Messy Suburban Mystery
If you’re one of the readers who breakfasts while perusing the site, you need to make a choice this morning:
Eat or read.
Do not do both. You’ve been warned.
It’s been six years since I last wrote about dog droppings, the scourge of suburbia.
It’s time to revisit this odious topic, because I - and others - have noticed a disturbing new trend.
More about that in a moment.
In 2012, in the midst of a debate about dogs on the Boardwalk, I wrote this:
Virginia Beach was once home to a tireless woman whose pet issue was, well, dog doo.
I believe she first contacted me by email, expressing outrage that dog owners failed to pick up after their furry friends. They were polluting the environment, she said, creating a health hazard and generally turning the Oceanfront into a minefield of mutt manure.
The email was accompanied by an attachment. Without thinking, I clicked.
Suddenly I was staring at a life-size color photo of dog droppings.
I sent my correspondent a polite reply, agreeing that it was not a pretty sight.
That unleashed - excuse the expression - a pile of similar messages. Some arrived via snail mail, complete with photos suitable for framing.
After viewing this body of animal-droppings art, I realized two things: First, this was a talented photographer, considering her subject matter was decidedly unphotogenic. Second, not all dog excrement looks alike.
From time to time, I found myself wincing at one of her pictures, while thinking, "Whoa, that must have been left by a Saint Bernard.”
I was reminded of that persistent poop photog Tuesday afternoon when I encountered a package of canine waste, neatly encased in what appears to be a Virginian-Pilot newspaper sleeve and resting in a gutter.
I whipped out my phone and took a picture of it. Just for you.
Unlike the dog-doo activist, I’m not looking for City Hall to pass an ordinance to put an end to such foul litter. Don't want the police collecting doggie DNA either.
This is not a problem that government can fix.
I merely want the mystery of the gift-wrapped guano solved.
Who is leaving all of these fecal sacks along our roadways? I see several every time I walk. And I walk every day.
A pal of mine who strolls regularly through the state park noticed the same unsightly plague there.
"Ten to 12 bags a day," she told me.
What the heck is going on?
Do some blockheads think that as long as doggie dung is bagged, they've done their job?
Do they believe that once their mutt's manure is encapsulated it won't pollute and can be tossed anywhere?
Or is this the handiwork of forgetful folks who jog with their mutts? You know, the dog takes a bathroom break, the runner dutifully collects the doody, then contemplates the idea of sprinting another five miles with a plastic bag penduluming.
“Heck, I’ll just leave it here and pick it up on my way back,” the runner thinks, glancing around to make sure there are no witnesses.
The jogger forgets. Or takes a different route home.
Next thing you know, a car comes along, flattens the goody bag and there’s nothing for the rest of us to do but hold our breath and step around it.
And take a picture. Just this once. Never again.