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You Gotta Admit – It’s a Mess!

     Okay, Mr. Arnold. I’m gonna do it. I didn’t think I could, but I’m gonna. Write about people cleaning up – more specifically, not cleaning up – after their pets. More specifically, their dogs. As you requested.

     You said some people are causing great grief because they sneak around town not cleaning up the sidewalks and streets after a walk-by with their dogs. I always found it hard to sneak around with a dog, but...

     Actually, I haven’t had the problem myself. The only time I walked my dog she romped and frisked but didn’t soil. I guess that’s because we have lots of soil at home to romp on - and soil. For the latter, she uses her favorite spot way down the bank, in a corner overgrown with weeds – or “native plants” - where human feet never wander.

     Before we moved, our yard had only small patches of lawn to soil. We had another dog at the time and unfortunately, he had nowhere to go but there. Fortunately, I was working long hours, so someone else took care of the problem. Nice to have a family.

     But I’m getting off the subject – which is dog-walkers shirking their civic duty on the streets and sidewalks and grassy areas of our fair city. Or almost fair. Or would be fair if everyone would clean up after their dogs. And their kids. And – I saw you throw out that Kleenex!

     Oops. Got off the subject again.

     You can’t blame ’em, you know. It’s not fun, retrieving the issue of a Retriever. Especially with all those people watching - lined up along the sidewalk, rushing forth from the shops, slowing traffic to a crawl… Will he? Or won’t he? And if he does, will he get it all? What will he do with it once he gets it?

     Quite embarrassing as you bend over to perform your civic duty, presenting your best side to the sidewalk where no one can see it, and your other side up where everyone can see it. There ought’a be a better way. Yep. There’s gotta be a better way.

     I have a few ideas. How about salting it away with Potter’s Magic Disappearing Salt? Easy to carry in your rear pocket and I’ve heard it works wonders. More to the point, you can do it from a reasonably dignified stance. The only problem is, Harry Potter hasn’t been to town since last spring and supplies of his Magic Disappearing Salt are – um, disappearing.

     Or how about an enterprising entrepreneur starting up a business to take care of this whole mess? Pet Aides for Hire. Instead of walking your dog for you, your Pet Aide would accompany you and your four-legged friend on your brisk and healthy outings – thus leaving you free to enjoy the playful romping of your friend in the sunshine - while he takes care of anything left behind. What he does with it – well, that’s what you pay him for. I’ll bet there are hundreds of Venture Capitalists out there eagerly waiting for an opportunity to clean up with a great investment like this.

     If the problem is especially rampant in your neighborhood, you might want to establish a Neighborhood Watch group and have your Captain post the street-sweeper’s schedule on the lamppost. Then everyone in the neighborhood can walk their dogs a couple of minutes before the street-sweeper is scheduled to come and voila! Leave it to the street-sweeper!

     I don’t know. I’m plumb out of ideas. Seems to me most people would be embarrassed to leave their dog’s signature on the boulevard. Or on their neighbor’s well-manicured lawn – or not-so-well-manicured lawn. But for sure - dogs love to walk with their masters and mistresses and masters and mistresses love to walk with their dogs, so either the problem will go away or it will continue forever. And that’s for sure.

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