talking %#@t

Submitted by Susan Miller on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 20:27.

dog pooping in lake

I love my dog. In fact, I have loved all the dogs that have ever lived with me, snuggled me, defended me, kept me company, provided those wags and licks that once you've had 'em they're hard to live without. (How do those cat people do it anyway?) I love them even when they are wet (dontcha love the smell of wet dog?), when they are skunked, when they have accidents on the rug. I love them enough to pick up their crap. Somehow it is easier to pick up after the dog than it is a kid or a husband. I can hear myself now, "get down here and pick up your %#@t!!!" That would be me to a teenage son who thought the kitchen floor was the laundry chute. "Are you gonna move your %#@t or are we supposed to eat dinner around it?" to my husband who would reel into a panic attack if I touched his %#@t. But the dog, she just moves on and sniffs the next bit of news. Ah, my happy go lucky ferocious one! Everyday I read the news and think, Ohmigawd! "I can't take this %#@t" or "who writes this %#@t?" But picking up the dog's %#@t is OK with me. I can take it. How and where to take it is more complex.

First let's address why I dutifully pick up after the dog.

Remember those tacky signs that people with pools used to have?

Same concept. I used to think it was a pain in the butt (excuse the pun) to pick up dog poop. I'd grumble and say well, I'm not picking up your cat's poop or the squirrels' or the deer's or the bird's... Growing up in the country where dogs run free, it just hadn't been on my priority list of to-do items.

To me it was real pain; that is until I learned this:

"When animal waste is left on the ground, rainwater or melting snow washes the pet waste into our storm drains or directly into our local creeks. The disease-causing bacteria found in pet waste eventually flows from our local waterways into the Cuyahoga River, and to Lake Erie our drinking water source. In addition to contaminating waterways with disease-carrying bacteria, animal waste acts like a fertilizer in the water, just as it does on land. This promotes excessive aquatic plant growth that can choke waterways and promote algae blooms, robbing the water of vital oxygen.

Scooping Up the Poop

• Bag it! When going for dog walks, take a shopping bag or sandwich bag. When doggy makes a deposit, turn the baggie inside out over your hand and use it as a glove to pick up the waste.

• Flush the pet waste down the toilet because then it is treated at a sewage treatment plant.

• If flushing down the toilet is not a viable option, put the pet waste in the trash, but never put waste into storm drains."

I always wanted to have a dog that I could curb even though I didn’t know what that meant. Then I saw it in action. My friends in York, PA got a new pup and took the dog to obedience school. On a walk with Henry and pup, I watched with amazement as the dog turned at the curb and pooped in the street. Then Henry dutifully bent over and scooped the poop with a plastic newspaper bag. Wow, my unruly dog would never do that, but then she didn't get a dogree either - just a mutt from East Cleveland streets. Here's why that is not such a great idea. That and the business of throwing away two newspaper bags a day. Imagine all the dog %#@t encased in plastic in our landfills. What about cats? What do cat folks do with the kitty litter?

OK then what? Now I have this plastic bag full of excrement. Here's one solution I researched a couple of years ago. My husband wouldn't have it. In fact he was so grossed out by the whole dog pick up detail that he looks sort of like the guy in the picture above when he walks the pooch. Sometimes husbands just aren't sustainable; what can you say? (You can say, oh maybe this is why I changed more diapers than he did...) Like the guy in the picture...

I posted the question over at GCBL in 2006, but no one was crass enough to talk %#@t over there. Very civilized... probably doesn't smell either. I wrote to Jan Rybka at Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and said they could do a project to make pet waste compost with their neighbor, the County Animal Shelter. "Let me know if we could get a grant to do that" she replied. Here's a community that did - Fairbanks, Alaska. No %#@t! They surely have a lot of dogs there with all the sled racing.

I wonder how No Impact Man is dealing with the stuff - uh Frankie the dog's stuff.

In any case, I'm open to suggestions. I could go with the compost again now that Mr. Sustainable has moved out, or another option. The plastic bag deal (throwing away the plastic bags) really gets me down. I suppose I may have to use the toilet and wash the bag method... What do other doggie do-righters do?

The weather is warming, so I figured now is a good time to start thinking about water quality AGAIN. Yes, we still will have CSOs (combined sewer overflows) to the Lake and the Rivers. No, NEORSD has not yet launched a regional campaign to direct roof water to lawns by urging municipalities to change ordinances so we can disconnect our downspouts and water our lawns with that relatively clean water. Yes, people are still tossing their trash into the streets like the whole world is their personal waste dump (check how many plastic bottles you see clogging some storm drain this spring). Did these people have parents or what?

I find the Lake utterly unappealing for swimming, but kids and some adults do enjoy a dip. Please, please, if you have a dog, pick up after them and then write back and tell me what you did with it. No judgments, just curious as to what's up with this %#@t.

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Holy Bat S$%#t!

 Our region does need a suPOOPer-heroine :)  Thinking like a second-grader today and everyday!  Seriously, I think about it, too.  The toilet disposal problem only compounds the bad design of our waste management system, but for the interim seems the most expedient way to dispose of doggie doo-doo.  Cat doo-doo down the drain is a no-no, if mixed with the clumping stuff.  Let's put on our thinking caps kids.  There has to be a better way to live our lives together--pets included :)  Where is Captain Underpants when we need him?!!!*

*Dav Pilkey is from Cleveland!!


From this article:

From this article:

Cleveland's horse manure should go into gardens, not landfill: Phillip Morris

Thursday April 17, 2008, 3:00 AM

"So the horse offerings that once helped grow food in Cleveland neighborhoods now rot in area landfills. The city is wasting useful poop, and that has caught the attention of Andrew Watterson, who holds the title of Cleveland's Sustainability Programs Manger.

"We recently became aware of the manure issue at the stables," Watterson said Wednesday.

"We will look into it as part of our continuing effort to reduce waste and increase recycling. If there is a more beneficial use for the material, we will investigate it.""

If?!? If?!? What is it Andrew doesn't know about manure?

How about the stuff the Animal Shelter "removes" Is Carl all over that %$#t, too?

pet carbon footprint reduction

Interesting articles for those of us who have pets

from San Francisco

Part one purrrrr

Part two woof