handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...

Friday

much adieu about doggie doo

my latest mantra is 'nothing is shitty'. this expression came into existence when i was with a friend one evening, and at the time, nothing was shitty. since then, the potential for shitty presented itself in my life, forcing me to question the value of this new-found vernacular, but my friend saw it all quite differently. he felt that even though something may look, feel and smell shitty, it really isn't, because pain and suffering and misery lead to growth and healing and joy. apparent shittiness can actually be used as a tool for deeper understanding. he began to guide me through the shittiness and after awhile i began to realize that he was right.
it all comes down to freedom of choice. who do you want to be in any situation? do you want to be the blubbering bimbo caught up in a pit of despair, just rolling with the punches, or the compassionate one who can find forgiveness and see the positive in even the most negative situations? my old patterns were rearing their ugly heads and i knew that this was an amazing opportunity to change who i was in the world. the blubbering bimbo is stuck in the past, and that's where she belongs. what a lucky break for me, to recognize that living in the moment meant freedom of choice. in the present, in the current, in the here and now, freedom of choice is all there is. no matter what happens, you always have a choice about how you will deal with it. so what if you step on the thing that lies in front of you on your path? in the land of haligonia and beyond, this is for certain: doggie doo abounds, in stacks and mounds. hmmm.....is that shitty?
there is a house behind me that got rented out a couple of years ago to guys with dogs. they would pick up the poop and put it in an outdoor garbage container that had no bag or lid. it was july and the sun was shining, and wouldn't ya know, they missed garbage day. so a couple of weeks go by and they miss garbage day again and they begin to fill another container. you don't even want to imagine the stench; even the smell of cut grass and gasoline could not mask it. when i saw them outside one day, i asked them if they needed any garbage bags because i had a whole box of them, industrial strength. they were dumbfounded, but by the next garbage day, the poop was gone.
i have had many other encounters with doggie doo. once, i saw a big pile of it next to a tree, and someone had used it to put out their cigarette. another time, someone had it on their shoe and walked all through my house. there is a continuous supply of lumpy tied off grocery bags underneath my front porch. when the snow melts, reconstituted previously frozen doggie doo decorates our streets. people make the choice to have pets in their lives, but many of them do not live up to the responsibility that comes with that freedom. if we look to the past, we can be thankful that we do not live in times when human waste was thrown out onto the streets, but this does not deal with the present issue. i am offering up some handy hints about how to communicate positively with people who won't pick up the doggie doo.
when i am walking down the road or riding my bike or driving my car and i see someone not picking up the doggie doo, i stop and go up to the person and smile, and i tell them that i noticed they didn't have a bag for the doggie doo, and that i just happen to have an extra one that i pull out of my purse. then i find something positive to say about their pet and make light conversation while they pick up the poop. i have done this many, many times, and only once has the person reacted negatively, but she still picked up the poop. her dog had dumped a big load right on the front steps of a church. if everyone carried around a stash of bags and offered them up to unsuspecting people with dogs, if word got out on the street, then maybe it would lead to greater awareness and maybe things would change. one less pile of doggie doo is still one less pile of doggie doo. when people feel that they are being watched, they are less likely to be irresponsible.
sometimes i think about how people get ticketed for not wearing a bike helmet. while this may not be a good idea, it's the cyclist who makes the choice to risk their own skull. with doggie doo, everyone is at risk. the dog cannot pick it up, and the human made the choice to have a dog, so where is the poop patrol? it must be illegal to not pick it up, and it is very easy to catch people doing it, but i have never seen any law enforcement officials handing out tickets, not ever. halifax is swarming with meter maids who are on the case, giving out infractions left, right and centre, and on the ticket, you are called the "offender". if the city isn't going to do anything, then maybe it's time for some covert action.
i would like to start a red flag campaign. the idea is to get a bunch of people together to make little red flags that say 'pick me up', put them on kabob skewers , and then go all around town and flag the doggie doo. the effect would be two-fold: it would send a visual message to innocent pedestrians that someone cares enough to warn them, and it would get people talking, which would raise awareness and lead to change. whaddya say, my fair citizens, are we up for the red flag challenge? are there any other doggie doo performance art activists out there?

6 Comments:

Anonymous Hollyhock said...

Hollyhock said...
HG,
I think your idea is very admirable, the one about the skewer
flags. It's a great idea and worth pursuing. I just don't think I want to get up that close to the piles if you know what I mean. It would make a fab art piece though...
I do have a question about a totally unrelated topic. Cleaning the bathtub. What can I use if I don't have bathroom cleaner?
8:03 AM

4:36 PM  
Anonymous peter Eastwood said...

I have seen this skewer idea before, the flags had an image of G. Bush.

it was less about doggy litter and more a comment on politics.

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/03/1728717.php
http://www.indybay.org/uploads/bushpooflag.jpg

Police in Germany are hunting pranksters who have been sticking
miniature flag portraits of US President George W. Bush into piles of
dog poo in public parks. Josef Oettl, parks administrator for Bayreuth,
said: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be
2,000 to 3,000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that
time."

The series of incidents was originally thought to be some sort of
protest against the US-led invasion ofIraq. And then when it continued
it was thought to be a protest against President George W. Bush's
campaign for re-election. But it is still going on and the police say
they are completely baffled as to who is to blame. "We have sent out
extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act," said
police spokesman Reiner Kuechler. "But frankly, we don't know what we
would do if we caught them red handed." Legal experts say there is no
law against using feces as a flag stand and the federal legal experts
say there is no law against using feces as a flag stand and the federal
constitution is vague on the issue.

9:46 AM  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

thanks for the information about the bush flags. i like to hear about other people standing up for what they believe in and making political statements to raise awareness and generate discourse. i wonder though, if the authorities can't catch them, maybe they ought to think about eliminating (heh) the source, and going after those companions of canines who are responsible for supplying us with the piles (heh, heh) of flag stands that are just screaming out to be utilized. and so, people of planet earth, it's time to stop beating around the bush, and time to start dealing with our crap (heh, heh, heh)...

11:44 AM  
Blogger LJ said...

Absolutely - to the red flags. In fact (and this kind of a shameless thing to admit)I like the idea SO much that I'm thinking, were I armed with red flags, I would be almost hoping to find the unauthorized piles of doggy meal recyles.
But then, I have a glass jar full of broken bus shelter glass I'm waiting to find a use for....
And I don't have your neighbors, either.
Great entry! Great blog!

10:16 AM  
Blogger HandyGirl said...

hey! i want to see that bus shelter glass. there must be something creative and new to be born from it...

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need help. I loose things, I loose things daily. Big things little things:, phone, car keys, car, money, friends. I'm not kidding, I need advice. Help handy girl.
confused.

7:49 PM  

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