Sunday, March 10, 2024

Gone to the Dogs - Barbara Baker



I grew up in a tiny place east of Banff. It was not large enough to be given hamlet status – hence they called us ‘a community.’ But it was the best place for a kid to grow up. There were no fences, no streetlights and once in a while we saw a car. Playing in the woods started at the end of our driveway.

And our family always had a dog. In fact, most families in our community had one.

When I played outside, I knew which dogs to avoid, which ones not to run from, and those who were sure to follow me home. Dog poop bags were not a thing back then. Having said that, I do not recall stepping in dog poop. Ever. But I am positive dogs still pooped.

Fast forward to 2024 – with spring coming and the freeze-thaw going on, I find loaded dog poop bags hanging off fences, branches or scattered on the side of walkways and trails.

It's wonderful that our urban and rural areas have gorgeous parks with off-leash and on-leash areas for dogs and green spaces scattered throughout neighbourhoods. There is signage, poop bag dispensers and garbage cans at most pathway entrances. Do the signs, which ask you to ‘pick up after your dog,’ really need another line added ‘and put it in the appropriate disposal bin?’ because if that is all it will take, I can get on it.

It’s annoying to find these deposits on city walkways and open spaces but when I find them hanging off spruce boughs or perched on a rock beside a hiking trail in our provincial and national parks, my piss-me-off meter escalates. Do the owners really think there are dog-poop-picker-upper fairies?

Yes, I realize the offenders had good intentions of picking it up on their return trip but it seems many dog walkers got distracted and forgot. Maybe they received a phone call telling them they won the lottery … or maybe their brother’s wife’s cousin had a baby. It’s possible, I guess. I remain hopeful these dog owners, who leave the poop behind, quit making responsible dog owners look bad.

Google says under perfect conditions, the compostable bags will deteriorate in up to 60 days. The ordinary plastic bags decompose in 20+ years. Thank you, Google.

Never in my life did I think I’d write about dog poop. Yet here I am, doing just that. And the issue is not the dog’s fault. The owners are the ones who need to attend obedience class.

When did my collection of sunrise pictures change to photos of poop bags?

I told my six-year-old grandson about this blog and asked him what he thought a 'dog-poop-picker-upper fairy' might look like. This is what he drew. Yup, all those extensions are fairy arms, doing their job.

Sometimes I miss the carefree old days when dog poop was not an issue. For now, I will step off my soap box, and go outside to find another sunrise … and I will never speak of this again. 

You can contact me at:

Summer of Lies: Baker, Barbara:9780228615774: Books -

What About Me?: Sequel to Summer of Lies : Baker, Barbara: Books


  1. I've watched dog walkers clean up after their dogs and carry the bags away but i have no idea what theydi with the bags

  2. I grew up in country too, but I did occasionally step in dog poop--belonging to my own dog. It was one of my tasks after the snow melted to pick it all up and take this to the garbage can. I really hate when folks let their dogs poop in my yard and I have to clean it up. Currently, no offenders...take a bag and drop it in the garbage...not so hard, really. I love off-the-wall posts!

  3. Ah this is a debatable topic in the small community where I live. When I had my two dogs I would continually pick up other folks dog poos and wonder in disgust why so many dog owners ignore the simple rules. I enjoyed your rant. It must be much worse finding these packages in the snow. I agree about cats, my fellow is so utterly fastidious it's a pleasure.

  4. You're so right, Barbara! Imagine if humans didn't follow the rule of flushing... all so wrong ;)


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