I’m not extremely organized; I get by. When it comes to germs, however, I have a little neurosis about bathroom bacteria. So imagine what happens when someone like me has a kid: some kind of crazy.
I cringe when I see people not washing their hands after they use the restroom. Gross. I mean that person could be shaking my hand or handing me my morning pastry! Would you like some poo with your cronut?
The greatest abomination to me, however, is dog owners who don’t scoop their pooch’s poop! San Francisco is an extremely walkable city. A lot of people walk everywhere. That being said, how many of you have stepped in some dog’s excrement? Then…as you foot sinks into the gloppy smelly mess, most likely you scrape your shoe on the side walk so that as much of that poop gets out. Maybe you’ll even scrape the sidewalk edge or walk through some puddles.
The point is now there are poop tracks all over the sidewalk, giving more opportunity for unsuspecting walkers, strollers and wheelchairs to collect more smelly fecal matter and track it further down the sidewalk and then, if they’re super lucky, into their home.
When Pudge was born, we inherited a new way of bringing poo in the house. We have the Asian “leave your shoes” at the door. Now we have the “leave the stroller there too,” policy. So many times do I see some poor baby’s stroller streaking poop on the sidewalk. The squishy poopiness creeping into the tread on the tires. The stroller then makes it into the house and sits there, in our case, in the entryway. Those tires beckon at our child who is constantly looking for the germiest place to put his tiny hands on. Pudge will randomly run to his stroller and reach out to handle the wheels. “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” I always cry! ”NOT THE STROLLER WHEELS!!!!!!” This is then followed by a very vigorous hand washing session.
The stroller goes into the car too. Sometimes a friend will casually throw it in the trunk. With the wheels hitting my silk hat back there, or maybe my husband’s ski jacket. Or sometimes when I have it in the front, the wheels bop happily where a passenger’s head would normally be. Sometimes a bag will rest up on it. Ick.
Dog owners often say that their dogs are part of the family. Well, when we added Pudge to our family we clean his poop and carefully wrap it in its diaper and discard it in the garbage. If you can accept the responsibility of owning a pet then you can accept the fact that you are responsible for their poo.
Yes we have laws that say that you are to scoop up after your pooch, but I never see anyone enforcing these laws. Obviously it would be hard to enforce the law, because how often does someone with the authority to arrest someone actually catch someone red-handed in his or her dastardly act?
I think it should be legal for any citizen who catches a fellow citizen not cleaning up after their dog to not only address the dog owner, but take the dog. After all if you can’t clean up after your dog then you should not be allowed to have a dog.
Recently my husband was walking up to our house and a man and his dog were outside our house. The man was standing and waiting while the dog was doing his business. The man and the dog walked off and my husband started to follow the man and the dog while saying, “Excuse me. Your dog pooped. You have to clean it up.” My husband continued to follow the man for an entire block while repeating what the dog owner had just done.
Finally the dog owner stopped with his dog and turned around to face my husband. His response was, “Oh. I didn’t know my dog pooped,” and stared blankly at my husband. My husband said that he would follow him home or to his car or wherever until he came back to pick up his dog’s poo. He finally relented and came back.
You know that look I’m talking about though: when a dog owner is staring off into space while waiting for his or her dog to poop. They stare off like they don’t know what’s happening, when obviously they know because they stopped. We know they know. They are just setting the stage to walk off…maybe because they forgot the poop bag.
Of course there won’t be a police officer around. Poop offenders rank low in comparison to murderers, drug dealers and robbers. Think about what poop offenders do to a community though. They make the environment unclean. Some of the poop might carry diseases and/or attract flies to the area. Again all these points do not affect just the area that the poop-and-flee incidents occur, but to where the poop ends up after being carried on shoes, strollers, wheelchairs, walkers, canes and other sidewalk devices.
That being said, I think that poop-fleeing should be an offense that requires the public’s assistance in monitoring. The next time you see someone poop and flee, yell out to them just to make sure the perpetrator knows. If they ignore you, get an identifying feature like a car license plate or follow them home! People in urban areas affected by piles of poop on the side walk, UNITE!!
Whether or not you own dogs or do not, we all have the right to poo free shoes!