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Adventures in Dogwalking #417

May 15, 2011

Goldie explores the plain of sticks

My dog is a scientist. Not a badass honey badger scientist, but a scientist nevertheless. Let me explain.

When we walk by the beach, we always take the same path – down the trail, then out onto this ledge of asphalt that has been partially sea-eaten, then jump down onto the sand and continue onward.

The other night the surf was good and the good surfers were out, so I decided I wanted to watch. When I jumped off the ledge, I sat down. Goldie continued out to the end of the 16-foot Flexi leash, which then yanked her neck.

She pulled forward again. Yanked. Again. Yanked. She repeated this about 10 times. It was like she was thinking “We usually proceed forward here – WHAT is holding me back?”

She came back toward me a bit, then took off again. And again. At this point, I was done watching surfers and was just laughing at my dog.

Finally she came back over, jumped up on the ledge, jumped down and kept walking til the leash jerked her again. I realized what she was doing though – she was testing variables, trying something different to see what worked. “I don’t know why I’m stopped, but maybe if I retrace my steps…”

I so admired her persistence that I gave her her wish and got up to continue our walk. But I’m getting her a job in a laboratory tomorrow.

Speaking of dogwalking, remember when it was ok to leave your dog poop anywhere? I guess because back in the bad old days, people had never figured out that steaming piles of dog crap were the responsibility of the owner.

Now the pendulum has swung, and our parks departments are eager to help owners take care of their dog messes. There are plastic bag holders conveniently located in our parks and they are stocked with “Mutt MItts,” plastic bags printed with instructions on how to dispose of dog crap.

One would think that people wouldn’t NEED actual instructions, because the process seems pretty dang intuitive to me. How creative can you get with dog poop and a plastic bag?


Appparently even the printed instructions aren’t enough, because every day I come along several Mutt Mitts that have been used and deposited right there along the trail, not taken to the conveniently located trash bins.

What the hell are people thinking? “I need to clean this crap up by putting it in a plastic bag and leaving it here for some other person to find”? Or is it because the bags say “Biodegradable” on them, they think they should leave them out to biodegrade? Lord help us.

Maybe the next step should be some kind of mandatory Mutt Mitt classes. I think an 8-hour session should about cover it.

  1. May 15, 2011 22:11

    people. kill. me.

    • May 16, 2011 06:22

      It’s really amazing. But then again, we used to have to put up “no littering” signs, too, so the duh factor is high.

  2. May 16, 2011 01:32

    People who leave it behind should have to pick it up bare-handed. They’d never leave it behind again. Love the experimenting dog, maybe there’s a Nobel Prize for Dog Science – that might explain all the sniffing of behinds (and fronts)…

    • May 16, 2011 06:23

      At my mom’s house, I have to clean up about a dozen piles a week. She has some lovely neighbors who just let their dogs out to run around the suburban neighborhood…

  3. May 16, 2011 05:19

    Sometimes, if Grover poops at the beginning of a walk, I’ll leave it there rather than carry it for two miles and retrieve on returning closer to home. Or like yesterday when he’d already gone twice when I took him for a walk and he went in someone’s yard and I didn’t have a bag. We ended up walking home, walking back to pick up the poo and then back home again. Made our mile walk a mile and a half. And by that time, I had to go to the bathroom too!

    • May 16, 2011 06:24

      I’m always looking for the fastest way to dispose of it…yet somehow she always manages to go as far as possible from the nearest trash bin.

  4. Carolyn permalink
    May 22, 2011 09:52

    I walk my dog on the weekends and always pick up after my dog. Because trash day is Monday and because I double bag the waste, I will deposit it into the nearest neighbor’s trashcan. One weekend the trash can’s owner took out the bag and left if on the curb…which of course sat there until the following weekend when we were walking again!

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