Doggone wasteful thoughts

It all started when I was at the eye doctor’s, rifling through a stack of waiting room periodicals. I paused at an article on animal waste in a hunting & fishing magazine. It offered a visual guide to bear’s waste (a dark pudding-like blob), hogshead snake’s waste (a furry lump of something not fully digested) and otter’s waste (a spiky collage of shellfish casings), among others.

dog-1720673__340After my appointment, eyes slightly dilated, I stopped at a nearby pet store with its overstuffed shelves of food, equipment, accessories and toys to look for pet waste bags. Who spends all that on an animal? Well, obviously, I do, since I have the receipts from the vet, kennel and grocery store to prove it. The last time I bought scented bags. That was regrettable. The smell was so overpowering, I took them to the visitor center to use as giveaways — wrapped around dog biscuits and tied with a bow around the town’s schedule of tourist events. That was even more regrettable. I came in one shift to find a mouse had gnawed into the bags, leaving half-consumed biscuits and a room reeking of perfumed plastic.

On this day the display offered ZippyPaws, DogiPot, EcoFriendly, PoochPower and OUT! rainbow-colored bags, heavy duty bags, camouflage bags, pink bags – so many choices. My dilated eyes were drawn to “Glow in the Dark!” If only to make my husband laugh, I needed to take these home. It wasn’t the bags he needed to glow when he took Oscar out for his last walk of the evening – the bag is easy enough to locate in hand or pocket. It’s the dog’s waste, hidden on shadowed grass!

australian-terrier-164087__340Which leads me to my last thought: human behavior. Why do people bag their pet waste and then leave it on the curb, or worse, throw it down storm water drains? I remember someone telling me about confronting a guy on a rails-to-trails walking path who consistently refused to pick up after his dog, despite the dog waste bag and disposal station right at the start of path. After that, he still didn’t bag his dog’s waste … instead he carried a clear plastic bag with a brown gardening glove inside it to give the impression that he did. Go figure.

dog-3704580__340I’ll end with two feces stories. I can’t help it. They popped out like click-bait on the Internet once I started searching on “dog waste.” You can click – or not – on the links. Time magazine ran a story recently about scientists tracking down the owner of a USB stick found in frozen seal feces. And New York magazine featured the families behind the porta-potty business in their Feb. 6 issue.

Okay, time to take Oscar out for his walk. Glow time!

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