Dog drama

<dog-rant>Look ma, no fence.

This is the woods behind my house. It’s between my yard (and other neighbors’ yards) and the schoolyard. It was this woods that sold me the Landfill. I couldn’t believe we could actually afford a HOUSE on the Planet Ann Arbor with a WOODS behind it. The house is okay too, comfortable but nothing fancy (except for my gutted/remodeled kitchen🐽).

This being the Planet Ann Arbor certain things create a lot of drama. Like dogs. There is a leash law. I don’t think it gets enforced a lot. There are dogs with all kinds of personalities and other issues. There are responsible dog owners. Others are not so much. And there is DOG POOP.

Years ago when my children were still young, I walked by the woods one day and the gate was PADLOCKED! Whyyyyy? My kids were out of elementary school but I knew Kathy and Jacqui on the PTO. So I emailed them. Whaaa? The answer from the principal was “there’s a lot of science in those woods”. She went on to say there was too much dog poop in there for the kids to spend time in there. Doing science, I guess.

Well… I racked (I looked up the spelling) my brain trying to remember the last time I had seen a classroom-sized bunch of kids in the woods. I also walk in the woods nearly every day and I do not see dog poop, at least not on the path. And the kids should stay on the path because poison ivy and other stuff. My PTO friends talked to the principal and the gates were unlocked.

I had recently retaaaared from a few years as the PTO treasurer. There was a TON of money in those days and I couldn’t encourage people to spend it. I couldn’t help but think (facetiously) that the PTO could buy rubber boots for all the students (who didn’t actually “do science” in the woods) and hose their boots off before they came back into the school. Whatever.

This morning. I went for my 0-skunk-30 here on the planet for the first time in something like six weeks. Where’s the fence? To be clear, they only removed a half of one side of fencing. The other 3-1/2 remain intact. The answer came from an old Haisley Mafia member who knows a current PTO person on his street. Again, it is a Dog Problem. Over the years dog owners have learned that if they shut the gate, they can let their dog run untethered. There is dog poop (except I STILL never see any on the path). And the fence is compromised in some places so small dogs can get out and onto the playground, which is probably not good if there are little kids on the playground. So there is no longer an enclosed space for people to let their dogs run.

I have changed my own behavior regarding entering the woods over the years. I no longer go in there if the gate is closed unless I can see that the dog in there is Java, who has to be the calmest, best behaved dog on earth. I also close the gate behind me when I do go in there so others think there is a dangerous dog in there. I don’t have any guest dogs to walk any more but I never picked up Ernie’s and Alfred’s (my late brother’s dogs) or Bandit’s (Chloe Belle’s dog) poop in there. I would NEVER neglect that responsibility now but carrying a poop bag around is one of the more trivial reasons I am not a dog owner.

The answer to all of this is that people who own dogs need to be responsible. Dogs need to be leashed if out in public. Some people are terrified of dogs. Some of those have had horrifying experiences with them. I did not have that kind of experience but I was terrified of dogs until I was five and we adopted Tigger. She cured me of that overnight.

I am not convinced that dog poop in the woods is that much of a problem but maybe there’s some “science” that I am not familiar with. Or maybe I don’t see a lot of dog poop in there because most owners are picking it up?</dog-rant>

We’ll talk about bicycles some other day. Or not 😉

One Response to “Dog drama”

  1. Margaret Says:

    In my neighborhood there are both kinds of dog owners–those who pick up their poop, and others who leave it on the street or in other people’s yards. Ugh.