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Pets Society & Culture

How to Pick Up After Your Dog If You Forgot a Poop Bag

It’s a pleasant autumn morning, and you’re taking your faithful Yorkie Scruff for a walk through the neighborhood. Susan passes by with her Pomeranian, Montell. The dogs exchange pleasantries and you continue on your way. There’s a crispness in the air. You smile as you admire the first leaves falling off the trees of the season. Perhaps you should have brought a jacket! As you walk down Amarillo Avenue, you realize Scruff isn’t following along nicely on the leash any longer. “Scruff, come on, boy!” you say as you give a gentle tug. That’s when it hits you. Scruff is taking a big crap in the middle of Mrs. McAllister’s yard—and you forgot a doggy poop bag.

We’ve all been there: walking your dog, enjoying the weather, and one squishy poop later your relaxing stroll just became an ordeal. Mrs. McAllister can be seen through her kitchen window, but you aren’t certain if she’s noticed your dog leaving a steaming pile of poo in her meticulously manicured grass or not. You try to nudge Scruff along, but he’s still mid-squat, trying to get that last little piece to detach from his furry butt. “Come on, dammit!” you yell at the poor dog, under your breath, who doesn’t know any different. You glance back at the window. Mrs. McAllister is still there, doing dishes, still oblivious to you… for now.

Scruff has finally finished, and now you have a decision to make: what to do about that poop?

  • Just run and don’t look back.
  • You could dig through your pockets and see if there’s anything to pick up the poop with. Old Kleenex? Grocery receipt? Those will work fine.
  • Gloves are okay in a pinch as well. You can at least carry it over to a garbage can or gutter before going “eww!” and trying to resist sniffing the gloves to see how badly they stink.
  • If your pockets are empty, look around for a large leaf. Though crinkly and easily ripped, it could suffice for now.
  • If picking up the poop with something else isn’t your cup of tea, you could simply mimic picking it up. Pretend you have a clear bag in your hands and go through the motions, from the scoop to the twist and tie. From a distance, you could likely sell this.
  • Pretend like the dog was just peeing. Give Mrs. McAllister a wave, acknowledging that you saw each other, and whistle as you continue on. She’ll have no reason to believe you’d openly are leaving poop.
  • The very best thing you can do: Knock on Mrs. McAllister’s door, explain the situation, and ask for a bag of some sort. She’ll appreciate both your forthcomingness and the poop being gone.
  • You could also knock on Mrs. McAllister’s door, explain the situation, and tell her you’ll come back later with a bag to take care of the shitty situation.
  • If you have paper and a pen handy, leave a note saying “Oopsie, my dog went poopsie! I’ll come back to clean it later!” However, if you have paper on you, this could be used to pick up the poop too.
  • You could also text Mrs. McAllister from your smart phone and let her know that you’ll be back to pick up the poop later.
  • Just walk away and plead ignorance if caught. “Oh, I should pick up after my dog? Huh. I moved here from San Angelo and we never picked it up. Okay, noted for next time!”
  • Walk away, but then go home and make a post on your neighborhood’s social media page. “I caught someone’s dog pooping in Mrs. McAllister’s yard and didn’t pick up after it! This kind of behavior makes me sick. Come on, people, we’re better than this!!”
  • Wait until you see another dog owner walk by (it won’t be long) and see if they have an extra baggie.
  • If you simply can’t pick it up or bring it to anyone’s attention, try to cover it with some grass clippings. If it’s winter, snow is a great cover-up.
  • See if you can get Scruff to eat his own poo. You never know; dogs are into weird things!
  • If absolutely worse comes to worse, and Mrs. McAllister is eying you, just pick it up with your hands, then race home to wash them.

It’s a dirty, messy situation no matter what, but it’s nature at work. In medieval times, humans didn’t have plastic baggies and there were definitely dogs out running around pooping. It will eventually go away on its own accord.


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My Hot Take:
This happens to me very frequently. I usually bring one poo bag with me when walking the dog, but sometimes he goes twice and then I’m left with no bag. On multiple occasions I have mimicked the bagging of the poop with an imaginary bag, all the way down to the dangling of the bag with my fingertips and dropping it into the bottom of my son’s stroller. Hey, even if you’re caught doing that, the homeowner still has to respect the effort. I know I would give an applause to such an esteemed actor.

tl;dr
Dog poop on someone’s lawn and you don’t have a bag? Pick it up with a leaf, notify the property owner, or consider a variety of ways to get around picking it up.

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