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Getting the Scoop

June 27, 2014

We see the signs everywhere around our city, exhorting us to “Scoop Your Pet’s Poop” or “Please Clean Up After Your Pet”. Unlike the little violations many of us commit every day — crossing your neighborhood street in the middle of the block, buckling your seatbelt after rolling out of the driveway, throwing recyclables in the trash — not scooping your dog’s poop (is there any other kind of pet poop to scoop?) can bring an “eewww” kind of bad karma. Do YOU want to be the one to step in the poop? you wonder nervously as you dutifully pick up the little bombs from the sidewalk.

Oh, we’ve all had those moments when we hesitate halfway down the block, leash in hand and pooch happily trotting by our side, as we remember we forgot the plastic bag. Well, we think with relief, the creature just relieved herself in the back yard a while ago. I’ll risk it.

And, inevitably, just as you round the corner for home, your pup stops and assumes the position. Panicking, you look around to see who’s watching. At least I can move it into the bushes so no one steps on it, you think, keeping a little bit of bad karma at bay. So you grab a nearby stick and flick the jewels over and out of plain site.

But I’ll wager you’ve never had the kind of karma kickback I had the other day.

The husband and kids were walking to get ice cream, and I decided to take our terrible but cute terrier, Cookie, along for her daily constitutional. I grabbed the leash with a plastic bag already tied to it and called Cookie. As we made our way down the sidewalk, about halfway to our destination, she stopped and dropped while the others went on ahead. No problem. I reached to untie the bag from the leash, but accidentally let it go as Cookie raced toward the kids, me calling out to them to catch her. OK, I thought, turning back to study the product. This is to the side a bit and not in the middle of the walk, so I’ll just scoop it when we walk back by.

A little while later, ice cream in hand, we all headed back up the street. As we reached the drop spot, I glanced around. Ah, there it is, over to the side. This time I handed the leash to my daughter first and then untied the bag. Leaning over to do my duty (ha), I neatly knotted the bag and took back the leash. We had walked a few steps when suddenly I felt something under my shoe and stopped in my tracks.

“Ewww, I can’t believe this! Someone didn’t scoop their poop!”

Everyone looked down as I lifted my shoe in disbelief. Shit, I thought (appropriately). This happens to me now? Even after I scooped my own dog’s poop, like the model citizen that I am??

Staring further at the ground, I noticed another canine mine just inches away. It looked somehow… familiar. I glanced at my poop bag, suddenly lighter, and it took only a few seconds for me (and now everyone else in the family) to see that it was empty. There was a hole in it and the poop had quickly fallen out, somehow just enough in front of me that I had, yes, stepped in it.

Scraping my shoe while my three kids and husband chuckled over my mishap, I couldn’t help but analyze what had happened. What were the odds? How did I manage to fling the poop at the exact spot where I would step milliseconds later? Maybe I possess some sort of hidden talent? Is there a prize for that?

Clearly there were no neat and tidy answers to these knotty questions. I just hoped it was the end of my karmic payback… or should I say, poopback.

“Little Bombs” by Aimee Mann





From → Family, Husband, Kids, Music

  1. Amy permalink

    This is so true and funny! It seems that no one ever talks about this– the flicking of the stick into nether reaches of underbrush, the forgotten bag, the waging it won’t happen…wonderfully captured in your essay!
    I also love how deftly you use different phrases for the SE thing…with some wordplay and puns thrown in too!!


    • Carrington Tarr permalink

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Amy! Giving and getting the poop on poop-scooping — an important topic. 🙂


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