Oh Where Art Thou Dog Fairy?

I can’t begin to describe how beautiful Juneau, Alaska was yesterday.

Breathtakingly gorgeous.

The sky canvas was as clear and blue as the Caribbean ocean and stretched on until it reached the mountains, which were decked out in enormous white party hats. The snow was glittering off the mountains as if there were stars among the forest.

Yesterday was truly a day I am grateful to live in such a blessed location. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Spring was around the corner. Kids were out playing basketball and adults were out hiking the trails in droves. An occasional breeze would bring the sound of Tinkerbell-like laughter, which of course, were God’s angels enjoying this phenomenal day as well.

We decided although we had plenty of chores to do, we had to go get our most favorite big dog in the whole-entire-world and spend the afternoon with him. Enter Tater : 180 pounds of love, fur and drool. When people ask what kind of dog Tater is – as he’s a very imposing figure…. we generally enjoy confusing them by saying, “chihuahua” when in reality he’s a Mastiff.

Love this guy!

With Tater last winter

At the end of our running around for the day, we took Tater over to the Airport Dike Trail, which runs alongside the Mendenhall Wildlife Wetland Refuge. It’s a great place to walk your dog and is extremely popular. On a day like yesterday, the parking area was full and people were having to park alongside the road. Definitely taking advantage of the spring like day!

We get out of the car, put a leash on Tater (simply because he can be intimidating due to his size) and grab a few plastic doggie bags….just in case Tater needs to “leave a deposit” we’ll be ready. Thankfully he generally prefers his own backyard. He’s not a public pooper.

We start towards the trail head and already I’m disappointed in my fellow human beings.

We haven’t even started on the trail and there are two bags of dog poop left on top of the boulders designating the start of the trail. Are you kidding me? Why is it owners can’t throw away the bags of poop? Do you think there is some magical Dog Poop Fairy that shows up to clean up your mess? Yes, when we returned from our walk, the two bags were still sitting there!

I should be thankful at least they picked it up! 90% of the dog owners let their dog go wherever and keep on walking. No big deal. Everyone does it. Yeah, with everyone doing it, the beauty that is the Airport Dike Trail has been overtaken with the stink of dog crap left behind! Not to mention having to constantly watch where you step so you don’t squish your hikers into a pile of crap! Have a little common courtesy and clean up after your pet!

It cracks me up – all the “environmentalists” – the tree-hugging, bark crunching folks, the “don’t change anything” greenies…are always up in arms about saving the planet and making it a better place for our children, you have to reduce, reuse, recycle. We have to take care of what Mother Nature gave us. Well you know what, it starts with YOU! The beauty of our trails is up to us! Keep them clean for everyone to enjoy. Yeah, poop is a natural state, but how many of you are pooping in your front driveway to let “nature take it’s course?”
Case in point:

Sunday morning, enjoying coffee, Nancy looks out her kitchen window to see Harold, her neighbor, doing his morning constitutional:

“Oh look, there goes Harold again. Looks like he’s constipated. I told him he should really try those prune smoothies.”

Ummm, yeah, as homo sapiens, we’re disposing of our poop properly and not letting it become the aggravation of someone else. You want to compost it? Fine – brown bag it and take it home. Don’t leave it for a child to fall into when he tumbles off his bike.

If I can bend down and scoop up Tater’s poop, which let me tell you usually requires TWO bags — then you sure as hell can pick up your dog’s poop!

Here’s a thought: the city needs to make more money? Then stand behind your rules and regulations about cleaning up after your dog! Get someone out there for just an hour on a nice day and you’d write so many tickets that you’d need to bring a back up ticket book! I’m not kidding. Why should the majority of dog owners be allowed to ruin a beautiful area – that the rest of the community likes to enjoy as well? The trail isn’t designated for “dogs and their owners only.” The trail is for everyone.

Perhaps the city should provide disposable foot covers, like doctors wear in operating rooms, by the start of the trail. That way if you happen to step on a stinker you can leave it behind when you leave. Dog crap is one memento I don’t want to take home with me, thank you.

Better yet, have some kids needing to fulfill some community service sentence from the court? Get them out there on a daily schedule to clean up the crap!

There’s nothing worse than enjoying the walk and a gentle breeze kicks up and you’re stunned into an eye watering blindness brought on by a pile (or multiple piles) of crap some dog just left two minutes ago. Forget about visiting the Airport Dike Trail in the summer time – it stinks. I personally refer to it as, “Dog Poop Trail.”

It has crossed my mind, when out on the trail, to carry a bunch of those doggie bags with me and when I catch someone who leaves their dog’s waste behind…I could run up, collect it and then casually hand it off to them…

“Excuse me. Your dog dropped this.”

Noses would crinkle, lips would curl back and the denials would ensue. Get over it folks – everyone poops.

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