I’ve been living in cities a good long while. For most of that time I’ve had Diego. Honestly he’s been an great dog, despite the fact that he’s now a crazy old bark monster that slides down the stairs on his belly.
These last 10-12 years, I’ve been telling him, “Hold on, pal, just wait, and soon you’ll be living it up in the suburbs. Everything will be green and fresh and your nose will twitch in ecstasy of the million scents of “outside”.
Lies. Unknowingly, I was lying to him. Turns out, there is no place for a dog to poop in the suburbs. No place nice, anyway.
City living, you think, is terrible for dogs. I get that in a lot of ways, though Diego is a rescue and I always figured better sidewalks and apartments than the needle.
But the thing about dogs in the city – there is an absolute abundance of public space available for dog walking and more importantly, dog pooping.
Sure – no one likes to see a dog grunting one out when they’re grabbing their morning coffee. And you don’t want to see someone picking it up, either.
But it’s public space, so you’re cool. Diego always got used to a regular walk and had 2-3 different “poop spots”. He has to be comfortable, know his terrain. I’m the same way.
But now, I moved to the suburbs, man. It’s an awesome little street where the neighbors smile and say hello. Everyone has a nicely kept lawn (except the a-holes in 17) with at least a little landscaping.
Only problem – there is not one lick of public space. It is ALL someone’s yard. You know when you’re walking on a sidewalk, and there are houses to your right…and there is a little strip of lawn to your left? That is still someone’s property.*
People do not want your dog to poop on their property.
The very best you can hope for, if you get caught, is a stare down till you clean it up.
And I will do the same damn thing if I see someone letting their dog shit on my lawn. And once Diego goes to the farm…I’ll be even less flexible.
So now I spend the walk just yanking Diego into the street telling him, “nope, you can’t poop there. Nope, not there.” Eventually he goes on the street, but he doesn’t like it. Poor old guy.
I said, “You’ll have a yard.”
Here’s the real kicker – I don’t really want him to shit in our yard either.
*Legally I don’t know if this is true, and it probably varies. It might be the town’s. But I can assure you, people at least think they own it.