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Cheryl Vanderburg gives us the straight poop Leaside Litterati

What do the following items have in common: big mounds of dog poop, baggies filled with dog poop, an empty cigarette package and lighter, empty plastic water bottles, a crushed Bud Light tallboy can, numerous hockey pucks, broken hockey sticks, a purple glove, a flyer from a local painting company, a grocery bag, one red doggy booty, a soggy package of tissues, and several Tim’s and McD’s takeaway coffee cups? 

They all began to appear from under the snowy covering in Trace Manes Park on the first day of the Spring thaw. Just taking a walk to mail a letter at Rumsey and Millwood, I was unprepared for a spontaneous cleanup, but I also couldn’t ignore it, so improvisation was paramount. 

First, I took the discarded coffee cups, scooped up over a dozen poop piles and deposited them into the grocery bag. Disgusting for sure, but at least the piles hadn’t totally thawed. I filled the entire bag! Off it went into the trash bin. 

I guess the dog owners who do this don’t read my column or the Leaside Community Facebook site where there is a regular outcry of some kind regarding irresponsible dog owners and their dog’s poop. The latest began on January 14 when someone posted a picture of a gentleman out walking his dog, the dog pooping (kind of embarrassing for the dog), and the dog owner walking away “not picking up his dog’s s***.”  People were trying to identify “the putz” by the logo on his hat and his dog. A number of people chimed in with a variety of x-rated comments and their personal observations and experiences.

“Unfortunately, there are a great number of offenders among us,” said one gentleman. “In wintertime they let their dogs c*** in the snow and will casually kick some snow over it hoping someone else will deal with it in springtime.” I could certainly relate to that! Another chimed in that “the other day I stepped in a HUGE one in the middle of the sidewalk on our evening walk. So gross. What if that was a kid?? I almost slipped and fell!” One woman called the common grass area near her building “a canine fecal cemetery.” And as someone summed it up: “I hope this person is tipped off by this post and the embarrassment results in him not doing it anymore.”  Just as an aside, I’d love to hear from the offender(s) to hear your side of the story. Why don’t you “poop and scoop”?

Once the dog poop was tackled, I picked up the other assorted items ending with the Bud Light tallboy, which I tossed it into the recycle bin. Someone walking by shouted out “nice!” I replied, “Someone has to pick it up,” to which they replied, “Not really.” That got me thinking. How many people even notice litter or take the time and effort to pick up someone else’s yuck?

We live across from Trace Manes Park and I can’t tell you how many people walk by a tossed water bottle, juice box or coffee cup like it doesn’t exist. One article idea floated by the owner of Leaside Life was to do a social experiment. He would discard a pop can in the children’s park, sit on the bench for an hour or so, and see if anyone would pick it up. We never did do it, but I can pretty much predict the result. Am I right?

What would you do?