Poopgate: A Scandal Like No Other

Everyone should pick up after their dog, no question about it, but a few take it to a humorous level.

By | Posted: October 8, 2014, 2 p.m. PST

No, not Watergate, Fajitagate, Nannygate or Tigergate BUT Poop Gate is what my friend Alison refers to poop disputes. Wikipedia defines "gate" as a suffix used to embellish a noun or name to suggest the existence of a far-reaching scandal.   For some, missing a poop is comparable to a natural disaster which in the case of stepping in it might be true. There's no question that everyone should pick up their dog's poop, but some people take poop pick-up to another level. 

Poop shaming 

Photo from GalleryHip.com 

Our neighborhood website reports crime, local events, free used items, traffic reports and dog poop. Twice a month, postings appear discussing dog poop.  Posts vary from dog poop dangers (apparently dog poop is dangerous and vicious like the dog who pooped it out), research on dog poop hazards, measuring distances between dog poops (poop was every 10 yards), pictures of spray painted dog poop (pointing out missed poops), non neighborhood people using a garbage can for neighborhood poop disposal only (I wonder how they knew the poop bags didn’t belong to neighborhood dogs), poop bags left on a trail and the grand finale, a poop chart.  

A woman took time, energy and pride to chart poops along a trail for one month. She recorded time, date and number of poops (including how many on each side of the trail). She states "the goal is to put untended poop deposits on all dog owner’s agendas.”  Why not, add it to the calendar with grocery shopping, taking Joey to soccer practice, Sarah to her dentist appointment and oh yes, picking up dog poop.  She mentioned "it’s really sort of fun – an un-treasure hunt.” She diligently reported her findings on the website each week:

  • 8/2: 31 poops; noon (18 on the left, 13 on the right)
  • 8/3: 17 poops; 11am (10 on the left, 7 on the right)
  • 8/4: 15 poops; 10am (8 on the left, 7 on the right)
  • 8/5: 16 poops (10am) and then at 6pm only 5 poops (big day for her) 
  • 8/6:  9 poops; 11am (6 on the left, 3 on the right)

Thrilled to see a decrease and possible impact, she continued to post results for another month. My friend Colleen wondered if all poops made it to the chart or did she discriminate with dog poops only.  

Many poop investigators, poop police, poop agents, poop auditors, poop detectives and poop inspectors roam our beaches and parks. I encountered a poop investigator at the beach.  The investigator marched 100 yards to inform me one of my six charges did the "poop squat.”  Impressed with her bionic vision, I graciously asked for directions to the poop.  Tempted to ask for a poop squat demonstration, I searched the area for the missed poop.  She found "a poop” but it did not belong to my dogs.  As a professional dog walker of 19 years, you become versed in dog poop, knowing each dogs poop texture and color. Instead of hiring a lawyer to plead my case, I picked it up and thanked her.

One woman finds the technique of holding the dog hostage helpful in cases of missed poops. Another dog walker was walking five dogs.  One was older and slower.  She turned to check on him, noticing a woman leashing the dog up.  My friend called to the woman but she was headed for the parking lot.  My friend sprinted after her, stopping the woman asking what she was doing.  The woman replied "I am holding your dog hostage until you pick up the poop you missed.”  

My friend Sheryl from Boulder, Colorado reports a neighborhood man follows people walking their dogs photographing them if they miss picking up a poop.  The neighbors call him the "pooparazzi.”  He sends pictures to animal care and control creating as much of a stink as the poop.     



You should always pick up your dog's poop, but we all have been in a sticky (or stinky) situation at times. Here are your options: 


Most of us are familiar with the situation of Fido taking that fourth poop when you only brought three bags.  You ask around for an extra bag but you hear "I cannot spare one.”  It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when Elaine asks the woman in the bathroom stall for toilet paper and the woman tells Elaine "she cannot spare a square.”  My friend Brac could bring ten bags but his dog Rocky always managed to do one extra poop.  He took the runaway approach.  Rocky would squat, knowing he had no bags left for that last load, Brac would yell "runaway!  Runaway!”  He and Rocky scurried off not returning until the poop police had forgotten and the "FBI’s most wanted” poster was removed.  In Brac’s defense, he picked up Rocky’s poop and other poop in the area.  Probably the reason he ran out of bags for Rocky’s last land mine.  


You can use "shoot ran out of bags, but I will be right back” excuse as you race to your car for more bags.  The option of not returning crosses your mind, but being the good dog poop citizen you return, knowing it will be impossible to find the poop.  Sometimes, you get lucky, arriving to the crime scene with a professional poop agent pointing at it.  He kindly took 20 minutes to stand above it, waiting for your arrival.  He yells "over here! Over here! Right here!” or "Fire! Fire! Come quick!” You thank him but secretly hope he gets a new hobby.


When you can’t find your dog’s poop, the fake pick up comes in handy.  With poop enforcement watching, you lean down grabbing a handful of grass and in a loud voice announce "FOUND IT! FOUND IT!” making sure your hand motions are exaggerated.  It’s an Oscar winning poop pick up performance.  You proudly hold up the bag, admiring it solidifying the deal.

Whether it is forgetting poop bags or not bringing enough, it is not that picking up our dog’s poop was left off the "agenda” but there was a miss calculation of feces output.  Maybe we missed seeing our dog poop or can’t find it.  Majority of dog owners out in the wilderness of dog poops are responsible and pick up.  There are rebels who refuse to pick up but I let the poop investigators handle them with a scornful stare or verbal beating.  If we give each other a break, maybe "spare a square”(poop bag), life might be easier to navigate through the doggy dog world of poop.

What’s your craziest poop story? Are you on poop patrol? Tell us in the comments below. 


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Autum - 297511   Caldwell, ID

7/28/2015 5:56:56 AM

The worst part about going to the dog park is stepping in the poops that other dog owners don't bother picking up. Messy, messy!

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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

10/25/2014 8:38:27 PM

I always pick up after my dog. I wish other dog owners did the same.

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Wendy   Dallas, Texas

10/15/2014 11:08:25 AM

I always scoop poop - my 6 as well as other finds along the way. I visit friends and relatives and pick up poop in their yard. I volunteer with rescue and I am always the pooper-scooper at the foster home or adoption event. I carry poop bags in my car, purse, and pockets. Is there something wrong with me????

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Jan   Marietta, Georgia

10/15/2014 7:03:44 AM

I am a dog-walker and diligently pick up after my clients; however, one day as I was walking a pittie (ironically named Tiny), a man ran out of a neighborhood I had just walked holding something in a paper towel, calling,"You left this! Your dog left this in my yard!" I turned to look, and in the paper towel was the most hilariously puny turd I had ever seen, and I had to laugh! He said, "I think your dog left this in my yard!" And I held up the elephantine bag I had in my hand and said, "This is what my dog leaves behind, and I always pick up after him!" The man kind of fluttered back into the neighborhood, with paper-toweled-turd still in his hand...

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