Dog trains man

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dog Walks Man ... With Poop Bag

Where is the bag? We don't go without it.
Half a year ago I promised we would become a Poop Fairy, every day picking up one doggy deposit that doesn't belong to Kenzo & Viva. Apart from the daily scooping, making this promise to Amy Burket from Go Pet Friendly made me more aware of the whole debate surrounding our four-legged friends and we made some peculiar observations.

I thought you should always pick up after your dog. But apparently not. I discovered that in Holland they had poop lanes. Workers operating special designed scooping machines - like lawn-mowers - were doing their best to keep up with the poop flows. Some places had doggy restrooms, a small fenced in area, which no dogs even wanted to visit, with good reasons. Workers had to clean out those as well.

Poop is bringing employment to Holland. When we visited Holland last week, there was even a very real "dog poop symposium", in which 60 municipalities and counties exchanged "how to's" on dog poop, and how to get it scooped. It has become a business.

Back in Denmark, I found out by accident the Danish laws that poop should be scooped by the dog's owner had become obsolete. The scooping laws were a part of some police regulations, that everybody forget to address when they reformed the police some years ago. Scooping thereby became the responsibility of the person who lives on the ground adjacent to the public space, and not the dog owner. They are even liable if someone would slip in the poop and would harm themselves. I kid you not.

Reading a good book doesn't free me from my newly gained awareness. Even John Zeaman, author of the (otherwise fabulous and must read book) "Dog Walks Man", went to great lengths to find places to walk his dog where he could convince himself scooping surely was not necessary here.

I makes me wonder how poop did become such a topic that we need legislation, new industries, well-meaning lobbyist's and action groups. It all comes down to a man (yes it always seem to be man) with his dog that doesn't want to clean up. It is so simple: dog+man+bag=problem solved. 

Ladies, demand from your spouse to display one bagged deposit (two if he is a Poop Fairy) on return from the dog walk. Use your positive reinforcement wits and praise him for every pile you see in the open: "I am so glad you are not doing that and clean up after Fido". I can see it work, can you?


  1. Poop creating jobs! Hmmm......interesting idea!

  2. Ahem. I'm a woman and I always go out with poopbags. 3 in case Ms Pea overate. Or in case I meet someone else who forgot or didn't bring one. Not picking up poop here led to the poisonings in the dog parks. Remember those? I can't understand people who leave poop behind. It's like being a litter bug. It's common sense not to do it and shouldn't require laws and big brother to see it done.

    That law where the house owner is responsible for people slipping on someone else's poop is ridiculous! And what about cat poop? I've always wondered at the lack of owner responsibility (or laws) over that. Quite discriminatory.

  3. Leo, your international perspectives never cease to amaze me! I cannot imagine living next to a green space and being responsible for the poop. I'm very fortunate to be married to a man who never abandons the poop - perhaps women should make this a consideration when determining the aspects of a future spouse! Thank you so much for being a poop fairy.

  4. The funny thing about John Zeaman trying to avoid picking up poop in wild areas is that naturalists claim dog poop throw off the balance of nature.

    Here in Ithaca, our dog park composts dog poop. What happens to all that poop that's scooped in Holland?

    Oh, and I agree with GLP about cats. I'm sick of Honey digging holes in the garden because someone else's cat uses my flower bed as a litter box.

  5. That is very interesting. My dogs don't poop when we go for walks and Sherman doesn't poop when we are away from home traveling, so I have never had an issue with cleaning up after them. However if they were poopers, I would be their poop fairy and I have to believe my husband would be too, no matter how much it grossed him out:)

  6. I'm sorry but that is hilarious!! A poop industry. I believe you but that is just a riot.

    A little reinforcement goes a long way...doesn't it?? :)

  7. So you're saying that if a person lives next to a walking path or something similar, that has dog poop on it, that person has to pick it up?!?!

    What if there are multiple houses that have backyards next to a large public park? Do all the homeowners get together to do a weekly mass scooping?

  8. @Bassetmomma
    Somebody has to do it :( if we cannot find out of cleaning up after ourselves.

    Common sense exactly. All those laws are just ridiculous and they don't help.

    My thoughts exactly :)

    The things a mind can do when it is in denial :)
    And the poop is destroyed, not composted, due to the possible health risks.

    Thats a first! So you trained them to do it in the back yard? Smart! and easy scooping :)

    Whatever the subject, there is always somebody trying to make a buck out of it :)

    The law extends to the sidewalks and some roads. Especially when it is snowing you can see how serious the Danes take it. All the neighbors are outside removing the snow. The people that don't remove it are frowned upon.

  9. I am very disappointed to hear about the "dog walks man" book even suggesting that leaving dog poop on the ground is ok. As a professional protector of water quality I am very passionate about this and it is never ok. I thought about reading that book but now I think I won't. It would just make me angry.....or maybe I should. I could write a bunch of posts about why it makes me angry and why he is wrong. Sadly, his attitude is that of many Joe dog owners. I have written several posts already on my blog about this issue.

  10. @Jessica
    I hope you will still read the book. John has a good dosis of humor, and he also ridicules himself for not cleaning up. I don't want you to be missing out on this one, there is always a part in a book that is about dogs, we don't always agree about.

  11. That's so fascinating! I had no idea there was a whole dog poop industry. Huh. It makes me wonder if that would work in other places. There are a lot of unemployed people in my province right now who would love to scoop for some cash.

    Just so you know, I do always clean up after my dog. I have tidied up my evil ways and now I will even crawl through the bushes to pick up her waste. Do I get an award? ;-)

  12. @Kristine
    An award? You have just become the honorary member of the Poop Fairy Movement. We are talking guru stuff here :)
    I could remember you wrote on your blog when Amy started all this that you were not picking up in the bushes. Awesome you started scooping them as well! Hurray for Kristine!


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