I’ve gotten savvier about poop scooping in the six plus years I’ve lived with hounds. At some point I discovered the beauty of the little rake and dust pan attached to long handles designed to make scooping poop so much easier on your back. For a long time I refused to pay the twenty dollars they retail for. I would pick up all the poops in plastic shopping bags, bending over laboriously and ending the mission with an aching back. In a moment of weakness I broke down and bought a rake and dust pan in shocking pink. Somehow the pinkness of it made the price and the purpose of the tool seem somehow not as bad.
I’ve learned that the promise of a Doggie Dooley is WAY overrated and it is much easier to launch the poo over the back fence into the woods. I wouldn’t recommend this technique for people with neighbors close by as they don’t take kindly. But you can hurl excrement quite a distance and still be on your own property when you live smack in the middle of three acres.
In the summer and fall, poop usually isn’t much of a concern or problem. The weather is lovely and you don’t find it very difficult to be outside enjoying the air and the scenery. You tend to be pretty good at keeping up with the little (big) manure factories that run amok in your back yard. You fling poop with
The system breaks down in the winter though. I have to snow blow designated areas in the back yard for potty breaks or the kids end up using the base of the back porch stairs and right in front of the fence gate which drives Mumma insane. Depending on the rate of snowfall in any given winter, this can cause poop congestion in short order. It’s not all bad though since they become poopsicles almost as soon as they hit the ground. No one comes in from the backyard having stepped in a mess. I can also attest to the fun of launching these poopsicles far into the woods via snow blower. I don’t recommend accidentally launching a poopsicle up onto your roof, or hitting frozen siding with a rocket propelled poopsicle. If you do, be prepared for springtime repairs and a trip to your house top to sweep off freeze dried dog patties. I know whereof I speak.
Inevitably spring rolls around presenting the biggest challenge of all the seasons excrementally speaking. Snow melts and you begin to find all the poop you didn’t snow blow into the woods. You have to be vigilant and keep up with the rate of melt lest your back yard become a bog of mud, mole hills and poop in various stages of decay.
From my Twitter friends I learned a great term for this joyless springtime task – an Easter egg hunt. The poops have weathered to the point of camouflage, easily hiding among the dead grass and rotting leaves you didn’t bother to rake up in the fall. You must hunt to find them and oddly, you are pretty happy when you do. As though you just found an Easter egg.
You step very carefully and slowly whenever you venture into the backyard in the spring. You check eight hound feet after every out before they cross your threshold. That’s four outs x eight feet…thirty-two checks a day! Still as sure as spring moves on into summer, you eventually sweep the minefield clear and you’re back to doo-doo flings over the back fence. They say to everything there is a season. Unfortunately when the thing is poop, it is every season.