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The Messiest, Most Miserable Walk Ever
Poop bag mishaps
Scooping poop isn't always a tidy affair.

I was prepared. I had stuffed two poop bags in my pocket. You’d think that the magic number was two because I was walking two dogs, Shelby and Ginger Peach. But you know what they say when one assumes …

After years of observing my dogs’ on-leash habits in the wilds of semi-rural suburbia (yes, there are cows, goats and chickens along our route, but there’s also a Starbucks “in town”), I’d bet my life on Shelby pooping twice and GP marking every grass blade before pooping in public. Two large bags would be plenty, even if Shelby went for a triple.

Within the first quarter mile, both girls had taken care of business, or as my husband and I call it “Number three.” (Dog lovers will know how to do the math.) Not only was this a speed record, but it made me a little anxious. Shelby was guaranteed to repeat, and here I was bagless. At least she created neat piles of small, round pellets, like a giant rabbit. They’re easy to pick up, even with the tail end of a pre-used bag. When it comes to poop pick up, I’m MacGyver, I can make two leaves work!

Not this time.

Halfway through our walk, GP squatted again, and the soft serve consistency was such that no dog owner would even think of scooping. I mean, the idea was truly laughable! We could just continue on our merry way. It was then that I noticed a pick-up truck idling near us, no doubt the homeowner angrily observing my dog’s lovely decoration on his beautiful green lawn. I had to at least try to pick it up.

First I sprinkled some leaves over the top, then stretching the least full bag out as best I could, placed it over the pile. While I did my best to grab whatever I could without getting anything on my hands, Shelby and GP excitedly wagged their tails at the truck driver. After what seemed like hours, I had bagged barely anything and mostly managed to coat my fingers in brown goo, which I felt the ridiculous need to wave at the homeowner as we made our hasty exit.

Once we were out of sight of any people, I maniacally brushed my hands against the grass, in a futile attempt to clean them. Instead, I managed to get some poop on the leashes as I transferred them from one hand to the other. The dogs sniffed this with interest. (Did they actually understand the four-letter expletive I muttered, indicating it to me like their ball?) I gestured for them to keep moving forward, and accidentally dabbed the top of Shelby’s head in the process.

Normally, our route is quiet on weekday afternoons, but we passed by several neighbors who seemed eager for me to stop and chit chat. I did my best not to fling poop at them as we rushed by, hoping my brown hands were camouflaged by my brown dogs and their brown leather leashes.

Finally, we made it home without further incident. I thought the worst was over, till my husband pointed out that I had what appeared to be something brown in my hair.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Linda | September 26 2011 |

Thank you so much for that amusing story! I really was laughing out loud!:) I own 2 dogs and I still don't know what a #3 is? (I'm going to guess it's the 2nd #2 but I'm not sure) Thanks again, and keep the stories coming.

Submitted by Emma Tyre | September 26 2011 |

I howled reading that!!! Too too too funny!! Probably because I've been there..and done that. And had it "done" to me. "Soft Serve"...I'm still laughing!! Thanks!

Submitted by Kathleen St. J. | September 26 2011 |

Ha! Nothing like the dreaded "D" to spoil a lovely afternoon walk. At least you tried!

Submitted by Anonymous | September 26 2011 |

Yuck! Been there, scooped that. Thanks for being a responsible dog owner though!

Submitted by Lisa | September 26 2011 |


I thought this only happened to me.

Thanks, Julia! Now I know I'm not the only one!

Very funny, too (when it's happening to somebody else.) I had a good laugh.

Submitted by Ellen | September 26 2011 |

I've been there as well, many times, many ways. As a pet sitter/dog walker/trainer, I walk many dogs. One of my clients has two dogs, one of whom I will call a 4 bagger. I NEVER leave for a walk without at least 5 bags (wish his Dad would get him a probiotic!). Even my own dog has challenged my bag count!

Great story Julia. And thanks for picking up and doing your best when you did run out of bags. So many do not and don't even care, and that's just plane nasty.

Submitted by CJ | September 26 2011 |

Thanks for the laugh, needed that one! I volunteer walking shelter dogs in addition to my own, had a few times that exceeded the limits of the bag. And learned early that cheap bags must not be bought, they tear at *the* worst times.

Submitted by Anonymous | September 26 2011 |

Really, there wasn't anything better to write about??

Submitted by Ann Mason | September 27 2011 |

This makes my day. I was feeling sorry for myself because about a half hour ago, for the first time ever, a dog tinkled on my pantleg. I was grumbling because, being a human fire hydrant, I'll have to avoid dogs for the rest of the day. Now I refuse to whine. I'm lucky.

Submitted by Erica K | September 28 2011 |

Cracked me up! I have been there! And knowing that I religiously pick up after my dogs does not help when the ONE time I don't have a bag, the home owner is outside watching...

Submitted by Rachel Simpson | October 1 2011 |

Ha! Very funny! It reminds me of the day of walking my dogs through suburban neighborhoods and having various incidents happen. I remember the days of using grocery bags and inspecting them thoroughly for little pinholes in the bottom before taking off. My poor husband was caught off-guard by one of these bags and ended up freaking out because poop was smearing all over the side of his leg as he was walking! Argh!! Then, there was the time I had all 3 of my girls out walking and two of them were leash-reactive, so I tried very hard to avoid times when they could get in trouble. One of them pooped on the front yard of a house where I knew a German Shepherd lived, but no one was around and it was quiet, so I went about picking up the poop. Then, I heard the garage door opening. Next thing I knew, my Annie barked and yanked on her leash, it snapped, she was off and running, and I was lying on my back in the grass staring at the sky. My Maggie also took advantage of the situation and pulled her leash out of my hand. They were both dancing in circles around the German Shepherd and its owner while I lay there in the front yard. My Lola, sweet old girl that she was, stayed with me, just watching the proceedings with interest. But during all this bedlam, I did not drop the poop! I was holding that bag in the air, with the poop safely inside. With what little pride I had left, I got up, gathered up my crazy dogs, muttered an apology and we headed on our way, poop-bag intact.

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