DDespite the snowy demeanor, my dog, Oscar, is a fantastic popper. I am afraid to think that one of my wildest and most precious lives has been spent in all seasons, watching him squat, bone-spinning, the surrounding areas one-trembling, looking at his stone: shame, contempt, gratitude, pleasure? However, I can easily estimate how many times I have held a thin plastic bag in my hand and picked up its ejection: at least four times a day for 13 and a half years. It adds more than 18,000 bags of hot and cold. Well, primarily bags: like any dog owner, there is a time when I have been forced to use shorts, tissues, leaves and, more recently, surgical masks (actually very effective).
Of course I pick it up, even when it’s hard. Everyone I know picks up. Everyone you ask picks up. And yet, there is dog poo everywhere – as much, if not more, than ever before. I’m curious about my friend Rob, a sociologist, drawing my attention to the terrifying flowering of turds during the first covid lockdown. As early as 2021 he was certified: we were widely regarded as “in the grip of an emergency of dog abuse”. As a sociologist, Robb called it a “statement of popular nihilism” in the face of existential danger. Other, more prosaic explanations include the decline in the level of social surveillance on unusually empty locked roads that allows people to engage in their innate irresponsibility, and the eruption of pandemic dog ownership, inexperienced owners looking for and rejecting this embarrassing aspect of caring for their new compass.
But things don’t seem to be improving: with local press coverage and neighboring Facebook and WhatsApp groups from the NextDoor app, it’s clear that dog poo is a live issue. Our outrage at this breach of social contract is real: “dirty”, “messed up”, “fouling” – choose your euphemism – has been a community flashpoint for decades and shows no sign of abating. Non-dog people hate it, obviously, and so do responsible dog owners, because it scratches us with the same brush as innocence. My favorite reaction is the traditional British Paddington hardwood and peas; My French husband loves to hand out poo bags with stunned humility.
“This is the most passive-aggressive topic on the neighborhood’s social media,” says a friend whose local group is lamenting “back in the ’80s, dog-science.” (Side note: Dog poo was not white in the 1970s and 80s, because it lasts longer, but because of the high levels of calcium in dog food at that time.) A 2017 UK survey found that 47% of adults think dogs are foul. One of the most annoying things they experience in public places is worse than garbage, pollution, traffic and smoking.
The call for dog-poo stories brings me various targets of wrath: in full poo bags hanging on “shit trees”, under the guise of unrepentant resurrectors and hide-and-seek. One reporter described a poo war with a neighbor who forced her to take a “dedicated shovel” to return to her property. “We’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” she writes. “Po wars happen forever.” They are also international: An acquaintance sent me a Florida story from the Netherlands near Rotterdam, filled with “steamy feces”, where a local posted a box of dirt through the letterbox of a suspected criminal.
Is Dog Drinking Really Bad? It is frightening to get inside, and exposure carries a very small risk of toxocariasis, an unpleasant infection that can lead to blindness and seizures. But it is organic matter: it is certainly not as bad as plastic waste, which takes a lifetime to decompose. Recent research on popular dog-walking trails in Belgium’s nature reserves suggests that it is not so simple. Excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in dog feces can upset the delicate balance at these sites, allowing some plants (such as Bramble, Nettle and Hogweed) to defeat more vulnerable species that need a less nutrient environment to survive.
Peter de Frein, a researcher at Ghent University, recently told the BBC:
So what can we do? In 19th-century London, “pure explorers” collected dog poo (possibly known as “pure” for its cleansing properties) and sold it in tanneries up to a shilling bucket. The closest contemporary equivalent was perhaps Taipei’s 2011 Dog-Poo Lottery, where participants got tickets for each bag, giving them a chance to win a gold ring.
Things are even more bizarre in 21st century London due to lack of cash. Camden Council – once allegedly second on the London Dog-Poo Complaints League table – tells me its strategy is to “provide a Love Clean Street app for our residents, through which they can report to the council for a clean up of dog litter.” : We provide free biodegradable pop-scoop bags and cans of pink chalk spray that residents can use to warn passengers from dog disturbance and to regularly patrol the borough and educate residents on responsible dog ownership to highlight our street-cleaning teams. ” Offenders can be fined up to 100.
History of more Innovative solutions are as fraught with failure as the ground around the dog-poo bin. Occasional waves of excitement, such as poo-powered street lights or a pair of drones – an airborne drone to find the poo and a ground to lift it – have failed to this day. In 1980, Paris deployed “motocrotts” – motorcycle-mounted hovers – to solve its infamous sidewalk problem. Their failure was attributed to cost and poor efficacy (poorly positioned nozzles led to Po-Magadan), but, more French, masculinity problems. “When you see a biker in his helmet and leather gear, it’s very viral … so caring for pop is a role historically given to women,” said Yves Kantasot, a green politician who was partly responsible for their introduction. . The riders struggled with cognitive dissatisfaction: “I had to be Rambo on my motorcycle and then at the same time I was told to do something outrageous.”
What happens if you can definitely identify whose dog is responsible? You already know that: that’s the PooPrints business model. The American company registers the dog’s DNA in its World Pet Registry using a gala swab (10 seconds on each cheek). After that, participating housing communities and local authorities can sample the evil deposits (unless you have a “milkshake-like consistency” the website has a graphic description of how the samples need to be matched, sorry) and match them. It is already being used in some UK private rent development, and by a small number of local authorities in Ireland.
The obvious question is why anyone would sign up to be arrested. PooPrints offers treatments and discounts to agreeing owners, but the main attraction, according to Roger Southam, who works with the company in the UK, is tactile: “DNA registration is a very useful tool for theft and loss; it is the only proven means of identification that will not change.” You’re signing up for all the benefits of keeping your dog safe. ” According to Southam: “By simply promoting the existence of PooPrints within the community or council, we see a 70-80% reduction in dog fouling.”
The problem with scaling is who pays, few councils are willing to raise the bill. Jay Ratinger, CEO of Popprints, argues that with the revocation of a pet’s license, there is a need for a wider debate on the cost of increasing the number of good human friends. “Communities need to start thinking about the impact of the pet population on our budgets: how are those costs made up?”
Is there a less nonsense, less nonsense solution? I ask Louis Glazebrook, a dog behaviorist and dog diet preacher. “Dogs that are well fed on a fresh diet, especially on a raw diet, have excellent poo,” she tells me. “It’s strong, small, calcifies quickly and is very easy to lift.” If your dog is lazy, like Mr. Whippy but warm, that’s a problem. Kibble (dry feeding) and canned foods, she says, could potentially become a “wet mountain, slow poo that no one wants to pick up.” Will be and no worries. ” This is only a partial solution. Oscar, being both turbulent and French, emphasizes valuable human-grade food, but still produces mountain (admittedly high-quality) manure.
Alternatively, if we can get a handle on why humans leave dog holes unopened, we can unlock how to stop them. Dr. Matthias Gross is an environmental sociologist who has researched what dog walkers encounter with squatting dogs in Germany. (Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me, Looks like Al that sounds crap to me Keeping that in mind. Increasingly colorful and decorative. Then there’s “Fartive”: Joe Scoop, then discard the whole bag. Gross points for the use of “strategic non-knowledge” – a beautiful phrase for the excuse of consciously choosing or not – to avoid pop-scooping. “The iPhone plays an important role, because you can talk honestly on your phone and pretend nothing happened.”
Gross also tries to understand the mysterious phenomenon of the “shit tree”, where the poo is raised, but then left on display. “I think people think it’s a kind of revenge,” he says. “Look, I made a fool of you to show your environment and society. I was a good citizen, but look here. If I had owned a dog, I would have laughed at that: seeing my dog, whom I love and cherish so much, hanging somewhere.
In general, he theorizes, bad behavior may be about freedom, and our lack in civilized contemporary society. “It simply came to our notice then. If the solution for dog poop is more human poo, this could be a problem where the treatment is actually worse than the disease.