The Dog Shit Dialogue

Posted: April 24, 2014 in In Transition
Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday my girlfriend pointed out something completely disturbing to me; something that, for whatever reason, has so far managed to completely allude me.  Remember, I run, cycle and roam this entire area for at least 25k in all directions and, yet, somehow, I have never actually dialed into this heinous circumstance which, as it turns out, is all around.  Just thinking about it now is making me want to hurl.  Shit, I may never be able to run or ride in total peace ever again.

Before I get to the gory details, let’s remember where I live.  I live in Ridgeway, along the shore of Lake Erie and adjacent to Crystal Beach, the “South Coast of Canada”.  It’s beautiful here.  For my runs, there are numerous back roads and through fares along the lake’s edge and out into the surrounding cottage neighborhoods.  There is a lighthouse that I run to regularly and even beaches on which to train, if I so choose.  There is the Friendship Trail, a magnificent paved pathway that follows the old railway line from Port Colborne to Fort Erie.  For cycling, there are endless county roads and the Niagara Parkway that stretches all the way past Niagara Falls into historic Niagara-on-the-Lake and St. Catharines in the south of the Niagara Peninsula, and Lakeshore Rd. which, more or less, follows Lake Erie all the way through Low Banks and into to Dunnville before turning abruptly west towards Port Dover.  Or, I can keep more local and ride the back way into the surrounding townships of Sherkston, Bertie Township, or Stevensville.  Whatever it is I end up doing, let’s just say that I have lots of room to roam.  So, now that this god-awful abomination has been made aware to me I might now just have a tad bit more trouble enjoying any of it.

Are you curious yet?

Here it is:

Yesterday Kelly decided to go for a walk.  I think she went to the store to check some lottery tickets (we’re forever hopeful if anything) and otherwise get out to enjoy the evening while I napped on the couch with the kid while watching ‘The Nature of Things’.  Anyway, upon her return she announced that she was particularly disturbed to see little baggies of dog shit hanging everywhere.  Really?  Why haven’t I noticed these?

“Yes”, she continued.  “There are bags of dog poop hanging from tree branches all along the Friendship Trail.”

It is kind of gross when you think about it, but I also figured that she might be exaggerating just a wee bit given she didn’t stray very far from home, so I decided to check it out today while out for one of my easy afternoon runs.

Low and behold, my sweetheart was not wrong or exaggerating…in the slightest.  Nasty.

That’s not fruit.

There they were, dozens upon dozens of little black and white baggies all neatly strung up to any nearby tree branch which just happened to be within an easy arms reach from the paved trail like some sort of perverted Christmas bauble.  And not just along the paved Friendship Trail either, but along actual wooded streets and roadsides.  Good lord, these bundles of feces were absolutely everywhere!  Maybe I was just choosing not to notice them before, but there will be no avoiding them now.  Gross.

Before today I would have told you that dog walkers here in the area are absolutely fastidious about cleaning up after their pets as it’s very seldom I ever come across a pile of shit, much less a freshly squeezed turd along the trail or roadways.  I do sometimes stumble across (or around for that matter) some country hazards like piles of horse shit out on some of the back roads but that’s entirely expected when out running in farming areas.  But dog shit?  Almost never!  Turns out that while the locals have been great at picking up their dog shit, what they haven’t been so diligent about is actually carrying it home with them, or otherwise disposing it thoughtfully or environmentally.

I get it, I wouldn’t want to carry around a bag of hot dog shit with me either but, hey, that was their decision when they decided to be a dog owner.  What I really don’t get is why bother going through all the indignity and trouble of scooping up their beloved animal’s dooky, only to place it in a specifically allocated plastic bag and then affix it to nearby shrubbery.  That shit makes no fucking sense!  Where is it going to go?  What then?  Is there some sort of “Dog Shit Fairy” that I don’t know about?

Seriously, I spotted enough bags today along the Friendship Trail today to decorate the Times Square Christmas tree.  How’s that for a disturbing image?  Is there some sort of traditional or cultural significance like people will come to whack at them like a piñata or something?  Is this a type of geocaching?  After all, there are garbage cans provided at most entrances and exits to the trail, so why not just ditch them in there?  I’m totally stymied.

The worst thing is that there is absolutely nothing I can really do about it.  I’m hardly going to go collect them all myself and dispose of them, am I?   Shit no!  I’d need a much bigger vehicle than I have now.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to cry foul if dog walkers are letting their pooches poop off to the side of the trail in the woods, etc., that shits organic, besides, squirrels and deer are dropping deuces in there already, so what’s another pile of turd?  Heck, even if you’re going to scoop it up and leave it there to collect on your way back home, okay, maybe, but if you’re conscientious enough to clean it up then, for fuck sakes, do something with it apart from tying it up for all to see and then simply forget about it.  These people deserve a dropkick to the trachea.


Exhibit A, or the ‘Big Bag of Evil’

The worst offender I saw today was a large menacing white bag tied alongside the road with what looked like the end remains from a T-Rex that had obviously been frozen and thawed out about a zillion times in the past few weeks so that it now looked like an enormous water balloon of evil.

Imagine the outcry if I decided to do something like that!  Yeah, picture it: I’m mid-run and suddenly overcome with the urge to pinch a loaf.  Instead of quickening my pace home, stop and farting it out, or suffering the cramps, I decided instead to drop my tights and crap into a plastic shopping bag and then tie it with a bow to the nearest post, tree branch, or fence.  How do you think that’s likely to go over?  Even if I intended to come back and reclaim it to bring home and throw it out in a bin, the act is likely to still be frowned upon.

So what does any of this have to do with running, triathlon, or even a healthy lifestyle?  Well, nothing.  It’s just something that has only recently revealed itself to me that I can begin stressing over now that the nicer weather is back and more and more people are out enjoying it.  It pisses me off now that my nice, relaxing afternoon runs of enjoying the weather and the birds singing also means that I inevitably have to put up with bags of dog shit silently swinging in the breeze as well.

Oh joy.

  1. Karen Heikkila says:

    You should really G-rate this and send it into the local paper if they accept “letters to the editor” type articles. Very nasty and obviously acceptable method of disposing of poop bags. I’m going to laugh then next time I see a poop bag (although I don’t think we have this issue where I live or I just haven’t noticed)

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