Sunday, July 29, 2007

My letter to the editor of the Providence Journal earlier this week:

This is a buried treasure I would rather not find.

Last night, my husband and I took the kids to beautiful City Park in Warwick. We were down on the beach watching the sunset when a woman and her two white dogs walked by. Almost simultaneously, the two dogs squatted and defecated on the sand. The woman kept walking.

I was floored.

"You should clean that up." I called to her.

"Oh Really?" she replied, and kept walking.

This on a beach that kids, toddlers and babies play on all day long.

There was once a time when dog lovers could walk their dogs all over the place, but one by one, parks and beaches and recreation areas are closing to them. When I spoke to the Parks and Recreation Department of Warwick today, the gentleman said they will install a sign prohibiting dogs from the beach at City Park.

It's a shame, really, that irresponsible and rude dog owners ruin it for everyone else.


I have been working on getting over my anger all week. The letter helped. Calling the parks department helped. But maybe those are just vindictiveness.

Lord, give me the grace to let go of this anger without lashing out at the woman with the dogs.


Mary Beth said...

Most people where I live do not clean up after their dogs. I do. My husband thinks I am nuts. "It's fertilizer" he says.

There's probably an ordinance, but it's not enforced.

Sorry. I came to dog ownership (ie being owned by dogs) late, and I am going to do what I can to make sure that we are good citizens.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hi MB,

In our city parks, dogs have been all but banned because of the problem of their waste. Especially in parks where kids play. There is a very funny passage in Paul Theroux's book, The Pillars of Hercules where he describes the dog doo problem in Nice, France. (They have little robot vaccuums to pick it up.)

I have had dogs all my life and we were taught from early on to pick up after them. I usually carried a produce bag. I would cover my hand with it, grab the poop, then turn the bag inside out and tie it in a knot with the poop inside.

Tell your hubby that dog shit, by the way, is bad fertilizer because it contains potentially harmful parasitic pathogens. The roundworm, for example, is a common infection in dogs. The eggs end up in the poop and remain viable in the soil for up to 10 years. Therefore, leaving the dog poop in a park where kids play in the sand or dirt can cause roundworm infections long after the it has dissolved.

Singing Owl said...


Judith said...

Hi Rachel,

Good for you! I have three dogs, and clean up after them religiously (so to speak; and that's a lot of dog poop!). I use little sandwich baggies. I have cornered the market on sandwich baggies ... maybe I should buy stock.

Nancy said...

Good for you for writing that letter!

So many people have no respect for others or for the habitat we all share. For some it is due to ignorance, (I continue to be amazed at the ignorance of mankind), but for most it is sheer laziness and self-centeredness.

Just my opinion!