“Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow the yellow brick road!”
What’s more beautiful than freshly fallen snow? I love the crunch under my boots and the fresh, crisp air in the still early morning as I walk to work.
It’s no secret it’s been a tough winter for many people around the world. That polar vortex, am I right? Lately, I’ve been treating my walks to and from work as if I’m the lead character in the last scene of a movie and must battle the elements to get somewhere at all costs or the universe will implode. Sometimes, it’s a painful struggle. MUST. GET. HOME. Don’t get me started on the state of the sidewalks in residential areas during the winter (WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PEOPLE SHOVELLING/SALTING THEIR SIDEWALKS?!?!). There is a rage inside me as I walk, which is not helped by Eminem’s latest album blaring in my ears. On top of the slippery conditions, with nowhere else to look but down for my own safety, what I have to endure for an hour per day is my own very different version of the yellow brick road.
There is no brick road.
But there is yellow.
Right now, my friends with dogs are doing a collective eye roll because they know what’s coming. I’ve raised the issue with them but they don’t see it from my, um, unique perspective. The general sentiment to my griping is: that’s life, get over it, but they forget who they’re dealing with. So naturally, I’ve turned to the internet in search of a more rational response.
Tell me. Why should I, a non-dog owning person of the world, have to endure walking on a public sidewalk SOAKED IN DOG PEE?! I kid you not, I cannot walk five steps without impending urine lurking in the distance.
It gets to the point I can’t get it out of my head. It’s ALL I see. My walk is consumed by pee….pee….and more pee! Ooooo that one’s kind of green! That can’t be healthy. And that one’s so big, it’s got to be a mix of a few dogs! Whoa, fluorescent!*
*On closer look, realized that one was a yellow plastic bag. Meh. There’s nothing you can do about garbage.
I swear it’s not me just being a sicko. I literally can’t put my attention elsewhere or I’ll fall down!
I understand that the pee is always all around (like love, actually) and that it’s just glaringly obvious in the winter with the snow banks that scream, SOIL ME.
My grievance is not why there is pee outdoors. I understand how dogs work. My grievance is with the use of a public sidewalk as a toilet, and the zero attempt to cover it up. If you can’t use a designated spot away from innocent bystanders (or one of my patent pending solutions listed below), at least just kick some snow over it! Why isn’t there a culture of shame surrounding letting dogs pee all over the place? Why do we point and say, “Hey you, clean that up!” when an owner doesn’t clean up after their dog poo, but we don’t do the same for pee?
And before you say, how do you know it’s dog pee? Maybe it’s wild animal pee, I say, OH SHUT UP. The residential area I walk through is a Mecca for dog owners. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a dog. Trust me, I’ve tried.
Owners, you call your dog your baby. If your baby left a visible pee stain somewhere, I bet you’d be embarrassed and oh, I don’t know, clean it up! Or, at least make a clever attempt to hide it. Before you say, they can’t help it, they’re animals–they can help it! Your dog is on a leash. They go where you go! You can help it! You and the other dog-owning members of society just happen to think the most convenient place for your pooch to make with the urine is the public sidewalk.
Now you’re saying, you make an excellent argument and you’re so smart, but unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do to change this situation. It’s just a socially accepted norm.
Well, you’re in luck! There is something you can do! In fact, I’ve come up with a few solutions.
Off the top of my head (patents pending):
Doggie diapers. (I know these exist. Let’s make them mainstream!)
Doggie litter. (If cats can do it, why can’t dogs?)
Or, my favourite solution, some sort of portable fire hydrant, tree or bush-like aiming apparatus where the collected pee drips into an attached jar. People are always training their dog to do tricks. How about instead of that high-five, you train Fluffy to pee only on the Urinator 3000 (name also pending)? “Here boy, aim here!” You could even get cheeky and put a picture of your cat on the bullseye. Then, you just take your jar of pee on your merry way and the rest of us will be none-the-wiser!
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you. Your dogs may be animals, but you are not. Control the pee pee, will ya?
“We hear he is a whiz of a Wiz, if ever a Wiz there was!”