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Monday, November 24, 2014

DOG POOP

BRYCE ON LIFE

- What do your dogs think about all of this?

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It is not often I discuss something as banal as dog poop, but I recently witnessed an incident which caused me to think about it.

First, I use the term "poop" here as it is perhaps the least offensive word describing the item in question. I could try using more cerebral adaptations, such as "stool," "excrement," "feces," or "manure," but I do not think there are many veterinarians who follow my column. As kids, we knew better than to say "crap," and the "S" word was guaranteed to get your mouth washed out with soap. So, we defaulted to "poop," especially when we were around adults.

It wasn't that long ago when most people let their dogs relieve themselves in the confines of the backyard. When there was too much poop on hand, someone would have to shovel it up, a task usually assigned to the offspring. However, if you walked the dog around the neighborhood, the animal was allowed to do his business and you simply moved along.

Somewhere in the 1990's though this started to change, and to be a good neighbor you were expected to pick up your dog's poop in plastic bags. I think this was when we started to become "politically correct." Initially, newspaper bags were convenient for picking up the poop, but now we have all kinds of designer bags for securing the merchandise. In other words, something that once was free was now beginning to cost money. I wish I could find a way to blame technology for this, but I tend to blame the media instead.

The ASPCA reports there are an estimated 70-80 million dogs in the United States representing approximately 37-47% of all households. No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of poop. The next question is how much of our garbage dumps are filled with these little plastic poopy packages? I wonder how archeologists centuries from now will interpret these voluminous fun bags. I can hear them now saying, "Why did they bag it? Didn't they know the plastic was bad for the environment? They should have just allowed it to work into the soil naturally."

Recently though, I happened to watch a neighbor walking his two dogs. Before he could walk them off his property, nature called and both animals left their packages on his front lawn. As my neighbor leaned down to pick up the poop in a decorative plastic bag, I happened to notice the expressions of both dogs as they waited for their master to complete his task. They seemed to look at him puzzled, seeming to say, "What the heck are you doing? Have you lost your mind? I put that there for a purpose. You're embarrassing me. Surely, you're not bringing that home with us. Just leave it alone or I'll do it again." And inevitably he did. Next time you see someone walking their dog, watch the animal's expression and you'll see what I mean.

After witnessing this incident, I came to the conclusion it is more difficult to train the master than the animal.

As an aside, I think I've discovered a new Murphy's Law: "A dog will only poop if he can embarrass the walker." Meaning, if you happen to be recognized by a good neighbor, or a fine looking woman or man, your dog will inevitably decide to take this opportunity to do his business, and so much for you leaving a good impression on the other person.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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