Doody Duty: Picking Up After Your Pooch

Ever since Pepper was about a year old I began picking up her poop because a neighbor came up to me and said I should pick it up. I remember my reaction to her request and it wasn’t pleasant at first. I mean, who did she think she was to tell me to do something so demeaning? But soon after thinking on it I thought that it would be the right thing to do. Wouldn’t I feel awful if I caused someone’s shoe the demise of stepping in my dog’s excrement? Of course I would. After all, Pepper’s doody is small enough so why wouldn’t I do it.

Well a couple of nights ago I went out into the freezing elements and braved another winter walk with Pepper. A couple arrived to their home right as Pepper was giving her poop salute and I, as I have done for the past 8 years, was there with plastic bag in hand ready for the pick up. Now over the years I have developed quite a quick manual scooping technique to pick up and tie the bag to where it’s not a second thought. But the lady counterpart of the couple gets out of the passenger side and sees me pick up. She shouts out a “Thank You” to me. Like I said I’ve been doing it so long that I forgot that what I was doing was still actually a service and benefit to the yards of those that Pepper desecrates. Shocked at her gratitude I gave a chuckle and gave a giggly you’re welcome back to her. I guess I giggled because I didn’t know if she was talking to her husband or me. But the octave of her voice suggested to me that she was yelling it in my direction. But it put a smile on my face that she was appreciative of my actions and I was glad that I was still doing it. I would want someone to do it for me if their dog pooped in my yard that I worked so hard to keep plush.

Picking up you’re dog’s feces isn’t just the right thing to do, there are also health benefits as well as other considerations for doing it. There’s a reason that we use a bowl for our number twosies. And they are pretty much the same reasons as to why we should pick up our dog’s as well. Pet waste can carry bacteria like E. Coli that can cause diarrhea, organisms like Giardia that can cause nausea, bacteria like Salmonella that attacks the intestineal tract and intestinal parasites like Cryptosporidium. These nasty bacteria can affect anyone that may come into contact with it. That even means other pets that come into contact with feces. It is also the law in some states and cities that you have to pick it up. If not there will be fines. Rules can even be invoked park by park. And bottom line it keeps your neighborhood clean just in case you find yourself stepping where your dog may have pooped. Not to mention, it keeps the neighborhood free from fowl odors as well.

There are a few ways of picking up your pet’s poop. If your dog is petite enough then the doodles they produce aren’t so bad to just pick them up with a bag. Some grocery stores, general stores or pet stores carry doggy bags specifically for the use of picking up after your dog. Some parks nowadays even provide you with them. But if you’re dog’s doo looks like they should be using your commode then you may want to use the old trusty pooper scooper. These come in a variety of shapes and mechanics to make it easier for you to pick up and toss your scoopings. And for those that find their yard getting the raw end of the deal, did you also know that there were professional services that will come and pick up the poop in your yard for a fee? There’s even an underground pet waste digester. Never heard of it? Well me either. For those that want to take care of their own dog's feces, this is a septic system where you can place your dog's feces inside an underground container. By placing the powder-like digester and water upon the poop that you have placed inside the container, your dog’s poo becomes liquified somewhat like the way a septic tank would work. Sounds gross but seems pretty nifty. Though it seems to not be so handy in the winter months as it seems to function better in temperatures above 40 degrees. Seems to me winter is when you might need it the most when you won't feel like taking Rufus for a walk. But it still seems useful.

Overall, it’s safer and best to pick up what your dog leaves behind. At first it seems a disgusting notion but it’s something we should all practice as dog owners. Consider the fact that children play in parks, runners dodge off of sidewalks into the grass in order to go around slow pokers and college guys start up a football game in an empty field. Not a one of them wants to accidentally step in or fumble upon your dog’s doody just because you didn’t feel like it or are too self conscious to pick it up. Instead of looking at it from that perspective see how you are improving your neighborhood. See how you are preventing yourself from one day stepping in it because you forgot where you took Fido for his walk or it’s too dark to see where you’re stepping in your own yard. It’s not nearly as embarrassing to pick up your pet's dog poo as you might think. But of course I’ve been doing it for 8 years (that’s a lot of poop) and honestly if Pepper’s doo was larger than what it was I would have some bigger second thoughts about it but it is the right thing to do.

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Comments 12 comments

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Thanks for reminding everyone of this "doody". Rather than buy bags I just use the plastic grocery bags. That way I am at least reusing the bags to an extent.

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Very true Rebecca. I use them as backup bags when I run out of my normal doggy bags. And I actually use diaper bags because they seem to be a little cheaper and you get more in quantity. Thanks for dropping in a comment. Have a pleasant day!

FatFreddysCat profile image

FatFreddysCat 5 years ago from The Garden State

I use the plastic bags that my daily newspaper comes in for "Poop Patrol."

Currently I am very happy that the temperature outside has dropped because it makes the doggie bombs easier to pick up, if you catch my drift. :D

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

I wouldn't think of leaving my Baby's poop behind. She poops like spagetti, but I still pick it up!

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

I know what you mean FatFreddy. *wink wink* I mainly like the diaper bags because they're scented, easier to glove over my hand and they're tinted. But as long as there's a pick up nobody cares what it's picked up with. Ha! Thanks for dropping in a comment! Have a great day!

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

I admit Mary that when I had my Chow Chow before Pepper I didn't pick hers up and never thought twice about it. But when I think back on it I would sometimes find it hard to find a spot for her to go in because of past poops. But now Pepper always has somewhere to go so I'm glad I do it with her. See ya later Mary. Thanks for dropping by!

arusho profile image

arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

I've always picked up my dogs poop, but some people in our neighborhood let their dogs out to go poop. They end up pooping in our front lawn sometimes, it's gross! Then we have to pick it up, which is not fair! If we didn't pick up our dog's poop in our backyard we wouldn't be able to even step foot out back. I can't imagine not cleaning up the poop. Picking it up also keeps the poop from contaminating our water system, as it can get washed into our storm drain system along with other pollutants. So please pick up after your pet!!

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

You tell 'em arusho! You're right it's not fair. I rent an apt but I would hate for some to do that to me if I had a yard. And its bad too in an apt. complex when tenants don't pick up and you can't find anywhere for your dog to go. Thanks for dropping in a comment! Have an awesome day!

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DoItForHer 5 years ago

When Waffy (my dog) leaves a 'present', I almost always pick it up and if discover another 'gift' from another dog and if there is room in my hand, I'll pick that up too. I actually pick up more poo than my dog puts out.

Am definitely going to try the diaper bag idea. Poo bags are way overpriced, but they are convenient.

Cat dooky should be thrown away instead of flushed. Cats can carry toxoplasmosis which can be transmitted to other animals, like otters, near the water's edge. In some areas, this is a bad problem.

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

If you have a Dollar Tree near you DoItForHer, that's where I get mine from. I assume grocery stores carry them too. Thanks for the info on the cats too! Have a great day!

TheEpicJourney profile image

TheEpicJourney 5 years ago from Fairfield, Ohio

NiaG this article made me happy hahaha. This is a subject I've not seen discussed in any kind of detail ever. I think its great that you wrote a hub on such a healthy and often overlooked or avoided subject. Props for having the guts and decency to do it and do it well!!

NiaG profile image

NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY Author

Thanks TheEpicJourney! The best hub ideas often come from everyday happenings. Glad to share some of my thoughts on this. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!

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