You’ve probably heard me banging on before about Rusty – Rusty the redneck shitzu. He’s an adorable rogue, this fellow, and he has me really well trained. Like, he has this tennis ball toy that he loves to play with, but he always ends up stuffing it under the sofa where he can’t get at it. Then, he starts crying near the spot it’s at and I eventually have to get down on all fours to fish it out for him – only to find that in less than an hour later, he’s done the same thing all over again. If he weren’t so cute, he’d be dead long ago.
Then there’s the issue of walkies. I only have to mention the word and he goes ballistic with excitement. And I must say I don’t mind taking him out for a stroll down the road. We’re lucky in that we have one of those rare items round here, a footpath. Or as ye call it, a sidewalk. So we head off daily for a wee jaunt down the road. I don’t have him on a lead as he’s pretty well behaved and doesn’t go near the road. Not being on the lead also allows him to do something he really loves to do, run. There is something about the sight of my dog running that always cheers me up. He runs purely for the sake of running. It’s not like he’s chasing anything, it’s not like he’s running somewhere or from something. He’s just running because he loves to run.
When we first started like this, auld Rusty Boy and I, he would not only stop to pee in every other garden, they love to mark their territory, but he’d also poop, invariably in some neighbor’s garden. I must confess that initially, I held the view, oh for cryin’ out loud, it’s such a small and inconsequential thing, barely even noticeable. Besides, it’s not like there are kids playing daily in that garden. So, what’s the problem? Would I be upset if your little shitzu were pooping in my front garden? No. A great dane? Well maybe.
Eventually though, guilt got the better of me and now, whenever we go out for his constitutional, I have a plastic bag with me. Seems like one good way to recycle those grocery bags. And whenever he squats and does his business, I look away to allow him some privacy, and when he’s finished after he’s all done with his kicking the dirt back routine too, I duly bend over and with plastic grocery bag in hand, I very squeamishly and always begrudgingly, pick it up. Urgghhh.
I then scrunch up the bag without of course touching the contents contained therein and I try to make the bag look as small as I possibly can, but there’s no escaping it is there. I am now a man with a bag of poop, dog poop. I guess I could put it in my pocket, but even though the plastic would certainly protect my pocket from coming into contact with the contents of the bag, there is no way I could imagine myself walking along with a bag of dog poop in my pocket. That’s even worse than carrying it for all the world to see. And so I remain, a man out walking with a bag of dog poop. It’s SO humiliating, but I do it anyway. I am going straight to heaven for this.
Brian O’ Nuanain runs “Across The Pond And Beyond”, a company that organizes international vacations. You can reach him at acrossthepondandbeyond.com