“Write about poop,” someone once said, “and they will come.”

Oh, how true.

You know, gentle readers, I wasn’t going to tell you this story. I battled over the decision long and hard, until finally my desire to share a poop story overwhelmed me. Perhaps it was the favorable response to the vomit story. But I think it’s really because it touches on an issue dear to my heart: cleaning up dog poo.

Let us set the scene. A balmy Wednesday afternoon, bicycling briskly down the Haul Road, thinking about nothing in particular, waving amiably at people I pass. It’s been a mellow sort of day, in which I find it impossible to get overwrought about anything, really. I pulled up at Virgin Creek, to take in the view, and then I noticed an, erm, odor.

That’s odd, I thought. I don’t see any dog poop.

And then I looked more closely at my bicycle, and I saw a little brown smear, and I realized what had happened. In my carefree enjoyment of the Haul Road, I had ridden over a small canine deposit. Which, actually, upon closer examination, wasn’t that small, because I realized it was all over my bicycle, obviously thrown up by the tires as I drove over it.

Realizing that there wasn’t much I could do about the situation until I got home, I sighed and mounted up, trying to ignore the growing stench. As I breezed back home, I noticed a pile of flattened, fresh dog poop, and wearily identified it as the culprit.

When I got home, I hosed my bike off and left it on the porch to dry before ducking inside. I had a few things to do, so I puttered around in my sweaty bicycle gear for awhile, and then I realized that the, ahem, scent, had followed me indoors. I probably picked some up on my shoes, right? So I checked my biking shoes, which were, strangely, clean.

But the smell was still very alive and very present. So I thought that perhaps I might have gotten a small smear on my jacket.

Oh, gentle readers, the horror. When I took my windbreaker off, I saw large streaks of brown disgustingness. So I took my jacket outside, and hosed that off, and realized that I should probably just shuck my clothes off and shower. Heading back inside, I carefully removed my garments onto a plastic bag, noting that there actually wasn’t that much doo-doo, just a bit on my pants, and then I stepped into the shower…

…which ran brown when I ducked my head under the showerhead.

Yes, that’s right. Dog poop. In my hair. In. My. Hair.

“I vomited inside” does not sum up my response to the situation. I might have even wept a little. When you have three+ feet of hair…uhm, yeah. Anyway, let’s skim over the details here.

My point is, dog owners, please be this person:

woman walking a dog and carrying a doo doo bag

This wonderful, delightful, fantastic, responsible dog owner is walking her dog with a little plastic baggie to pick up any presents it leaves behind. For the record, that baggie actually contained a genuine sample of doggie doo doo when I took this shot. I wanted to shout “thank you for being so awesome!” But I thought it might creep her out.

Look, I know that carrying around a squishy bag of poo when you take your dog for a walk is not that fun. But being covered in dog poop while riding on a publicly accessible biking path is more not fun. Trust me on this one, I’ve done both, and I will carry squishy parcels any day over that. They even make dog poop bag dispensers which include a little sealed section to stick collected poop in, so that you don’t have to handle the bag after the collection process. Many communities even kindly provide bag dispensers and trash cans near public trails for the purpose of handling dog poop.

Please, dog owners, if you walk on public trails, clean up your dog’s poop!

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