Picking up after your dog can make someone else's day. (photo used under Creative Commons/Flickr skitpr)
By Nancy Cruse
On Sunday of this past weekend, my children and I engaged in a time honored tradition: raking up a pile of leaves and jumping into them.
Is there anything more fun than burying an eight year old up to his neck in red, yellow, and orange leaves, taking his picture and posting it on Facebook? Even more fun, dragging the mini-trampoline into the yard so we could engage in extreme leaf jumping!
Not so much fun? Realizing you have landed in a pile of dog poop, left by someone too lazy to pick it up. Ok, I’ll be honest here. In this case, that someone was one of my own children! Talk about learning a lesson the squishy and smelly way!
In the past six months, seven new dogs, including our own Boxer/Lab mix, Delilah, have been adopted on our 3 block long street, joining at least four or five that were already in residence. Let’s just say, the poop factor has risen drastically!
Luckily, we are blessed to live in a neighborhood full of thoughtful and conscientious people who clean up after their dogs (well, at least the adults do!) As parents, this is one more lesson to teach our children: part of owning a dog is cleaning up after your dog. The poop you step in accidentally, may be your own – your own dog’s, that is!
Once again, we see the beauty of the golden rule in action. Poop unto others as you would have them poop unto you. Ok, not literally, people! You know what I mean – don’t be letting your dog poop in the neighbor’s yard unless you don’t mind your neighbor’s precious fur covered friend leaving smelly little presents in your yard. It’s not that hard to grab a plastic grocery bag on your way out to let your dog do his business. I believe that’s called re-purposing a grocery bag! You will be helping the environment in more ways than one!
I am always amazed that common courtesy so often has to be taught. It seems so obvious. It only takes one time of having your mother-in-law step in that patch of fertilizer left behind by a dog for it to become an important issue.
Please, pick up your dog’s poop! And to those of you who already do, thank you!
Nancy Cruse has been part of the Bloomington/Normal community for the past almost 30 years. A widow, with five children, along with her late husband was a small business owner in downtown Bloomington. Now employed by State Farm, Nancy is active in the community, writing the Clare House newsletter and maintaining their Facebook page, hosting an annual Fourth of July Food Drive, a team leader and fundraiser for the Pat Nohl Lupus Walk, and a member of Toastmasters International, as well as volunteering in various capacities at Holy Trinity Church and schools. In her spare time, Nancy likes to run, bike, hike, read, sew, and be a vegetarian who occasionally indulges in a Schooners Tenderloin.
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