In a letter to an advice column recently, a homeowner described her confrontation with a dog walker. His dog had soiled her lawn. As he was picking it up with a plastic bag, she asked him not to let the dog “go” there again. He insisted there was no harm done as he had removed the yucky stuff. She didn’t want even a little bit on her lawn. Things got testy between them.
On one hand, I agree with her. It’s messy business and there’s always just a little bit left on the grass. But on the other hand, that dog owner and others like him in her neighborhood are actually doing her a favor.
Dog walkers are like a free neighborhood watch service. Burglars casing your house for a break in will have second thoughts if they see people slowly walking up and down your block while Daisy sniffs every tree and fire plug. Houses where nobody is around are easier prey.
Also, dog walkers know each other. They are out there winter and summer, bad weather and good. Sometimes they only know each other as Ginger’s mom or Spike’s dad, but they are up on all the latest local news. Dogs provide sort of an informal social infrastructure that can spread neighborhood news faster than the internet.
Finally, dogs are here to stay. There are supermarkets that sell nothing but pet food. If you wanted to go into business, I would advise you to do something, anything with dogs. Dogs are everywhere.
The homeowner with the dog poop residue on her lawn should relax, be thankful for the free neighborhood watch and try to stay upwind.