Given the choice, i would not collect turds in a plastic bag.  But i do this twice a day. i own a dog, and live in an area with shared green space.  There is no choice.

It came as quite a shock last week to receive a letter from Ms. Butkus, the managing agent for my condominium association, stating that a written complaint had been received regarding my diligence in turd recovery.  After a brief phone call to Ms. Butkus, i learned that my dog was also accused of shitting in the street.  Furthermore, the letter stated that the offended neighbor collected the street turds on my behalf, and was further offended when i refused to accept them.

Looking back, i had almost predicted this scenario back in 2009 as Mr. Pickles and i got settled into our new home.  Needless to say, i was somewhere between royally pissed off and amused when the shit hit the mailbox last week.  Ms. Butkus recommended that i provide a written rebuttal.  i was delighted to comply.


Dear Ms. Butkus,

On September 18th, I received your letter regarding an alleged violation of the God’s Waiting Room Condominium Association (GWRCA) rules.  In that letter, you stated the following:

It has been reported that you do not always leash your dog and are not picking up after it. Please note the association rules state that dogs must be on a leash and the owner must immediately clean up after it.  Thank you for your attention to this.

During our conversation today, you provided additional detail regarding an alleged incident on August 4, 2013. I am writing to formally refute this allegation.  Not only was my dog not running loose that day, I did not participate in a rude exchange with a neighbor regarding a bag of feces.  I wish to enter the following four items into the official record:

1) My dog, Mr. Pickles, has a mental deficit.  At my previous residence, he learned to tunnel under the fence in the yard.  While in the streets he demonstrated no concern for his own safety.  As this was a significant hazard for an impaired animal without “street smarts”, I have ALWAYS kept him leashed since joining the God’s Waiting Room community in August, 2008.  Whether it is for a longer walk, or a brief ‘mercy break’ late in the evening, I consider it unsafe to allow him outside under any circumstances without a leash.  If accused of allowing my dog to roam unleashed, perhaps the complainant should provide a description of the free-range dog in question.

2) I walk Mr. Pickles twice each day (7:30 am and 4:30 pm).  I immediately collect his feces in plastic bags, as required by the GWRCA regulations.  The bags are knotted, and stowed in a sanitary trash bin in my garage, until Sunday night when the trash bin is emptied, and these bags are placed in the dumpster and taken to the curb.  On Sunday evenings, there are at least 14 such bags in my trash bin.  If there is a need to provide proof that I am diligently cleaning up his feces, I would be delighted to allow any concerned neighbors to view the weekly collection.  It is quite impressive.

3) On our walks, I see dog droppings along the street – Mr. Pickles is rather adept at finding them for me!  He is a Chocolate Lab, weighing approximately 90 pounds.  His feces scale accordingly.  The roadside feces piles we find are quite small.  Although I am not a zoologist, veterinarian or trained professional, I suspect that the dogs that leave these are substantially smaller than my dog.

4) As further indication of Mr. Pickles’ mental deficit, he has the habit of walking in a counter-clockwise spiral as he evacuates his digestive tract.  This results in a unique fecal signature.  Rather than resort to more elaborate means of testing, such as the “DNA PooPrint” recently in the news, it would be quite simple for a concerned neighbor to capture photographic evidence of my alleged disregard for GWRCA regulations.

I enjoy living in God’s Waiting Room, and try to be a good neighbor.  I am insulted and disturbed that another resident has indicted my behavior without due diligence, thus bringing my integrity into question.

In the United States, a citizen is innocent until proven guilty.  This must certainly hold true for the residents of God’s Waiting Room – yet anyone can report a neighbor for the mere suspicion of performing unauthorized landscaping, harboring illegal tenants, running a brothel, or operating a meth lab without documentation?   I respectfully request that if there are additional reports that I have violated GWRCA regulations, the individual reporting said violation should be required to provide some form of proof – as a minimum, a description of my dog.  In the age of ubiquitous cell phone cameras, even a clandestine photo of the alleged violation wouldn’t be unreasonable.

Thank you for allowing the opportunity to refute these accusations.  At no time on August 4, 2013 did my dog run in the street.  At no time on August 4, 2013 did my dog defecate in the street.  At no time on August 4 , 2013 did I refuse to accept a bag of dog feces offered to me by a neighbor.  In closing, I paraphrase the words of the late Johnny Cochran, Esq.  “If the poo doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” 


Daisyfae Harper


44 thoughts on “Objection!

  1. There is a small rat dog which lives in our street. Ellie by name. Ellie is not confined to her yard. Ever.
    She has her early morning crap on my lawn most days. Polite requests have had zip result. Soooo on bad tempered days I bag up the gift she has left me, and deposit it in the letter box at her home. With pleasure.
    I also get pleasure (yes I know, small things for small minds) when Jazz challenges Ellie – and chases her home.
    And I love your letter. Rather a lot.

    • i get very cranky when i encounter dog turds in the wild. i don’t like picking them up – i don’t do it for sport, so i expect others to behave in the same manner. if i ever caught someone in the act of abandoning the poo? i’d say something. if they continued to abandon poo? i’d probably deliver it to the doorstep as well. no need to involve the homeowners association. and it certainly isn’t the fault of the dog…

      would love to see Jazz chase the rat dog!

    • We even have a cemetery conveniently located outside the gates! As i’ve said to others – “It’s a great place to live! People are dying to get in!” (ba-dum-DUM!)

  2. Any dog owner who doesn’t pick up after their dog SHOULDN’T OWN A DOG. Don’t get me started. Coco bit me last night. Again. Seriously…I’d strangle that dog to death if my daughters wouldn’t hate me for life.

    I just mentioned in a comment response at my place that I miss your writing. I know you’re Action Girl and that time is scarce. Also, that blogging runs it course and it seems to be winding down for you. But I miss your writing.

    • Coco probably won’t grow out of that. You could have her pointy teeth filed down a bit so it doesn’t hurt when she bites you. Probably not something a vet will do, but you live in New Jersey… someone’s got to have a file!

      Thanks for the kind words – there is an ebb and flow to this blog thing. It got me through a rough patch, and was instrumental in helping me organize my thoughts about the family quagmire. The unexpected bonus? The friendships that have come about – who knew? Probably the main reason i don’t close up shop and quit…

      Will get a shirt made up with “Action Girl” on it! i like that! For every adventure i post, there are at least 10 that i don’t get around to… honestly have no idea how i landed where i am in life….. astonishing, really…. maybe ought to think about that book one of these days. When i’m too decrepit to keep running, anyway!

    • i’m now quite curious about which neighbor had a dog on the loose. a dog that crapped in the street. and most curious about which neighbor bagged up the poo and took it to the door of the owner. Oh, and which neighbor obviously can’t read the numbers of an address! i was specifically called out by name and address. If the upset neighbor had walked up to the door to deliver a bag of poo, don’t you think they could have at least gotten the address right? Old people. You just never know…

  3. Sad isn’t it? All these do-gooding eejits pointing the finger and ejaculating their dusty venom in your direction. If the truth be known I would say it is more to do with the fact that you are in your prime, while they are awaiting the next phase in the afterlife.

    Perhaps best if this Sunday, in full daylight, you enter the centre of the communal green, drop your frillies, squat comfortably and leave your own calling card. Have the dog in attendance, that way you can explain, if challenged, that because of the letter of complaint, you are now re-training him on the correct etiquette when it comes to clearing up shite.

    Don’t forget to crack a window…

    • Oh, i do like the way your twisted mind works! You have truly mellowed in your middle age, haven’t you? No mention of a sturdy iron bar, or a bucket of broken glass…

      Then again, i have to wonder if you’re not making this suggestion just to test my limits of perversion. Unloading in public, with my dog on a leash would certainly violate two of the three items that are on my “absolutely not, under no circumstances” list. i’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what the third might be…

  4. I think the term you were looking for is Special Needs.
    Saying he has a Mental Deficit is soooooooooooooooo politically uncorrect! lol 😉

    “If it doesn’t make sense, you should find for the Defense!” ~ Johnnie Cochran

    • Ahhh… much better! i’m not very good at keeping up with the political correctness stuff. i originally went with “Intellectually Challenged”, but that implies he has some intellect to start with… he really isn’t very bright.

      Gotta love Mr. Cochran! A talented ringmaster in the judicial circus!

  5. I believe I may have left my own deposit in my pants whilst reading this. I shall be sending you said pants for cleaning. No bleach, light starch, please.

    • i can see why someone would be upset at the uncollected poo… but i really don’t know why they tagged me with it, when they must have been standing on the doorstep of the person with the wayward pup. Tis a mystery to me! Hoping to find out eventually what actually happened on the 4th of August!

  6. I must confess I occasionally don’t pick up Lacey’s poop if she goes in the crosswalk. But given the traffic around here, either Lacey and I are going to get smashed, or the poop is. I don’t think my neighbors will bring me any baggies. I do try to discourage her from pooping there, but shit happens.

    • Given Seattle traffic, i’m not sure i’d stop in a crosswalk either! Because of Mr. Pickles’ style, and the fact that i’m really not all that awake at 7:30am, i have occasionally missed on my collections – but retrieve them when i find them on later walks. Hardest time of year is autumn — fallen leaves provide a difficult backdrop! But as you say, shit does indeed happen…

  7. I live in a private trailer park (yup my cars are worth more than my home) and I received a letter staying my orange big cat was roaming and digging gardens and doing cat spraying etc…the time of the accusation was a month after I had had to bid farewell to my beautiful dumb as a turnip indoor all his life cat and you do not what to know the language I responded with. I even faxed the final vet bill as proof. Then demanded a letter of apology from the accuser and the Park management….kinda still waiting on that one ;P.

    • i would have come completely unglued over that! i’d be demanding that letter as well – at least a phone call! ugh! sorry about the loss of your kitty… the hardest part of bringing these critters into our lives is saying goodbye…

  8. Your knowledge of dog shit is impressive. Your ability to impart that knowledge to others is equally impressive. I have no doubt you have been wrongly accused and hopefully Ms. Butkus will repent. If not, perhaps her time spent in God’s Waiting Room will be as close to heaven as she ever gets.

    • We all need hobbies — and what fun is a hobby if it can’t be shared? We all have our gifts, you know! Poor Ms. Butkus was only doing what was required when receiving a written complaint. She was mortified when she realized that the complainant had gotten the wrong dog/homeowner pair… Still waiting to hear back from her! Hoping the issue has been resolved!

      • Well, damn it. Here I have gone and judged Ms. Butkus wrongly. And harshly. Is there no justice in the world? I guess we will know when you get a reply. I’ll be checking back and intermittently reminding myself about the evils of judging people.

        • No harm! i wasn’t her biggest fan when i first got the letter either! Might have called her a few choice names…. Suspect that i won’t hear anything back. To avoid further kerfuffle, i expect she’ll tell the complaining neighbor that “A letter was sent in response to your complaint.” and hope that the problem goes away….

  9. I suspect it’s not only the dog that has the mental deficit here.

    I can’t speak for the US but it’s been really good over here to see a cultural shift away from leaving dog poo in the last few years. The council once attached notices to all the lamposts asking us to tell them immediately if they could identify the source of some whopping turds that were daily left mid-pavement. And lo! It stopped afterwards.

    Let us know the follow up–that’s a fairly irrefutable refutation 🙂

    • No kidding! It’s quite obvious that i also suffer from a significant mental deficit to have gotten my knickers in a knot over this entire issue! For the most part, i think there has been a shift in the same direction here, but it’s not universal… One side effect is that those of us who DO pick up doo doo get exceptionally cranky with those who DON’T tend their doo doo. i don’t not enjoy carrying warm turds in a bag – although in the winter months i can’t say the warmth is entirely unwelcome. To have violators skip away responsibility-free is doubly offensive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s