Dog Park Karma: the perverse reward of stepping into at least two piles of dog poop for the shite you shun.
Our Off Leash Park has a sign: IF YOU SPOT IT, SCOOP IT. I think this is a fair system. I have observed many dog owners, oblivious to what the Universe has in store. They ignore their own pet’s gifts, not to mention the opportunity to invoke the Karmic process and protect their own footwear. “Pay It Forward” clearly not on their Net Flix list.
Other communities take this a bit more seriously. In Brunete, Spain, some dog owners may start to fear the postman. Why? Because the local government was so tired of people neglecting to clean up their dogs’ mess that they found volunteers willing to patrol the streets and watch for them.
Can you guess what’s next? The offending material is boxed, labeled “Lost Property,” and a courier delivers it right back to the guilty pet owner. How well has it worked? Well, since the campaign began, there has been a 70 percent reduction in abandoned dog waste.
The city of Bristol, England had something similar in mind with their latest campaign to get people to clean up after pets. They feature signs with toddlers picking up dog poop, smearing it all over themselves… I think you get the idea.
I spend a lot of time at dog parks. I have to Norwegian elk hound pups, less than 2 years old. They greet me at the door whenever I am out, even to get the mail. But during their perceived window of time called “run wild and free”, they make it clear what they expect.
Anxious to get into the car and off to the park as quickly as possible, they use innate Moose herding techniques to guide me out the door. Elkhound translates “moose dog” in Norwegian and even pups are hardwired to fearlessly pursue and manage large animals. Moose herds or their Mommy who drives the car to delightful places they can frolic, all get not so gentle persuasion to move along. Similar application of skill is applied at mealtimes if the food bowls do not appear at the appointed hour and place.
In the car at last, they are content to hang out as far as the windows’ openings will permit. They sniff the wind for familiar scents that tell them, “We’re on the right road.” When traffic back up from road repairs dictated I take a different route, there are whimpers of concern voiced from the back seat.
My female pup has studied reruns of the movie “Foot Loose.” Elki emulates the films heroine as she hangs between two trucks going down the freeway, her hair blowing as she screams “Yippee!” Perching herself as high up on the arm rest as possible and out the window as far as possible,we motor along to the park. Elki’s fur fluffs up as she yips with excitement.
We arrive and my pups caper about in the wooded enclosure. I righteously pick up after my two dogs and any extra offerings that I spot as well. I even tote in 5 gallon bottles of water to add to the communal supply held in a converted rain barrel. I share my brilliant Karmic observations with another pup’s parent. We both chuckle about “Universal Truth” and paybacks.
Cooler temperatures encouraged a decision to turn on the car heat vents at my feet. “Oh wow…dog farts,” I shouted and roll down all the windows.
One of the dogs ate a ton of grass and promptly emptied its stomach. I’d buried the results in gravel and leaves as best I could. No plastic baggie would easily scoop up that mess. The Universe must have felt otherwise…the source of the vile smell was on the sole of my shoe!by