After 27 minutes of being stared down by Jerry, I finally abandoned my Scrabble Go game with Warriorboy88 and headed to the front door. Jerry knew he had won. He started jumping and bouncing off my leg. Jerry’s a dog. But don’t tell him that. And he’s slightly neurotic. I’m pretty sure he knows that. And so begin most of our walks.
A little background on Jerry: I made the mistake of thinking that if I got the same cross-breed of dog I had before him, I’d end up with a similar personality. My previous dog, Billie, was a fur-covered, air-breathing goldfish. She was THAT low maintenance. Except for just one tiny little thing. She ate her own poop. (But then, so do goldfish, I’ve noticed.) Mind you, it did come in handy whenever I forgot poop bags.
Jerry, on the other hand, has his own “tiny things.” Ever hold an open umbrella in a wind storm? Or thrown a super ball down a flight of stairs? No? Well, then imagine a red squirrel drinking three cans of Red Bull. But hey, sometimes you get a poop eater, sometimes you get crazy. And aren’t all relationships about trade-offs, really?
Jerry pushes past me as we head out the door. I notice my open green bin still on the street at 5 in the afternoon. (Thanks, 17-year-old son.) And sure enough, there it is, inside…a lone baby blue poop bag, filled with its owner’s contents. In MY bin. This shouldn’t bother me, but it does. A lot. Every time it happens. Which is a LOT. It just seems so, oh I don’t know…presumptuous? Lazy? Invasive?
Jerry reminds me with a pull on his leash it’s time to stop obsessing and get on with it. (Of course, I will be keeping a lookout for anyone with blue poop bags.) We take one of our usual routes, through Trace Manes, then along Rumsey and Rolph. By the time we get to Sutherland, Jerry has quickened the pace and all 18 pounds of him are leaning like a sled dog, in anticipation of our destination – the Batman park! Jerry squirms like a ferret fighting a snake as I snap his leash free. He bolts off to join his friends and that’s when I see it. Another poop bag. This one is pink, and tied to the chain link fence.
Related to the green bin poop bag, this species of poop bag is even more of a menace. You can spot it growing out of the top of fence posts, or sprouting from large rocks. Once, I spotted a very rare one, flowering at the end of a tree branch. And they must be extremely hardy because I came upon one during that recent cold snap, just lounging on the trunk of someone’s car, at the end of their driveway, its hot breath visible in the cold air. I think it was meditating. Captain Kirk’s Tribbles have got nothing on these little monsters.
Having spent some of his plutonium-fueled energy, Jerry was ready to leave. Me, too. I was spending far too much time thinking about poop. We headed back down Sutherland and onto Bessborough when Jerry started with his dog sign language for “must poop now” – the good old ‘arch & waddle’. Of course, it had to be now. Never at the park. I reach into my little bag holder, and….empty. Perfect. But as luck would have it, someone else must have a 17-year-old son, because their green bin was still out…its mouth open for the feeding. Hmmm. What to do, what to do. … Do I kick it to the road? A bit gross, but at least people wouldn’t step on it. Or, do I get a stick and drop it in the green bin? Then I’d be an even worse offender than the Poop Bag Bandits. No. I couldn’t. Even Jerry was giving me a judgmental look. And that’s when it hit me. I’m not proud of it, but desperate times and all that. …
Along with being co-founder of advertising agency Grip Limited, and partner in ManleyUnderwear.com, David Crichton has won numerous awards for his writing, including a Kitchener-Waterloo Kiwanis Club Silver Trophy, in Grade 7.