From the day on that we had sir Oliver in our lives, poop bags became one of my best friends. My philosophy is that everybody should clean up their own shit. And since we are the legal adopters of sir Oliver, we adopted his poo as well. It was all in the package, so to speak. Since day 1, I and my daughter have been taking care of sir Oliver’s shit. I’m very dedicated, seeing myself taking on the role of an living example within taking responsibility for one’s animal.
I mean cleaning up one’s own shit goes further than a pet, and the responsibility thereof. And that’s why I am sharing my story of today.
A few weeks ago I was sitting on my haunches in the grass, picking up sir Oliver’s poo with a poop bag. As I made a knot in the bag to close it off, an older man driving a scooter for disabled people approached me. I see the man almost everyday walking his dog with his scooter. We mostly chit chat for a few minutes and then move on. The man told to me to not bother with the poop bags. He said: they clean it after you. So I asked him, do they clean here with a dog poo piston? There was some hesitation and then he said yes.
This yes fucked with my mind. I live here now for 4 years, and I have never seen any dog poo piston as of yet. So my reaction was, when walking away from the man, he is just saying so. He wants to calm his own guilt. I mean how would he be able to get out of the scooter and pick up his dog’s poo? And thinking as well: why would this nice old man lie to me about a dog poo piston? I know in the city they have a piston, here in the outskirts I have never seen one.
Now this story about the municipality cleans up after our dogs, kept bothering me. I once had the idea of Googling it or call the municipality and ask them if it was true. Though I did not, I was actually fine with pondering about this question now and then.
I did not see immediately how I had labeled the old man as an silly old man, believing fairy tails about dog poo pistons. So then a few weeks later, the man told me how the dog leash had gone around his dog’s hind leg, and pulled so hard on the leg as he could not stop his scooter in time. The lower part of the dog’s leg was bruised. The dog was still not walking like he normally does.
I left the man after the conversation and moved on physically, but not mentally. Sentences went through my mind as: silly old man how can you let this happen? You do not deserve a dog, you should not have a dog, you’re simply a lazy man sitting in a scooter. Wow, I was really surprised by my ‘secret mind’ gossiping like my life was depending on it. Shit, am I such a horrible person, went through my mind. No, not really.
Over time I had accumulated the thoughts about the man, who told me I was doing a job that wasn’t necessary, according to him. And I had taken it personally. The man never said: you silly woman picking shit for nothing, are you trying to look like a good person? Although it felt like that when filtered through my mind. I simply had to face that I had allowed a certain form of gossip within me and not stopped it while I could and thus it accumulated.
Then 4 days ago the lawns were mowed. Probably the last time before winter, and all the leaves and all the dog poop was minced up and spread over the lawn. Now it was even dirtier to walk on the grass. So I thought maybe the old man was talking about mowing the lawns and mincing up all poo, and not so much about a dog poo piston. Imagine how silly the man became now within my mind.
Today while almost crossing a busy street, I heard a sound and I couldn’t recognize it immediately. So I looked around to see where it came from. And there it was, A DOG POO PISTON, man did I feel silly. For a moment my mind went: but he is not sucking anything, he is just driving around. As if that made any difference.
So next time when I meet the old man in his scooter and his dog, I will myself to disconnect the word ‘silly’ and all the accumulated thought that are attached to it and live the word ‘humbleness’.