If you have followed my summertime blog entries over the past couple of years, you know that I love dogs! In fact, my husband and I are the proud parents of a lab and two adorable beagles. While I love dogs, I have to tell you that I DO NOT love dog poop. Frankly, it’s fair to say that one of my pet peeves is when dog owners are not responsible and do not pick up after their canine kids.

Lily and Finnegan are always responsible poopers!

Last winter, Larry and I were walking our small herd of dogs (on leashes of course and armed with plenty of poop bags) through our HOA when another resident came walking through the school playground with his dog off leash, running happily and copiously pooping. When I pleasantly suggested to this resident that he may want to put his dog on a leash and pick up the poop ‘cause the kids wouldn’t want to sled through it, I got the “give me a break” look with a suggestion that I mind my own business. I have to tell you that it took a great deal of restraint not to unleash my Irish temper (or my Irish setter if I had one) on my neighbor. However, when I asked this man for his address while informing him that I was going to report him for a covenant violation – he did angrily put his dog on a leash and picked up the poop. I suspect he now keeps his eye out for his crazy neighbor when he’s walking his dog . . .

I have to say that this incident was not the fault of the man’s dog which was really rather sweet. Instead, dogs running off leash and pooping at liberty are the fault of their owners. So what do HOAs, and those of us living in these communities, do about the problem of dog owners not picking up poop? I say that we start a Poop Patrol revolution! 


What if every HOA asked for responsible dog owners and others in their community who care about basic hygiene, to volunteer to participate in the HOA’s Poop Patrol? What if every HOA advertised in their newsletters that members of the Poop Patrol would be encouraging their neighbors to help beautify the community and keep it clean by picking up poop? I bet drawing community-wide attention to this nasty problem would at least encourage some dog owners to do the right thing. 


Please be clear that I am not suggesting that folks who sign up for their local Poop Patrol should verbally attack or be abusive toward owners of dogs who don’t pick up poop. In fact, I strongly recommend against this course of conduct. Instead, I am suggesting that we get to know these pet owners, kill them with kindness and offer to share a poop bag if they don’t have one with them. I think we should charm (okay so maybe shame) folks into picking up poop! If that doesn’t work, reporting a covenant violation is always a good fallback position. 


So are you in? If your community decides to set up a volunteer Poop Patrol, please let me know how it works for you and I’ll make sure to post the results of our Poop Patrol revolution!