Dear People Who Bag Their Dog’s Poo Only to Leave It Behind as Litter,

I don’t want to get off on the wrong foot, so let me start by thanking you for picking up your dog’s waste: thank you. Picking up your dog’s poo is part of being a responsible owner. Though it doesn’t take long, picking up after your canine companion doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes deliberate planning and action.

You had to purchase miniature bags, specifically sold for the sole purpose of picking up dog poo. Then you had to remember to bring them with you on your walk (a side thank you for taking your dog on an actual walk instead of just letting it out in your backyard). Your work wasn’t done yet because when your dog dropped anchor you placed your hand inside that bag, stooped down, and gingerly picked up excrement like an unrewarding version of the arcade claw game. Afterwards, you literally made sure there were no loose ends by tying the end of the bag in a tidy knot. Well done.

Unfortunately, you skipped what is arguably the most important step: you left the bag of feces and didn’t take it with you. You are not only responsible for picking up after your dog, but for disposing of the bag as well.

Let me guess, you didn’t want to carry it around with you for the rest of your walk and you planned on picking it up on your way home? Well, that clearly didn’t work out because the bag is still there. Okay, maybe it completely slipped your mind. However, unless you manage to walk a different route every single day, you will have since walked by your abandoned bag. And yet, it’s still there.

I know it’s not fun to carry around a bag of your dog’s poo for the remainder of your walk, but take some pride in the fact that you are responsible and pick up your dog’s dumps. You should be brandishing that bag of shit like a badge of honor! Know that each person who sees you will have no doubt that you pick up after your pet and that you’re not the scofflaw to blame for the crap on their lawn.

Perhaps you’re under the delusion that there’s a waste disposal employee who comes around and picks up your poop bags as part of their garbage collection route? Have you ever seen a city employee doing that? No, neither have I because that’s not anyone’s job other than yours!

I know you had good intentions, but by bagging your dog’s defecation and then leaving it behind you’ve successfully made things much, much worse. According to doggysaurus.com, a totally real and not made-up website, it takes approximately nine weeks for dog poo to decompose. It’s not going to disappear overnight, but it will eventually break down. Except you’ve sealed that natural waste inside an artificial material known as plastic. According to biologicaldiversity.org, it takes 500 years for your plastic bag to decompose. No, I didn’t accidentally add two zeros. You read that correctly: 500 years. Or, if you prefer, approximately 3,500 dog years. Remember all of the steps that went into picking up your dog’s turds? If you’re going to leave the bag, do the environment a favor and skip all of them and simply leave your dog’s deuce to decompose sans plastic.

I often come across your bags on nature trails which confounds me even further. I understand making sure you pick up after your dog in suburban areas and on people’s property, but when you’re in nature you’ve got options. See all of those sticks laying on the ground? Pick one up. Now use it to fling your dog’s crap off the beaten path and into the woods where no one will step on it. You can make a little game out of it. Give it a fun name like Flinging Feces, Catapulting Crap, or Launching Logs. Now you’ve not only saved this trail from your litter, but, even if you’d properly disposed of your bag, you’ve saved a bag from going to the landfill. Way to go!

If this has all seemed a bit antagonistic, I apologize. I like you. I like that you like dogs. I like that you walk your dog. I like that you go to the trouble of picking up after your dog. You seem to be, by almost all accounts, a responsible dog owner. You’re doing so much right, except for that one thing. So, please, take that one final step and take your bagged dog poo with you.

Sincerely, a fellow dog walker,
Jason Garramone


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