As Seen On TV! (Or how to earn more beer money)

Bum-crack sighting of the day: a woman bending over to bag her dog’s rectal offering (five blocks distant from Walmart).

This is an excusable sighting—even admirable in a community where many dog walkers deem dog-crap disposal optional. Take a walk anywhere blackberry bushes happen to grow and you’ll see the prickles festooned with sunken-looking plastic bags. It seems people take the trouble to bag the excrement but can’t stand the thought of holding the warm bags for one minute, and instead hurl them into the trees.

My mum uses poo-bag sightings to illustrate to the girls the responsibilities a pet entails. Both kids are desperate for a dog and swear they’ll assume full responsibility for anything it pushes out of its bowel, but…well. My mum wasn’t born yesterday.

My mum has owned and neglected enough plants and animals to know how good intentions work. Her childhood cat? Tolerated being carried around by the tail for only so long and then took off forever. Her gerbils? Bred rampantly until there were 27 of them inside one cage, at which point she sold some to a pet store, which promptly fed them to a snake. Her oxalis plant? Begging for water most days. My mother recognizes herself as a person who shouldn’t—really mustn’t—have a pet. She barely has the capacity to keep her own offspring fed and bathed, never mind an animal that squeezes steaming turds out onto the sidewalk and trots onward.

But for all those dog owners who have taken responsibility for their pets’ defecatory products: Must you launch the bags into the trees? Does it really come down to a choice between leaving dog feces on the ground and adorning the trees with them?

Maybe someone needs to invent a better dogshit-handling system. Seriously, the person who brings that item to market could get rich off Langley alone. I like to think the people who live here would rather not decorate the trees and bushes with caca, and that if a system were devised to minimize their squishy encounters with warm copros, they would pony up the $20 or whatever the price As Seen On TV is.

So come on, inventors. Let’s think of something to make our neighborhood less excrementitious.

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