The Dog Days of Summer

Alameda native Judy Judy ("I married Mr. Judy, that's why") gives us a piece of her mind Fridays on Alameda Patch.

I took my dog, Cocoa, out for her evening walk, like I do.

I walked by a man standing on his front porch saying goodbye to two women who I can only assume were his daughter and granddaughter. (They all look to be about the right ages, anyway.)

I passed them, gave a short but friendly smile, and continued walking, like I do.

Getting ready to cross High Street, I was not paying the slightest bit of attention to their conversation until I heard, or felt, rather, words cast in my direction.

At first, I only caught the last part of his sentence. “…just s*it on my lawn, didn’t it?”

Confused, it took me a second to realize he was talking about me. Just as I was thinking it, his “daughter” said, “What?” He repeated himself, loud and clear this time, just for me, “THAT DOG JUST S*IT ON MY LAWN, DIDN'T IT?”  

For the record, my dog, Cocoa, had done no such thing.

Last summer, I passed by a sign in the yard of another neighbor about two blocks away from where I live that read, You Can P*ss Here If I Can S*it On Yours. The sign was highlighting a yellow stain on his grass by the curb. The sign has since been taken down. 

We got Cocoa from the , and, like most dogs, she has to go for a walk twice a day. We do frequent the , but, unfortunately, we can’t make it there twice daily.

So, like every other dog owner I know, we pick up her poop and carry it back home with us. The pee? Well, I can’t do much about that, but I do make a conscious effort to avoid houses that have No Poop signs in their yard.

Again, I hear you, Alameda. I know this is a really touchy subject. I actually thought the No Poop sign was a great solution because, as a dog walker, I knew to avoid those houses.

I know all too well that lots of owners do not take responsibility for their pets' waste. So hear my plea, pet owners, pick up after your companions.

I want to think that abandoned doggie land mines are the main complaint and not that Alamedans hate dogs so much they are willing to throw down profanity left and right. Save that for people who really deserve it. Like your husband or kids! 

As hypocritical as it may sound, I can’t say I love it when dogs leave offerings in my yard or yellow circles on my lawn. But I also don't like it when cats use my flower bed as a litter box or when birds bomb my car. (I also don't like it when my kids leave their toys all over the yard;even Cocoa doesn't do that, but that's another story.)

I do, however, like seeing people walk their dogs around the neighborhood. I like it that my kids know the different cats that live on our block and I can't imagine not waking up to the chirping birds in the morning. It feels friendly, sociable and down right neighborly. I think it’s a good trade-off. What do you think?

Mark Irons July 09, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Judy, I like reading your stuff and really appreciate that as a dog person you would bring this up. Aside from having adopted a stray cat which was then hit by a car, our family has never had pets. I like animals, but don't want the responsibility, and that certainly includes dealing with their feces. I don't think one should have to post "No Poop" signs in order to keep people from "borrowing" their lawn as temporary depository. I do get the joy of getting out with the pooch , and that the urge i spontaneous, but I may have a child who plays on my lawn and no way of knowing it has been used for this purpose. That kind of grosses me out. One day I came out my door to see a guy with two dogs making his way past my house. There was a large smear of poop on my driveway where he had bagged his dog's carp. I was really annoyed and "thanked" the dog walker as I got out the hose. I think I said, "great timing" referring to doing it right under my nose. Maybe I'm just a misanthrope, but whenever these pet issues come up I refer to the Les McCann song "Compared to What". Those who know the song and the particular line about pets will understand why. Minute 1:13 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT4-mBAC6KA.
Lisbeth Allen July 11, 2011 at 05:29 PM
At least he picked it up. That's more than a lot of people do.
J.E.A. July 11, 2011 at 08:05 PM
If dog owners would learn to "curb" them everyone would be happy. Instead dog owners now have leashes that extend straight up to my front door. Having a corner lot I get brown spots on two sides. Just doesn't seem fair since I don't have a dog.
a94501er July 11, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Why was my coment deleted? I asked how does this statement make sense? " The pee? Well, I can’t do much about that, but I do make a conscious effort to avoid houses that have No Poop signs in their yard. " So it is ok for your dog to pee on homes that don't have this sign? Please explain. Eve, I am sooo...o tired of your censorship. This is not an echo-chamber, fyi.
Judy Judy July 12, 2011 at 04:03 AM
I know this is a touchy subject and I do try to be a good neighbor. But really, I didn't think of this article as being all and only about me. The Alameda Shelter, as well as shelters in general, need people to adopt pets, right? It's good for the city, good for the pets and good for the shelter itself. I would have never guessed that people would think it best not to adopt a pet if you are going to take it for a walk. Or, only adopt a pet if you can take it to the dog park twice a day, or curb it. I, personally, have never seen a person curb their dog. Ever. And since I never had a pet growing up, I didn't even know what "curbbing" was until fairly late in my dog-owning career. When Cocoa and I were training, it certainly never came up with the trainer or otherwise. Things evolve. In my neighborhood growing up (the same one I'm in now) there were no, "No Poop" signs in any windows or on lawns. I've seen some funny signs, some home-made signs and some pretty vulgar ones as well. It just seems like an easy fix, a win/win! The only catch, people would have to pay attention and obey the signs. In any case Alameda, no reason to be nasty with each other. I really do enjoy reading your comments and I'd love to write more, but I have to go take Cocoa for her walk now.
Mark Irons July 12, 2011 at 04:24 AM
a94501er, FYI- on another Patch blog the comments thread was experiencing spontaneous disappearance of comments. I didn't follow to see what was up, but it was not censorship, just system error type of thing.
a94501er July 12, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Ok ... not being nasty, but trying to understand what you meant by: " The pee? Well, I can’t do much about that, but I do make a conscious effort to avoid houses that have No Poop signs in their yard. " Please clarify.
A. Rebours July 12, 2011 at 06:20 AM
a94501er: Sounds like she's just trying to be considerate to those overtly opposed to having dogs poop or pee on their lawns. As in actually heeding the verbiage on the signage.
a94501er July 12, 2011 at 02:33 PM
That is what I thought ... so by implication, is she allowing her dog to pee on lawns that don't have the signs???
Lisbeth Allen July 12, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Perhaps it's time to buy that house out in the country, miles away from civilization, and move there, away from those horrible urinating dogs. Here's to a safe Alameda, free from erratic people that peer out the windows to see if there are any dogs squatting on their front yard, their anger boiling over as they bang on their windows and run outside screaming in fury.
Nancy Johnsen Horton July 12, 2011 at 08:06 PM
"Curbing" one's dog came from a time when people didn't actually pick up what the dog deposited. One was supposed to lead the dog out to the curb at the appropriate moment, so whatever was left landed in the gutter, not on the sidewalk or lawn. I'm not certain, but I believe that the boulevard strip is city property, not private property. I walk our dogs along the boulevard strip and clean up after them as best as I can -- I carry a paper towel in addition to a plastic bag. Now that some of my neighbors are growing vegetables in their front gardens, it's more important than ever to keep my dogs off their personal property.
a94501er July 12, 2011 at 10:13 PM
En Jay, thanks for being considerate. Jenna, please let us know where you live so we can have all the dogs pee on your lawn.(since you seem to be ok with that). Either that, or you don't have a lawn ... which would explain your comments (and lack of understanding).
Lisbeth Allen July 13, 2011 at 12:10 AM
I think everyone understands urine and poop, just some of us don't consider it rage worthy
Jennifer Serr July 13, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Wow, such passion! I got really mad once when I came home to a couple of people on my front lawn with their dog pooping. Up near our front steps. Our daughter was very young at the time and played in the front yard a lot. I was really upset with these people and told them so. They were outraged, saying that they were "picking it up" and not leaving it. I was upset by their lack of respect and that my yard was now tainted with unsanitary germs. Well, since we've gotten our own little pooping nugget of goodness (not the daughter, but the dog) I've tried extremely hard to keep him off the front yard of my neighbors property, but it seems he cannot always control where it happens and tends to pick the softest, prettiest grass in the hood. Trying to wrangle him to poop in anywhere specific has been extremely difficult (so sorry Joy & Gerry! that Magic just loves your yard). We can only try our best and be aware that this is one of the costs of living close to each other. Similar to parking in a neighborhood with 3 churches and having no driveways. I've had to learn a little acceptance. Let's try a little tolerance in addition to the respect we all deserve.
Lisbeth Allen July 13, 2011 at 05:02 AM
a94501er, I'm busy taking care of an elderly incontinent parent, an experience that truly puts into perspective your childish rants about a few dog souvenirs. I would suggest that you "get a life" but apparently you have already found one on the internet as a silly troll.
a94501er July 13, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Looks like you still don't get it. There is no law on earth that says folks can use my lawn for their dogs to pee on and leave souvenirs for me to clean up afterwards.
Donalda July 13, 2011 at 05:40 PM
a94501er- "hey you Kids! Get off my lawn!" the cry of the cranky person. What do you do to the birds that also have no sense of decency? If I may be so bold- perhaps a fence is in order? I also am not fond of the joys of animal droppings but as long a people try to be considerate, I understand. I much prefer to live in a community that values animals than one that does not. just my opinion, of courcse.
a94501er July 13, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Er ... Donalda, size matters!!! Bird droppings vs dog souvenirs ... no comparison mon ami. btw, I am definitely considerate towards animals, that is why I stopped eating them nearly 20 years ago. I wonder how many of the supposedly "animal lovers" on this thread can say the same.
Donalda July 13, 2011 at 07:10 PM
There have been many bird droppings on my new car that far exceed other droppings- especially the splatter kind that literally eat the paint off..Size does matter- expecially when it comes to compassion.
a94501er July 13, 2011 at 07:26 PM
We're talking about bird droppings vs dog poop on a LAWN. Get that??? Re: compassion, hope you are enjoying eating meat.
Donalda July 13, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Your anger is showing and it is leading you to make unfounded assumptions about me based on no information. Perhaps a step away would be appropriate at this time. Anger and compassion are not compatible life choices especially when we are simply discussing something as mundane as poop in all of it's many varieties.
a94501er July 13, 2011 at 10:16 PM
There you go again: Alameda's non sequitur emeritus!
Mark Irons July 14, 2011 at 04:47 AM
I consider taunting insults from anonymous blog trolls to be as unwelcome as anonymous dog turds on my lawn, maybe more so. Dogs are dogs, but humans should have better sense. I have too many friends who are pet lovers to go beyond annoyance with dog or cat pooh ( yeah the cat pooh too. My drought tolerant landscaping can turn into one stinking cat box. Then there are all the dead song birds). But all things are relative, and "compared to what", these nuisances aren't that high on my list. But I wonder about the need for pet shelters, because as an avowed non pet owner I have never been responsible for a pet going to a shelter. Doesn't that require an irresponsible "pet lover" of some sort? In terms of relativism I look at the uproar over the shelter closing and then I think of "bush meat" in Africa, the movie "Mondo Cane" which famously showed puppies, snakes and primates being served as food, and I just can't excited about the pet shelter issue. I'm more concerned about earthquake preparation for example, when the serious sh*t hits the fan.
Alameda Resident July 18, 2011 at 07:23 AM
As long as dog owners pick up the poop, I'm OK with a little peeing on my lawn. I'd way rather have dog pee on my lawn than bird poop on my car. I hope none of you complaining about dog poop are owners of outdoor cats.
Jennie Van Heuit May 02, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Donalda hit the nail on the head: if you don't want dogs wandering onto your lawn to poop, save your "Pick up after your dog" sign money, and put in a short fence. I'm a responsible dog owner who picks up after her dogs, yet sees loose dogs pooping where they will. No amount of signs will avoid that, but a fence could.


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