It was around 6 or 7 am – I don’t really know – I was in a stupor walking my dog.
I’m standing on the corner of Lexington Avenue waiting for the light to turn so we can cross. There’s a woman across from us looking at her cell phone while her dog is squatting and walking, trying with difficulty to finish his business. Her dog poops and she walks away without picking it up. This gets the rest of the responsible dog people in the neighborhood and me crazed, and it was enough to wake me out of my stupor. I darted across the street yelling “Hey, hey, ma’am? Ummm, Miss with the white dog? You didn’t pick up his poop.”
She gave me the finger.
At this point I am a bit enraged and my poor dog, sensing my excitement and agitation, starts barking and she, the poop lady, has now picked up her pace and is hauling ass, not allowing her poor dog to pee. I picked up her dog’s poop and immediately felt sorry for the dog. This woman didn’t even look at the poop; had she made an attempt to look away from her damned Facebook page while her dog was pooping she would have seen that the feces was black and greasy, with remnants of undigested food and a tail end of fresh blood.
Having a pet is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. It is time consuming, it is costly, it disrupts our level of independence…. it also reduces anxiety and depression, increases cardiovascular health, builds a stronger immune system hence reducing the risk of developing allergies, enhances social connections and skills and so much more. Pet ownership means being responsible for a life both physiologically and psychologically. The animals cannot do it without us and we cannot benefit from all they have to give us if we choose to be careless in caring for them.
So, with her dog’s bagged poop in hand, I started running downhill toward her and her middle finger. All I wanted to do was shove the bag in her face and tell her what an ass she was, and to tell her that her dog needs to see a vet (if he hadn’t already). She saw me coming and stopped, which surprised the hell out of me. I slowed my pace as I reached her. She had stopped only to tell me to mind my own business. I just don’t know how to do that when I am at risk of stepping on your sick dog’s gelatinous and bloody poop, which by the way you made a conscious choice to ignore and not clean up.
While all I wanted to do was fling the bag of poop at her, I instead walked away.
I was clear about one thing on later thought – that minding my business was not the right choice. Though the middle finger lady angrily walked away from me, I should not have stopped myself from speaking up. It is sad and unfortunate that this person’s narcissistic behavior is likely contributing to her dog’s suffering. The appearance of her dog’s – YOUR dog’s – poop can alert you to a treatable condition. You just need to be a responsible pet parent and a good neighbor.