Saturday, March 31, 2007


Did she just write an entire post about dog crap?

It's that time again. The cold, clear, sunny weather just hovering at the freezing mark is the ideal time for it: the annual spring rite of picking up of the poop-dogs, as they are unaffectionately known around here. Nothing like spending a couple of hours on a Saturday morning prying frozen shit off the lawn to make one wax philosophical and contemplate the nature of life, the universe, and dog poop.

Why, for example, do month-old frozen dog turds have to be the exact same colour as six month old fallen maple leaves? Couldn't they be a different colour? That would make my job a lot easier.

And since we're on the whys - why don't frozen poop-dogs stay on the shovel? Why do they roll off the end more than three-quarters of the time? And what the holy hell has that dog been eating that she poops her entire body weight at least twice each winter?

Apparently the dog is not the only creature using my back yard as a toilet. It took me about a half an hour and four pounds of poop dogs of wondering where the hell the dog was getting all those undigested raisins I was finding before I realized that they weren't dog-excreted raisins after all. It seems we have rabbits, and from the copious quantities of scat, I'd say a whole warren's worth.

My over-the-fence neighbour was out tackling the rabbit turd problem this morning as well. Where I was using a shovel, he came muttering out of his house carrying the shop vac. His wife had sent him out to make the lawn presentable for an Easter Egg hunt next weekend, and he wasn't messing around. He spent the best part of an hour vacuuming the rabbit pellets out of the grass. He was not amused, but I certainly was.

This year, for the first time I found a paid dog-waste spring pick-up service in Ottawa. The estimated quote was in the $100 range for a one-time spring clean-up and cart-away, and my Dutch/Scottish ancestry kicked in and said there were far better things I could do with $100 than pay someone to haul off two months worth of dog crap. I cursed my skinflint ancestors for the full three hours, spread over two weekends, that it took me to do it myself. Next year, maybe I'll treat myself. Would you pay someone to do it?

I have to admit, I've honed my technique considerably this year. I used to favour the plastic bag over garden glove pick-up, but this year I started using a shovel. It's better for prying up the frozen bits, but the aforementioned problem of the shit rolling off the end of the shovel was tiresome. In the end, I used a second spade to do a sort of pinch-and-lift, and dumped the results into a 12" plastic flower pot lined with a plastic grocery bag.

An entire post about poop-dogs. Aren't you glad you dropped by?

Edited to add: I swear, the raisin theme this week was entirely coincidental.