Little rant for the day: I want to let all of the Look-Away people know that we're onto you. You know who you are. You take your dogs for walks on extra-long leashes and right about the time they decide to leave a present on the neighbor's lawn you are conveniently counting the leaves on the oak tree across the street or checking out the contrail left behind by a jet or perhaps just staring off in the opposite direction pondering the issues of the day. Then once fluffy's job is done, you snap back into consciousness and continue your walk, sans pick-up-bag.
Yes, once upon a time our ancestors lived in rural areas and their pets could roam and fertilize with abandon. But now we live in towns and cities where your dog's mess is MY problem. As a conscientious pick-up-bag user (New York Times bags work quite well), I object to those of you who think it's perfectly fine to allow your dog to do his or her business in other peoples' yards, and as long as you don't see it you don't have to pick it up.
Once, a few years ago, when I was taking Bax out for his evening walk, I witnessed just this occurrence. The man, whom I didn't recognize, was allowing his cocker spaniel to dump on my neighbor's lawn. It was dark, but it was quite obvious what was going on. The man seemed to be star-gazing at the time (even though the street was covered by a canopy of trees). I'm not usually one to speak to strangers in the night, but I couldn't help blurting out "Hey, your dog's going in the neighbor's lawn here!" He replied "No she's not." I was stunned. I said "Yes she is, look at her." He replied angrily, "No she's not, she just does that and nothing comes out." It was too dark to go digging through my neighbor's grass and he was a lot bigger than me so I let it go.
I do know someone who finally had it with the Look-Away people and did something I'd never be brave enough to do. After years of living in New York City and stepping over (and in) dog messes on the street, he just lost it one day. He witnessed a woman conveniently looking the other way while her little doggie was making a mess on the sidewalk. He said: "Ma'am, your dog just pooped on the sidewalk, aren't you going to pick it up?" She just looked at him, turned and walked away. "Either you pick this up or you're gonna be wearing it!" She continued down the sidewalk. He reached into a nearby garbage can, pulled out a piece of newspaper, picked up the dog poop and started chasing her down the street with her doggie's gift in hand. He realized that the woman was obviously terrified and that he had probably gone too far, so he stopped. But I bet she'll think twice next time. Maybe. Well, probably not. But it won't happen in front of him again, I'm sure.
I'm not big enough or scary enough to do what my friend did, and I'm pretty conflict averse as well. But I am going to be more vocal from now on when I see someone doing the Look-Away. After all, maybe they really are counting the leaves on the oak tree and just need to be reminded of their civic doody duty...