Clean Up Your Shit!

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Walking Zed | 0 comments

Clean Up Your Shit!

I take my responsibility as a dog owner very seriously.  I’ve trained Zed to sit, wait for food and above all I clean up after him.

Unlike cats, I’ve yet to see a dog clamber on top of a toilet seat, do its business and then flush the offending item away.  If you know how to train your dog to do this – please let me know!

So when I take Zed for a walk I am armed with my roll of plastic poop bags.  On the odd occasion that I have been caught short (without poop bags!) I actually have a mild anxiety attack.  I panic that someone will see me walk off leaving the poop behind not realising that I have gone to collect a bag and I have taken GPS coordinates of the poop so that I can come back and collect it.

Once the poop is bagged and deposited in a bin I can breathe easy, safe in the knowledge that I am a good dog owner and no one is going to accidentally step in this foul smelling crap and have a bad day.

In addition to Zed’s poop I’m always on the look out for other poop that has been left behind, intentionally or otherwise.  Now before you think that I’m constantly on Poop Patrol I do gain some sense of social generosity from cleaning up a bonus bag of dog poop on each of my walks.  I don’t go looking for it but my mantra is that I should leave the place in a better place than I found it.  So if I come across a pile that’s small, large, steaming or otherwise, I whip out a plastic bag, scoop up the offending item and pop it in the next bin I come across.

I understand that if you’re in a dog park and your dog is off the leash that you may miss your pooch taking a dump.  I get that.  It was inconspicuous, nobody noticed and I’m sure that if you did you would be straight over there scooping it up.

But how can you miss it when you have a dog on the end of the leash and you are made to stand there while it squats, quivers and squeezes one out?  My dog even looks at me while he’s midway through!  As if to say “you’ve got this one right?”

This is no different to if you’re having a bad Black Dog (BD) Day.  Shit happens.  We’ve all been there but it’s how you deal with it that counts.  If you unleash your BD and it runs riot, bites someone and its crap causes offense to someone, do something!  Don’t ignore it.

Your BD is is your responsibility and while you may not be able to do anything about it straight away then you could soon run out of people who are willing to put up with its antics.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect, far from it.  When I’m in the middle of a BD day other people don’t exist.  This means that my BD can do some very obnoxious things that I’m often not aware of.  Luckily, My friends and family are wonderfully supportive and are extremely forgiving when my BD snaps, barks or decides that he’s going dump his shit on them.

When he’s back under control, its time to make amends and it’s amazing how far a hug, coffee or a home cooked meal will get me.  For one it’s a sign to everyone that my BD is back on its leash and can be taken out in public again.


Second, it’s part of the reflective and learning process.  Talking through what happened can be a gift for those supporting you.  Knowing how to help me through a BD day was one of the first things my flat mate asked me after seeing my first ‘episode’.  She told me how she felt and I was able to give her some pointers on how to handle me and my Black Dog.

Reaching out to people is a critical part of the BD training process.  Without the support of friends, family and professionals being a Black Dog owner can be a very lonely and isolating experience.

Go Best Yourself!