Psychology and the Doggy-Doo Bag
I recall the old days when you would be out walking and you would have to dodge the little piles of dog poo here and there along lawn-edged sidewalks or during a stroll in the park. "Watch out for dog doo!" was the refrain when mom would take us to the park, and if you did get it on your shoe, it was a mammoth task to get that smell off. I have memories of running barefoot through our lawn in Alberta as a child, enjoying the fresh coolness of the dewy grass - that is until I stepped into a fresh pile of our dog's doo! Life's changed a lot since then, and society and pet owner's have had to adapt to city bylaws that have most definitely made modern times a little less unsightly... or so we'd hope. To get us trained like 'good little humans,' they started us off with free bag dispensers in all the park areas in most cities in Canada. We now have the handy-dandy doggy-doo bags that are in a convenient roll and even come in pretty colours and designs. Tie a roll to your dog leash and you are never left in the lurch when you take anxious Fido out for a quick walk. I hope at least that they have passed laws to ensure those little pretty baggies are indeed biodegradable? The amount of disposable diapers filling our earth is bad enough.
Garbage cans for waste are more prevalent than the old days, but there never seems to be enough trash cans around when you need them most. I hold my breath while passing doggy dumpsters - those metal bins that seem to be airtight (like that makes sense?) the smell is unbearable. Please give those garbage people a raise! Did they not think that it might be better to have air holes in them so they don't start brewing?
Being a nature lover I get outside as much as possible. The most disheartening thing I see on walks, is not the inevitable bits of trash here and there, it's the randomly discarded doggy-doo bag.
But just wait a minute!? People take time to go out and buy the baggies; then they take the time to scoop up their dog's doo (thin plastic between flesh and fresh warm poo); they take the time to tie the little knot at the top; and then they illegally drop them along places that are close to where they walk.
I can't understand the logic and I've been pondering this for months now, trying to think through all sorts of scenarios as to the 'why,' Like maybe, just maybe, their doggy bag was just freaking them out one day and felt too hot to handle, or the colour did not match their track suit and matching runners (note to self... get the 'neon pink' baggies next time I hit the store). Or they had no idea when the next trash can was coming up on the path or trail, and 'I'll be d*mned if I am going to walk any further with this in my hand!'
Added to this 'crime' there are many 'types of tosses' I have noticed. There is the just drop it where you are dumps; the fling its - "how about into those bushes over there, so no one sees it" not thinking about the other three seasons when the leaves are thinner or down!). Lastly there's the good ole' fling-it up high into those woods over there dumps (Oops darn, it got caught on a branch) -- another new anomaly when the leaves drop.
Wouldn't it have been better in all these cases just to let nature take it's course, and led the unsightly simply dry out into dust!?
Finally I figured it the psychosis of it! I think people who take time to buy and use the doggy-doo bag really don't like to see a mess, or be associated to one. They take the time do do what's right and purchase and pick up the poo. They don't like the poo so much, that when they are out walking, and know they still have a ways to go, they begin to not like the idea that they are holding on to the poo; and they feel uncomfortable being SEEN with the poo in the colourful bag (now a beacon) in their hand, and heaven-forbid should someone they know pass them and see them holding poo!
Relieving such stress has only one remedy, and it's the quick flick of the wrist. Done, gone, did NOT happen!
So how do we solve such a situation with these new types of litterers? Do we create doggy-doo police? We need a solution, something that resolves being SEEN with a doggy-doo bag in our hand. It could just be the next money maker in the pet industry.
Then I got it! I will invent a new carrying container so you won't be seen with the baggy. No one can know what it is, so it will look like a water bottle (yes!), and of course it will come in all colours (neon too), but it can't be clear, or black (think hot summer). You can carry it along like you would your water, and it will hold your doggy-doo bag/s inconspicuously inside, so no one will have to know you are carrying your dog's s#&!
Until then watch out for the Doggy-doo Police! They are disguized and normal humans, out enjoying their day!
(The video below I shot while out on a run in my neighbourhood. I call this felony the 'Daily dump')
Robbin Whachell lives in Coquitlam, BC and is a volunteer for the local watershed society. In her spare time she likes to hike The Crunch and explore her community by taking photos and sharing her thoughts on what she sees.