Most of us can agree, I think, that ours is a lovely mountain town but there is a seamy underside to life here that is generally not apparent until spring.
That’s when the vanishing snow reveals a host of nasty surprises, often — these days — tied up in bright plastic bags left to moulder in the sun.
Yes, you guessed it: doggy doo doo.
Years back spring’s arrival would herald the appearance of raw, frozen mounds of unbagged scat left on sidewalks, parks and lawns by negligent dog owners. Times have now changed. Most of the city’s pet walkers are pretty responsible. They neatly bag and properly dispose of Bowser’s leavings. But some just can’t bring themselves to go all the way.
And it’s hard to understand why. Perhaps they are simply too fastidious for their own good. Sure, they’ll walk little Fifi on a leash and then — O! How responsible! — stoop and scoop their pet’s ordure into a bright turquoise-colored doggy-do bag. But then (and this is where they fall apart!) they’ll leave Fifi’s poopy bag on someone’s lawn or on the side of a pedestrian path hoping, perhaps, that it will simply vanish into thin air.
For the last two weeks people have been complaining to me — and I don’t even own a dog, let alone walk one — about the amount of neatly bagged doggy dung left lying around. One of my neighbours, a senior citizen, has spotted just such a person calmly dropping her bag of scat on her lawn and then continuing on her merry way, oblivious to the fact that she is regularly observed doing this.
Retired railroader Pat Wells, freshly returned to town from the beaches of Costa Rica, was aghast at the mess along the paved path above the Greenbelt.
“Man!” he exclaimed. “I couldn’t believe how much of it there was! What a mess!”
What is wrong with this picture? Who do they think is going to pick it up?
“(Public Works) staff are continuously picking garbage and dog doo while on their daily garbage routes to the various locations in town,” says Public Works Foreman Dave Manson.
“As the snow melts we are able to gain better access to areas and pick up more of the doo and garbage, also we have now cleaned off the sidewalks downtown. There does seem to be an increase in the amount of dog doo around the city in general. We have noticed that our dog doo waste receptacles are fuller than usual, and there is more left unattended to. As I say we are picking it up as we can, but it seems to be appearing just as quick if not quicker.”
According to Manson there are 11 doggy doo bag dispensers and receptacle around town. They are checked and emptied every day from mid-March until the end of November and then every two or three days (sometimes more often) throughout the winter months.
Most responsible dog owners — obviously not the lady who likes to treat her neighbours to her dog’s leavings — leave their little bags in the receptacles provided. and there’s a surprising amount of that… stuff… in those receptacles — enough to fill 10-litre buckets that are hauled off to the “local refuse-disposal site,” Manson said.
Man, that’s a nasty job at the best of times. And I take my hat off to the men and women who do what some dog owners should be doing. Personally, I can’t understand how some clowns think it’s okay to just leave it lying wherever because they’re too… what? Fastidious? Proud? Lazy? Stupid?
If you own a dog and you walk it, please do the right thing: bag your precious pooch’s poops and dispose of them in a proper waste receptacle. Anything less is just plain wrong.