Evolution of a Poo-Bagger

26 Nov

Though we’ve been hearing the clitter clatter of gnarly dog toenails on our floors for 7 years now, it wasn’t until the recent arrival of our second dog, Dexter, that I have become a dog walker.

You know the dog walker, right? They’re the people standing in front of your house holding a plastic bag (they better have a poo bags!) with the thought bubble above their heads reading “Come on! Poop already!” in 972 point, arial, bold font.

Before Dexter (B.D.) I didn’t know how easy we have it. Sammie doesn’t use the toilet or anything like that, but she lets me know when she needs to foul up our back yard. She prances to a door, wags her tail, and stares at me.

I confirm the potty trip by saying any of these two or three times: 1) “Do you got to go potty?” I say it fast so it sounds like “gago potty?” 2) “Do you got to go outside?” Again, to her it sounds like “Gago side?” 3) “Do you got to go pee?” This I say like “Gapee?”

Until right now, I didn’t realize the poor grammar I use in my dog talk. I should say “Do you HAVE to go outside?” I guess it’s no big deal, though it does bug me a little bit. Weird.

Anyway, when she hears me jabbering like that she realizes that I’m going to let her outside, so she freaks out and shows some emotion. (Getting excited is rare for her and I always like to see it.) We have always used a tie-out with Sammie. It’s called the clip ‘n poo; I clip the chain–it’s not actually a chain,

it’s red–onto her harness, open the door, and out she goes. The other end is clipped to the railing.

She knows what to do and she does it. Boom, boom. Poo, pee. Done, just like that. It’s awesome.

But Dexter–God, what a pain–is always freaking out and wagging his tail. That’s the first problem. The second is that with him it’s not “clip ‘n poo” it’s “clip ‘n do nothin’.” When the weather’s nice he can spend 2 hours on the “chain,” where, at first, I was always confident he did his “business.” But then he would come in and immediately poop on the floor. Third problem: he doesn’t poop just anywhere. The whole house has hardwood floors, except for one room. If he doesn’t poop in the carpeted room, he poops on one of the twelve rugs in the house.

So now I’m a dog walker.

At first I resisted. I explained the new “way” to the girls: “If you want to keep this mutt, you’re going to take him out to go potty.” I quickly realized that was a stupid idea. It’s much more work getting them to do something than doing the task my-damn-self. So I would “forget” to walk him in the evening and then say to Jennifer, right before going to bed (clearly not wearing my dog walking clothes) “Oh crap, Dexter needs walked.”

But the dog walking tension was building. I think this was said by someone a time or two: “Well, I’m exhausted, if you don’t walk him, he’s not getting walked.”

So I took on the job full-time and, slowly, began to notice the nice things about dog-walking. Fresh air. Exercise. Early morning stillness. No rug turds.

Ainsley likes to come along, so she experiences the benefits and we get to spend some extra quality time together. Each walk is a mini-adventure.

I also think it will help fight the winter blues. I’ll be spending more time outside, noticing cool things like squirrel tracks in the snow and–wait–are squirrels out in the winter? I’m sure there will be other cool, wintry things to see besides my own foggy breath.

The process of becoming a dog walker has reminded me to be more open to change, to look for the positives, to be open, flexible, and to remember the surprisingly powerful effects of something so basic as taking a neighborhood walk with my daughter.

Walk on people!

9 Responses to “Evolution of a Poo-Bagger”

  1. becomingcliche November 26, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    God bless you for carrying plastic bags. A neighbor of mine lets hers go in my flowerbed. I have been tempted to go poop on her lawn to return the favor.

  2. MOM November 26, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Good one!

  3. misfit120 November 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Lets here it for the cat!

  4. Booksphotographsandartwork November 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Let’s hear it for a fence! I am blessed to have one as I have three dogs now and can usually barely walk one. I know I should enjoy dog walking but I don’t. None of them are the best walkers no matter what I do and by the time I am done with three I am exhausted. The outside dog always gets priority. And he is the best walker, he just doesn’t want to come home!

    • fightn4it November 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      I struggle walking two dogs. I almost end up tied around stop signs and trees.

  5. junemoon November 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Hello ~ I have chosen your blog to receive this award! If you have already received it, no big deal. Have a Great Day!

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