And no, he doesn't really eat babies. Yet.

When he really gets going, he's an unstoppable tornado of white fur, tearing though the apartment as if it were a Midwest trailer park. He'll catch his tail and in true pit fashion, simply won't let go. If you call him, he'll rotate toward you and will even ascend and descend staircases, never loosening the death-grip on his rear appendage. Maybe this is why most of his breed have bobbed tails? But I digress.

This morning we strolled through Battery Park, as per our usual routine. And as there often are on pleasant days, a few homeless people were sleeping on various benches and plots of grass throughout the park. It's just part of its charm, I guess.

Now, one of my biggest pet peeves — pardon the pun — is people who don't pick up after their dogs. It's an ongoing problem in Burlington and many a morning — and shoe — have been ruined by errant footfalls.  It's gotten to the point that I've actually confronted fellow dog owners when I catch them in the act — though I'll usually offer an extra plastic bag.

This morning, I happened to spy a girl in her early-twenties walking her German Shepard. She was cute and her dog was handsome. And apparently incontinent — the dog, that is. I noticed the pair just as the Shepard was kicking his hind legs, proudly spreading the scent of its discharge.  He finished and without batting an eyelash, the girl turned and began to lead the dog away from the scene of the crime. I rolled my eyes and reached into my pockets for a spare bag.

As I did, an older black gentleman, lying on a bench, raised his head from a makeshift pillow and shouted from across the park, "Hey! I wouldn't shit your bedroom! Pick up after your goddamn dog, lady!"

The girl's expression was priceless. A mix of disbelief and embarrassment crossed her face as she frantically searched her jeans for a bag we all knew wasn't there. Smirking, I held up one of mine as Buck and I made our way toward her. She took the bag and whispered to me, "What the hell is his problem?" I merely smiled and shrugged my shoulders as she bent down to scoop the poop. "Have a nice day, and thanks for cleaning up after your dog," I said turning to walk away. "Uggh," she replied in disgust, daintily attempting to pick up the pile.

As I strolled past the gentleman on the bench, he addressed me, "Hey buddy?" I began to reach into my pocket for spare change or a loose dollar. "You got any more of those bags? You wouldn't believe how often this happens." Taken aback, I reached in my other pocket and produced two more bags. "Thanks, man," he replied. "No sir," I said. "Thank you."

I tipped my Sox hat and began to walk away. "I wouldn't shit in her bedroom," he said again, readjusting his pillow and laying his head down.



Funny stuff; nice post!

Tanner, you and Oldham have better watch your asses (literally).


People not cleaning up after this great city (poo, butts, cups, bottles, gum wrappers - whatever) is my BIGGEST pet peeve about living here - grrrr! Nice job with the poo bags!

Lisa Crean

Great post, Dan!

My peeve: A-holes who toss their cigarette butts out car windows, drop them on the sidewalk, stub them out in the sand on the beach, etc. (I can be a real bitch on this one. I often say, super-sweetly, "Excuse me, I think you dropped something," and the loser turns around thinking a $20 bill might have fallen out of his pocket.) The world is not an ashtray for lazy nicotine addicts. Take your butt's 650 toxic chemicals--which have already inflamed my severely allergic lungs--put it in the $#%*-ing trash!

Stepped on gum in a parking lot today, too. That's another nice one. As is having to put back someone else's grocery cart so you can pull into a parking space--did that today as well. Really, how lazy ARE we?


I would say the length and depths of that question have not yet been fathomed. Litterbugs are my pet peeve as well. I conceed that "trash makes trash", I feel that sway seems to be expected when they don't know differently. If your will brought something here, use same said will to make it vanish (the right way). I work nights and see quite a little bit of walk-by squattings going on folks.

Just last night (morning) I watched the "worker" at a big gas station flick his smoke towards the pumps when I pulled in. Yes, how it would serve me so to know the joy that is skin grafting, Please. I mean he was sitting by an astray while he smoked. Being a smoker I will say that with the laws against it, I always leave a club with the same pack of nails I came with. Less nicotine, but the sidewalks went directly into the crapper proportional to the alcohol factor.

Maybe it is just an awareness thing, but in a landscape of todays concerns we should be doing far bigger things to minimize our footprints. Remember those grandfolks that gave us what we have now. Maybe it was not all good, but it is still here and what's the harm in trying to make it better out of respect. Maybe the world could be saved with a most triumphant video with Eddie playing guitar as the world weaps. More PSA's and less "info"mercials might help some too.


Hearing you loud and clear Jay, and Dan... and everyone else. I was actually gonna blog about this myself; not so much the shit; though i did watch a guy let his giant boxer take an equally giant shit right on the side walk on cherry street and just walk off a couple months ago... unbelievable.

But I make sure to take bags with me where ever i go with Oldham; Jenny has these cool little mitten shaped dogpoopscoopers called "Scoopies" that she sells at Scribbles that rock - nothing eases the clean up process like proper usage of your opposable thumb!

Anyway - what amazes me now that i'm a dog owner, and especially as an owner of a puppy that loves to put anything it finds in his mouth, is the amount of Cigarette butts, and broken glass that cover almost every square foot of downtown burlington. i'm constantly having to scoop Oldham up out of the way of shards, or dig a disgusting cig butt out of his mouth.

But i'm not getting up on my high horse, i'm a smoker - and until recently i was fairly willy nilly about discarding my butts... not anymore. lesson learned.


I'm also an on-and-off smoker — though I'm afraid more on than off lately. Go figure — and am usually pretty good about discarding butts as well. But I can't claim to be a saint in that regard.

One thing I'd like to see more of in Burlington on the whole are trash cans. Aside from Church Street and some of the parks, there aren't nearly enough. I've literally walked across town carrying two or three steaming bags — Buck's a double deuce machine — because I didn't cross paths with a proper receptacle. C'mon Bob Kiss, throw us a bone . . . oh, that was bad.


I love the post and accompanying comments! It's such a relief to know that I'm not the only one who notices litter, inconsiderate dog owners, and any number of other local transgressions. I guess what I'd like to add, though, is that this is just another symptom of lack of consideration as a whole. We are all so self centered that we don't stop to think what this world would be like if EVERYONE left her dog's mess on lawns and in parks, if EVERYONE tossed his cigarette butts or litter on the ground, if EVERYONE drove or biked (don't get me started about sideWALKS and crossWALKS) without any regard for laws and signs and pedestrians. We think that these rules are for everyone EXCEPT ourselves.

Well, some of us do.

And then there are the folks who've shared this moment of solidarity. Perhaps if we just keep setting a good example and encouraging others to do so (like bringing extra bags for dirty doggies instead of just giving dirty looks), we can make the world a more considerate place. May the force be with you!


I don't know. If she really was cute and she asked me nicely, I probably would poop in her bedroom. But maybe that's just me.

Raul Zero

Was the girl black too like the 'gentleman' on the park bench? I don't know because you didn't say. That's my pet peeve. If you're going to report the skin color of your subjects, remember to be consistent.


This girl's a selfish child. "uggh" who told you to get a dog?

Does anyone else have a problem with the homeless guy sleeping in Battery Park? It's not "His Bedroom"! Chrips, isn't that right next to the police station,goodness sake? Dude, they're called "homeless shelters". Get off the public bench and go sleep there. There's your bedroom.


It may not be his bedroom, but he's a far better steward than the bronze-skinned girl.

Do you feel better now, Raul?


bronze skinned, like... black, or like, white and tanned. I need a better mental picture, helps me understand the situation on a deeper level... *sarcasm*


Fair Enough, Dan. I'm not comfortable with either of these people. Clean up after your dog and don't sleep in the park.


Hey Dan, I think I saw this girl today! Does she have blond hair, black jacket and those huge wrap around style glasses that could double as ski goggels in a pinch? At any rate, she was with a shepard and if by divine coincidence, ol' sheppy was spreading the love as I drove by. I was invited to watch because my light turned red and get this, the stop light at Pearl and Church. I take it you live close to the park as I do, so you will know that if you are heading up the hill what is on the left. Ahh, the young folk are always crapping on the church so why should their pets be left by the wayside. I am not a bible thumper by any means, but that should make even an atheist shake their head. For future reference I think these types of pet owners should be denoted as "owner and owner cloners".

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