I just returned from the coffee shop where I was seated outside, smiling at passersby and enjoying the early rays of morning, global warming and early spring (conveniently blocked with SPF 45). A lovely woman, with stylishly frosted, shoulder length blond hair, white BMW and matching dog (you’ve seen her, right?) arrived to participate in her own morning ritual. She was a stranger to me, nevertheless we engaged instantly in some quick-witted morning banter.
“What an attractive, composed person,” I thought to myself.
She introduced her dog “Sparky,” or “Sparkle,” or something to that effect. I smiled nonchalantly and waved my hand in a friendly sort of faux-petting gesture. I had no real intention of getting into “doggy talk” with the owner, considering pets, in general, are not something I value. But I was polite.
The woman made a slight joke about the new president and was about to go on her way, when the dog was overcome with that familiar, cowering posture. So, while I sat eating my chocolate croissant and sucking my coffee through a little plastic hole the dog hunkered down and began to relieve himself, shit, crap, doggy-dooed, pooped, defecated – whatever you want to call it, he did it.
Normally, I do not rhapsodize about putrefaction, but this was a stunning morning development. Miss Blonde-Bob continued on about something, as if her dog was not shitting right at my feet, upwind, and releasing an object that looked remarkably like my morning treat. I could not hide my abhorrence behind my java jacket contamination shield.
Miss BMW snorted at me when she realized I was utterly horrified. I received an instant helping of arrogance from her because I was considered a non-dog person who was selfish with my city streets, and therefore, an evil urbanite out of touch with my primitive “leader of the pack” essence.
She sauntered to her car, hoisting her animal into her machine with seats covered in another, less-prized animal and drove away with a flippant toss of her hair. I finally understood the phrase “It’s not what you take with you in this world, it’s what you leave behind.” And there the feces sat, warming in the sun.
Later in the day, that shit was smeared from Glisan to Flanders, carried on the shoes of every weekend jogger, coffee drinker and scenester who passed by. Eventually, and not surprisingly, the marble-floored lobby of my building received a free tinting in pale yellow and smelled of ripe fruit and rotten meat. It was absolutely lovely. I wished you could have stopped by, others obviously had: the footprint silhouettes of shit were evidence of that.
The moral of the story: To all you dog owners who pretend you just did not see your dog defecate, you are incredibly selfish and juvenile in your dreams of pastoralism without the responsibility. You live in a city, where “shit” no matter how much you think you are used to it, and no matter how “natural” it is, should be picked up by the hand that holds the chain. Quit “pretending” you are blind and accept total responsibility for the totality of what it means to have an animal, shit and all.