An open letter to Eau Claire dog walkers

Why me? Why my yard?


Photo by Glen Olson

Glen Olson’s house, along with his neighbor’s equally victimized garbage cans.

Story by Glen Olson, Chief Copy Editor

Dear Dog Walkers,

Every day, several dozen of you pass my yard. Many of you stop with your dogs, no doubt admiring it. That makes sense, it’s a decent place and nice for student housing yards. You probably walk past and admire it several times a week.

And while you admire it, your dog admires it in its own way. Then you grab that admiration in a plastic bag you carry around and take it back with you to put in your own garbage.

But somewhere in this process there was some sort of miscommunication, and about ten of you are putting it in my garbage.

The whole point of the bags is that you’re not inconveniencing or otherwise soiling fellow citizens yards or shoes.

You’re not waking up early enough to beat my garbage collectors, so every week you’ve managed to fill the bottom of my garbage bin with your bags before I can take it back.

Then the bags are crushed under my garbage, until the next week when the garbage bags are taken out and you put more dog bags in.

Because the garbage collection people don’t have the bins outside their back door for the other six days and 21 hours in a week, they’re not motivated to go above and beyond their call of duty to deal with your dogs, well, doody.

Excuse the cheapness of that pun, but the end result is me or one of my roommates spending an unfortunate amount of time with our head and shoulders in a bin, gagging and retching pitifully, to transfer your bags into a bigger bag.

The Environmental Protection Agency warns if pet waste is improperly disposed of, it can be picked up by stormwater runoff and washed into storm drains or nearby waterbodies. This means the untreated product might miss treatment facilities and end up causing significant water pollution.

Because our passive-aggressive note on the garbage is being ignored and some of you seem to now be skipping the bags all together when in my yard, plus it’s going to get hot soon, which makes the entire thing much less pleasant, I have a few alternatives.

Take it home and deal with dog ownership. That seems pretty intuitive.

Use a city garbage? While it’s not so much better, at least it’s paid for in part by you, so you have more of a right to use it then my garbage, plus the city garbages aren’t usually as empty.

Technology. There is a host of conveniently long-handled scoops that don’t look silly to walk around with, so you can skip the bags and chuck it in the woods or something on the way back to your house. A pretty elegant solution and you can buy them at basically any pet store or there’s a whole bunch online.

So there are other solutions. Or maybe I should just be glad you’re not going the extra step and lighting it on fire on my porch.