Should ‘Milo’s droppings be picked up?


Milo at peace with the world

Many no doubt remember the days when dogs roamed free around suburban circuits and their shopping strips. In our own suburb of Balmain it became very fashionable to have dogs as pets, and there even seemed to be a correlation between the size of the house and the size of the dog. Generally, the smaller the house, the bigger the dog.

There was no law on dog dropping and I remember hopping and skipping trying to avoid huge piles of dog shit on the footpath. People used to scrape their shoes on the concrete kerbs with the more fastidious and gymnastic pedestrians carefully picking the  groves in their shoes with a piece of stick specially taken for just such an occasion.

For a short while, councils introduced painted signs asking dogs to be kerbed. It showed a dog squatting with a nicely formed dropping suspended in mid-air between the dog’s arse and the kerb. Quite a creative bit of a sign really. After a few years a law was passed that all dogs had to be walked on a lead and the days of dogs shitting hither and dither with the resulting littering of footpaths disappeared. Most dog walkers take a plastic bag to take care of any impromptu dog defecating events. You sometimes see  a little plastic bag suspended from the dog’s lead proving the diligence of the dog walker in doing their civic duty and follow the law on dog droppings by picking it up. Some people even bought a special scoop to pick up dropping. It seemed too complicated and I think they have now disappeared. They turn the plastic bag inside out, pick the still warm dropping up  by hand, and turn the bag around to its original form, but now containing the dog’s product.

All this because a few days ago a man ambushed me from behind his garden fence to tell me to pick up Milo’s little turd. “You are not leaving your dog’s shit on the grass verge,” are you, he said? I immediately crouched down and picked up a small brown branch of a wild cherry tree. I answered and said, “I was only too happy to pick Milo’s little shit up but could not find it.” I showed him the little branch and took out my handkerchief. “If I can find it, I will put it in my hanky and in my pocked,” I said.

The man calmed by now. I showed him the branch and still on my knees poked around the grass trying to find Milo’s small and dry little turd. Apparently it was so small it just did not show up.  My eyesight is not he best. The man then relented and said; “no need to put it in your hanky and in your pocket.” “And what is in your hand is just a little cherry branch”. “I am sorry, he apologized.”

Perhaps he felt being a little too severe.

Milo looked up. He did sneak one in somewhere. Should I have looked better and more thoroughly?

What do the readers think of this etiquette of picking up dog shit? Milo’s toilet habits are perfect. He usually goes right underneath some bushes and never on the foot path. Never.

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32 Responses to “Should ‘Milo’s droppings be picked up?”

  1. Dorothy Brett Says:

    Sweet Milo.
    But I still can remember one beautiful Sunday morning at Burleigh Heads beach, low tide, bare feet stepping off the wooden logs leading down To the sand, and right at the bottom I stepped right into a big pile of dog poo that had been carefully covered up with sand.
    Talk about have my day spoilt.

    Therefore I really do think dog owners should be prepared.not sure about Milo tho, and if you can’t see it. Allison’s beautiful Border Collie, Cindy, unfortunately used to do it on the run so you had to walk a couple of metres to pick it all up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I think it was a mean spirited person to just cover the droppings with sand. It would have been better to put a little flag next to it or some other sign warning walkers about the danger. I think the worst dogs droppings are Labradors’, especially combined with a diet of tinned pet food.
      There isn’t a lot of dignity in picking up dog turds in full view of others.


  2. leggypeggy Says:

    We pick up Indi’s and Jake’s offerings, unless we are walking bush and it’s under a bush. My sympathies to Dorothy above. Covering over with sand is not good enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    It’s a pain to have to pick it up, but it’s also a pain to step in it, so I think I’ll go with picking it up. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

  4. auntyuta Says:

    “Never on the foot path” sound good to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is rare for Milo to do it on the footpath. He did it once in front of a kitchen shop. Helvi quickly walked in front and away from me pretending I was the sole guilty owner. People were jumping all over the place. So it was left to me to pick it up in my hanky and dispose of it. It was a good hanky too..

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    I used to own a T-shirt with “Balmain – Dog Shit Capital of the World” emblazoned on the front.

    When I was a kid, as Gez knows I was raised at East Hills – three stops up the train line from Gez’ parent’s place. We lived in an 18 house cut-de-sac with no front or front side fences.

    There were many kids roughly my age and nearly everyone had a dog. Not one cat. we played endless street cricket and it was a tight little community of equally broke families.

    One of our neighbours used to walk his dog on a lead down the street and without fail he let it shit on my Dad’s sacred lawn.

    So my Dad let the shit from that dog – and every one else’s pile up in our yard. Then he collected it all in this massive long-handled shovel and dumped it all in the neighbour’s front yard.

    The guy flew out in a rage (not a great tactic with my Dad) and demanded to know “What do you think you’re doing ?”

    To which my Dad replied “Just returning your shit”

    “THAT”S NOT ALL MINE !” the man roared.

    “Well, pick yours out !” replied my Dad.

    Liked by 5 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Balmain was known for having the most prestigious dog turds. One could always find the newsagent being the first to open their doors. In front there used to be a queue of dogs and the inevitable line up of steaming dog turds.

      Of course, the sporting sections of the newspapers were used to clean shoes and in one case a bare footed customer was seen to wipe his feet with the front page which featured a photo of Frazer who at that time was our Prime Minster. All caution to the wind, Trouserzoff

      Liked by 3 people

  6. berlioz1935 Says:

    If aliens from another planet come here to observe us they surely will conclude that “Dogs” are the superior species because not only are they leading us two-legged animals on a leash but also have them pick up what the superior animals produce.

    To avoid any misunderstandings I refuse to own a dog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Berlioz. You are so right.
      Of course, with getting older it’s not just Milo’s intestinal habits but also the owner’s. Often Milo can be observed being tied up outside many a public male convenience. My bouts of intestinal hurries have become increasingly just as urgent too. I have yet to reach a level of diving in between the azalea bushes or photinias to answer the call of nature.
      Of course, if it wasn’t for our organized urbanisation men would still do just that.


      • berlioz1935 Says:

        When I was a boy in Berlin I often dived into the bushes in our beautiful Viktoria Park. We, the other boys too, did not want to run home.

        Your own intestinal problems need investigating. We, Aunty Uta and I, we both had been to the doctors often lately and they delight in discovering more illnesses in us then they have ever heard of at uni. So it seems. Today our lady doctor said laughingly we are well past our use-by date and we can expect to have something or other. But she wants to do her best to delay our departure days.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, to delay departure is now the name of the game, Berlioz.
        Most of us have our forbearers to thank for whatever ailments come our way. It’s mainly all in the genes, I think.

        Even so, best to stick to good healthy habits and hope for the best.


  7. auntyuta Says:

    I just searched for this post where I mentioned that I took Gaby’s ‘companion’ dog out for a walk in Merrylands while Gaby did her shopping and her Dad helping her with it.

    We never saw Gaby’s dog deposit anything on the foot path. Usually she just did not deposit anything at all. Sometimes we were wondering how she could survive without depositing anything.

    Well, on that day, which I remember well because I wrote this above mentioned post about it, I actually saw Honey, the dog, deposit a very little something under a bush (while I had her on a leash of course}.

    The spot under the bush was definitely a spot where nobody would be able to walk along. I just moved with my shoe a little bit of earth on top of the little something. Did I do all right?

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Honey must have been an exceptional dog with Herculean poo retention powers.
      Milo is not like that and let’s us know when he needs to go. We always keep on walking till he has been.
      Opposite Gloria Jean’s coffee lounge is a very dense hedge of Hebes. It is Milo’s favourite toilet. I usually shield any latte sippers from viewing Milo squatting down.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres Says:

    Of course they should be picked up. Even if they’re hidden or buried, they still contain bacteria and such that will find their way into the land or water. Multiply Milo by hundreds of thousands of dogs, and the amount of e coli multiplies, too.

    While we may find stepping in a pile of poo unpleasant, that’s an inconvenience. Adding contaminants to the environment is a problem. Besides, if we can educate people about the damage done by domestic dogs and cats, we may have taken a first step toward sensitizing them to the problems of manure pits on industrial farms.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Linda. I do make an exception for small dogs such as Milo. Compared with the tens of thousands of feral camels, horses, goats, buffaloes, the millions of kangaroos, millions of sheep, dairy cattle etc.
      How does one control cats’ poo? They wander all over the place, especially at night.
      It is a problem though.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. jennypellett Says:

    Definitely pick it up. It’s the responsible thing to do. And largely here, dog owners are a responsible breed. It’s the cat owners that are the problem. I have a dilemma, and I feel like doing similar to Therese Trouserzoff’s Dad, above. My neighbours cat will insist on depositing its mess in my front garden. I’ve put pots and ceramic shards around in a desperate attempt to discourage the little moggie. Should I shovel it up and take it back to it’s owner?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I had a mental picture of you on the ground groveling for Milo’s dropping. Fortunate that you are so agile that you could get back up. Some people are so picky. I even heard Dr. A questioning a dog walker about whether he was planning to pick up after his dog. The man was Asian and apparently did not understand. But there IS a big difference between what a big dog and a small dog leaves. Especially a cute small dog like Milo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You know, Kayti.
      As pre-teen boys in The Hague we used to wrap dog poo up in a nice pointy shaped biscuit/lolly bag and after putting it on the footpath, wait for a passer by to pick the parcel up in their hope it held some surprise.

      It did not take much to amuse us then. Life was simple.


  11. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Aw, Milo is so cute! 🙂

    What a great story, Gerard! I enjoyed reading it and I laughed a few times! 😀

    I pick up my little dog Cooper’s little offerings 💩 and put them in what I call a “poop bag”…then I take the bag home and put it in the big outdoor trash can. (Cooper is half Shih Tzu and half Yorkie)

    One time I watched a man let his dog poo 💩 on the sidewalk in front of a neighbor’s house. About 20+ minutes later the man and his dog came back down the street. Ha. The man accidentally stepped in his own dog’s poo 💩 that had been left there 20+ minutes before. He got really angry! Ha! Is that karma?! 💩

    HUGS!!! 💩

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Served him right.
      I was once chased by an angry woman. She was an estate agent and apparently Milo had dropped a small one in front of her agency which had a nice display of homes that she was trying to sell.
      She caught up with me and said: ‘How do you expect me to sell homes when your dog shits in front of the entrance door.’

      I was bewildered and it took some time to put one and one together and I said. ‘How do I know, the dog was behind me?’ ‘I don’t care, come and pick it up.’ I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Back when I was a kid our dogs always roamed free but had enough sense to hang around the house where there food dish was. We had an old, overgrown graveyard next door where our dogs always went to poop. They weren’t trained to do this, Gerard, they just didn’t like pooping in our yard or that of any of our neighbors and the dead folks didn’t seem to mind. I’ve taken our kids dogs for walks and done my grandfatherly duty. But if I had to do it on a regular basis, I think I would get a super duper pooper scooper. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      in cities, dog and cat droppings become an issue, but…droppings from people are even worse.

      We now have a campaign shaming people who drop rubbish down on the pavement.

      They are called ‘tossers.’


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        We’ve had fines and public information campaigns in the US dating all of the way back to the 70s for people who litter, although I doubt many people have been caught. It helps, however. Peggy has taken it upon herself to keep the road that runs by our area free of trash. –Curt


  13. disgusted Says:

    Fine if you want to walk in dog droppings in your own yard, but don’t make the rest of us walk in it. And this business about the hanky – what’s hard about carrying some plastic bags when you walk your dog?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, but how do dog droppings compare with the discarded shopping trolleys, the MacDonald’s bags floating about, the plastic drink bottles, the plastic bags?
      It would need a very large bag or a hanky the size of a painter’s drop sheet.
      I worry much more about the people droppings.


  14. Forestwoodfolk Says:

    It is a stinky situation!!!


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