Poop In The Yard
I found dog poop in the concrete gutter skirting my side yard, a present from the butthole of my neighbor’s Golden Retriever. This is not Trixie’s preferred spot for doing her business. No, that’s nearer the interior of my yard. Gutter poop happens when my neighbor, upon sensing detection, attempts to pull his pooch from my yard mid-squat. It’s a last ditch effort to maintain a modicum of civility.
Like A Good Neighbor
It’s neighbor like for a dog owner to remove a steamer when the mess occurs. Most dog owners are considerate and abide by pooping norms, they bring baggies along for the occasion. And why not? Baggies are cheap. A scented roll of three hundred bags retails for less than fifteen dollars on Amazon, or four cents a bag. And for those on a budget, a grocery bag suffices. Not having waste removal supplies on hand is not a suitable excuse to ignore pet waste. But, this innate logic doesn’t exist in my neighbor. To him leaving puppy brownies behind is as normal as lacing his shoes.
I’ve tried giving him the benefit of the doubt attempting to justify his behavior. Perhaps he’s an environmentalist, the type that eschews plastics because they kill loggerhead sea turtles—the sad end for all plastic products. Or, maybe not attending the waste isn’t rooted in neglect at all, but rather a physical limitation resulting from a medical condition. A lack of mobility is an acceptable motive. After all, a fused spine would prevent him from stooping to remove the stool. But for all the excuses I can make the reality is much more simple—he’s a sociopath.
A man who lets his dog dookie in another neighbor’s yard without picking it up is a man who has deprivations of the mind. I’ve yet to observe my neighbor outside of his morning and afternoon walks. But I imagine if I did, certain behaviors would affirm my diagnosis. When no one’s looking who does he become? The man who takes three after dinner mints when signs says to take one? The thief whose moral code warrants theft from babies? The man who takes parking spots for expecting mothers? Yes to all. You would never suspect any of it from his outward demeanor. He seems pleasant enough, quiet and reserved. It’s a perfectly disarming disguise for plotting mind.
What is he plotting? This is what worries me. To correct his behavior may invite harm on me and my family. I could envision him releasing a colony of termites near the foundation of my home—a catastrophic act as I haven’t paid the exterminator for months—or starting a brush fire in woods behind my home. Or worse still, placing bags of human defecation on my front stoop. This would just be the start.
Addressing My Grievance
If I were to address him it would be via letter. It’s not confrontational as face to face conflict and gives me a better chance of standing my ground. On paper, I can say with confidence and force what would come out as nervous and unrehearsed in speech.
Here’s what I have so far.
Good morning or afternoon—depending on when you’re reading this.
It’s come to my attention that dog poop is in my yard. I see you and Trixie every morning. Every morning you say ‘hi’ and ask me to remind you of my name. It’s Tyler—I live across the street.
Regarding the poop, I’m not accusing you. I’m not. It’s just it seems the poop appears after you and she are in the yard. Crazy right!
I realize that the poop may not be Trixie’s—it’s probably not. In that case, please disregard everything I’ve said. And if you notice another neighbor letting their dog do it’s business could you help us by relaying this message?
Thanks for your help. I value you and want you to know you’re always welcome. I’m happy to have you wander the all over the yard until the “time arrives.” Mi Casa Es Su Casa as they say.
P.S. Sorry if this has come off as snarky or aggressive.
P.S.S. I hope you enjoy the cookies—they’re white chocolate macadamia nut. I made them myself.
Your friendly neighbor,
It’s a good letter. Not overly aggressive but still addressing the poop issue head on. And for as good as it is, I’ll never send it. I won’t do anything. There is no way I am going to risk it. I’ll just pretend it’s no inconvenience at all.
I’ll see my neighbor and Trixie tomorrow morning in the same spot they always are—mid-yard. It’s the game we play and will continue playing. Trixie poops, I notice it, my neighbor feigns returning home for a baggie. He has never come back to retrieve the mess and I expect he never will. I’ll jot down an entry on my phone to remind me to remove the poop from the yard before Saturday’s mowing—don’t want it getting mashed into the blades again. My saving grace is age, if I can outlast him 20 more years I’ll break the cycle. I’ll escape this poopgatory.