A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

And now for a different, uh, topic

Written February 11th, 2021 by Hasso Hering

If you live on a popular dog-walking route, you may from time to time have to face this: Rather than carrying their dogs’ biowaste production home, people have dropped it in your trash can as they passed.

You have to give them credit in one respect: At least they picked it up in a plastic bag instead of leaving it in front of somebody’s house, or on the sidewalk where unwary walkers could step if their eyes were on the horizon instead of in front of their feet.

Albany is not, of course, the only place to deal with this, or the only Albany. When you google the “ethics of dog poop,” you find a nice essay on the subject in “All Over Albany,” a website for the capital region of New York state.

The author begins with this point: There are lots of important issues in life, and this is not one of them.

The point is even more valid today, with the corona virus in short supply and our politics seemingly on an endless slide. Still, it’s worth not touching — certainly not touching — but at least thinking about this topic.

Yes, it may be embarrassing to be carrying a sack full of canine excrement while taking Fido out for his walk, especially when he’s done his thing early on, and you still have an hour to get home.

So it’s easy to understand the urge to ditch the bag the first chance you get. And if there’s a trash can sitting on the curb, what’s the harm in dropping it there?

No great harm, maybe. But it’s your dog and your stinking bag, and the trash can is NOT yours. (hh)

Posted in: Commentary
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20 responses to “And now for a different, uh, topic”

  1. Chuck says:

    Thanks. Pigs often leave their bags full of stuff on curbside in Springhill area.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    The author of the article also said this –

    “Picking up poop and dealing with it is like a tax for having a dog — it’s not fair to make someone else pay a portion of that.”

    Clearly not a Democrat.

    • William Ayers says:

      I’m with you Gordon but fair? There’s a lot in our country that’s not fair right now.
      Oops, Hasso wanted this to be a “different topic” ….my bad.

  3. Albany YIMBY says:

    You can’t expect people to hold on their trash for 30-40 minutes while they walk when there are absolutely no public trashcans around.

    I don’t think it is a lack of civics by our neighbors. In fact, I see far less dog thingies here than in other places I’ve lived. I honestly don’t care if someone uses my trashcan to put their trash as they walk, i prefer them to do that than picking up the occasional McDonalds cup or bag from my lawn.

    Instead, I think it is a reflection on the lack of public infrastructure.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I agree on every point. Suburbia is not designed for walking, with or without a dog, therefore almost no public facilities of any kind unless you happen to be close to a park.

      That said, I happen to live carless in a suburban area with a low “walk score” (due to lack of nearby shopping) that I like very much, walk through very much (no dog), and ride my bike despite (or maybe because of) its hilliness.

    • William Ayers says:

      Well there Yimby maybe you could put up a sign….”Dog crap welcome here”
      I suppose in your imaginary socialist utopia that’s a capital idea!
      Perhaps publish the GPS for your trash can along with a sign (hey man I’m here to help, your welcome!) The last I heard, we still have a few boundaries left and property rights still exist.
      Can’t expect folks who’ve fouled their neighborhood with a neurotic barker to be inconvenienced for 30 to 40 minutes of extra effort straining to hang on to that oh so heavy stinking bag of feces that their dog dumped on an neighbors yard. Now can we? Maybe bring along a suitable back pack…Marketing idea “The Crap Pack”
      Then you can still go hands free post dump….I’m all about helping you realize your dreams.

      • Thomas Aaron says:

        Oh dear, what a horrible world we would live in if everyone were responsible enough to keep waste in the appropriate containers instead of tossing it all over the street. I would rather have someone leave a bag or two in my garbage can than keep having to pick it up off the sidewalk or out of my front yard.

        The so called socialst utopia of a clean and responsible neighborhood must be aborhent to your world view. We as adults should be setting an example as people who care about the place we inhabit instead of losing our minds everytime somebody tries to put garbage in its place.

        Who crapped in your coffee this morning?

        • William Ayers says:

          Oh dear, what a horrible world we would live in if everyone were responsible enough to hang on to their own bag of excrement until they got home. I know, it’s asking a lot. You act like the stuff is more dense than lead…Makes me wonder how those who don’t drive are able to walk home from shopping with multiple heavy bags.
          I know! We could compensate then for the inconvenience! How about the Albany tax payer provides a $20.00 stipend for each bag successfully walked home under their own power…No wait, bad idea…That would be discriminatory to weak limbed dog owners who – although they can walk for an hour – just don’t have the strength to carry that little bag for 20 min…It’s a tough issue….Maybe a tax payer funded study? That’s the ticket!

        • William Ayers says:

          I don’t know, I think it was somebody’s dog!

      • HowlingCicada says:

        A “neurotic barker” is a whole different issue, and can be a serious nuisance. The worst neurotic barkers are stuck at home alone all day, and sometimes all night. How do “property rights” advocates deal with that? The same way they deal with other externalities — by ignoring them?

        It seems to me that dumping a properly knot-tied bag of dog poop in someone else’s correctly-identified garbage container, before it’s been collected, ranks pretty low on the offense scale.

        • john marble says:

          As a Linn resident (and not an Albany one) I should report that there is no reason to tolerate neurotic barking. Simply check in with Linn Animal Control and they will give you the details. They take care of dog problems in an extremely professional and tim ely manner.

          With great thanks and highest regard to the Officers from Linn Animal Control.

  4. hj.anony1 says:

    But but but…her emails! Just kidding….

    But what if those courteous dog owners toss it in your recycling rolli-can on the night before trash day.

    Then you, the said owner, are nailed with a hefty “Republic fine” for doing the

    Putting waste in the recycling. :/

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    Isn’t putting your “garbage” into someone else’s container theft of services?

  6. Rich Kellum says:

    This is one of my sore subjects, pick up after your dog. Get permission to use someone elses can. Our society is breeding a whole new bunch of self centered self absorbed brats.
    When my dog takes me for a walk, HE has a route, I know which bush he will sniff and then fertilize, He wants to go find where his “friends” have been and let them know that he was there. When he leaves a message of a more substantial stature, it is many times where others have left the more important message, PICK iT UP, and while you are at it, the other dogs message that was left as well….
    This is a pervasive attitude among a certain portion of our society, Litter, shopping carts, parking in handicapped spots, or no parking spots, all because they think it’s ALL about them…

  7. James Engel says:

    How about roving cats & your flower garden? Good Loard, those who complain shouldn’t live in the woods. Bears do it there!

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Likely the bear is “at home” and you are the intruder. ELSE, why not go ahead and arrest the bear?

  8. Suebee says:

    I agree to have been on a dog walk with a swinging bag of poop on the beginning walk…I live close to SAHS so I’m lucky for public trash cans to dispose… otherwise you walk and carry.

    I notice downtown has multiple public trash cans disbursed on each block… it would be nice to have them randomly placed in our neighborhoods just for this reason.

  9. Constant Observer says:

    I object to finding dog poop bags in my recycling cart, which is prohibited by Republic Services and by common decency. The most recent time it was in the bottom of a nearly empty cart which required some great effort to remove it—and I am not very flexible nor limber nor young, so felt it was quite an imposition. These deposits never show up in my garbage can (which is not as conveniently placed), and which I would not object to as much. However—my position is that it is your dog and it is your obligation to pick up after that dog and pack its feces away to a proper place for disposal. That would involve not leaving it in my recycle cart for me to deal with!

  10. Willis Rogers says:

    Y’all really care too much about that 8oz of space in your trash can a doggie bag is gonna take up.

  11. Lundy says:

    I walk and/or run with one or both of my dogs every day. If I have to pick up poop — which happens about one day in every three or four — it goes into the first garbage can I see that’s not on private property. I.e., if you don’t want passersby dropping dog waste or other litter in your trash can, don’t leave it at the road. And if I happen to leave my can at the road, feel free to deposit your pet feces, soft drink cup, whatever. I’m just glad you’re not littering.


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