Dog-walking in the city is different than dog-walking in the country. Our dog walkers pile their gang into the back of the car and take them out to a trail somewhere. It means they have to keep their numbers down, because four or five dogs running loose is enough keep track of, but the dogs have a blast and it’s more than a poop-walk.
Still, the principle in Rhymes With Orange holds: What it is, basically, is a social opportunity.
I could walk my dog for six miles on our own and he wouldn’t find it nearly as satisfying as a half-mile walk in which we encountered one or two of his friends.
They don’t even have to be good friends, or friends at all, as long as there’s a little sniffing and perhaps some crazy-running.
Lola brings up the best reason for a leash-law, however. There are, admittedly, a few times when you’ll get talking to someone and your dog will wander off and leave you a little something.
Generally, somebody else will notice and give you a heads up, but there are times it doesn’t happen and the dog isn’t going to tell you.
On the other hand, it’s pretty near impossible not to know what’s happening on the other end of a six-foot leash, and, as much as anti-dog people enjoy finding an example to complain about, most dog owners get more genuinely upset, because stupid people bring down stupid laws and then we all suffer.
- If 1,000 cars go past a point in town and then one clown with loud pipes goes roaring through, it’s very annoying for about 15 seconds. But if 1,000 well-tended dogs walk past and one leaves a pile, the pile stays there, at least until another dog owner picks it up.
- The other is that I’ve also picked up litter and empty bottles on athletic fields and playgrounds and nobody is calling to ban children.
- Well, very few people.
(Yeah, yeah, I know. But assuming most people get their dogs checked for parasites, there’s not much your kids will catch from their poop. Which they shouldn’t play with anyway. Point being that they do a much better job of infecting each other than any dog could.)
And speaking of waste and litter, Dave Whamond joins the pile-on over CVS’s ridiculous reams of receipts, which I only describe as a pile-on because K-Mart and Staples are guilty of the same wretched excess.
Now, I kind of doubt these receipts are made from virgin pulp, but eventually it all goes back to the forest by some chain of wooden blocks or whatever.
There are a few places that insist on paper that is certified to come from sustainable sources. When I lived in Maine, the local paper mill lost the LL Bean catalog contract not because their sources weren’t sustainable — they were — but because it wasn’t properly documented. More magazines and catalogs should get on board with that process.
But the receipt thing is simply stupid. Our co-op, which is really a small chain of non-profit groceries, put in new cash registers a few years ago that, among other improvements, don’t print out a receipt unless told to, and so the end of checkout is, “Would you like a receipt?” and the answer about half the time is “No thanks.”
A lot of people turn down receipts at other stores, too, but the cash register prints it out anyway and it goes into the garbage.
I don’t know what stores pay for receipt paper, but, for all the annoying penny-pinching that they do, I would think harmlessly cutting that cost by 30 or 40 percent would justify retooling their registers.
Meanwhile, Bean keeps sending me catalogs and they’re sustainable but only from my mailbox to the recycle bin in the post office lobby whence they are probably ground up and repurposed as unwanted receipts.
And still on the topic of litter, Barney and Clyde aren’t too late with this gag, because we’ve still got election signs here and there and they’re every bit as welcome to me as dog poop.
There’s something kind of wistful, the morning after elections, to see local candidates picking up their campaign signs, but the state candidates have still got some planted at railroad crossings and so forth and who knows who put those out.
Probably the same people who put out the mattress sale signs. I think the reason mattresses that used to cost $250 have gone up to $1,250 is because they have to pay for those stupid signs and also the spinners who stand on corners trying to lure you in.
Some communities have laws about abandoned campaign and garage sale signs, but hereabouts we live free or die and our signage laws tend to reflect that. We don’t collect bottle deposits, either.
As for Wallace the Brave, that’s exactly how it works, though we used toboggans and disks on the unplowed snow and saved the Flexible Flyers for use on roads, taking turns to stand at the bottom of the hill and shout “Car!” as needed.
When a car was coming, everyone would crash-land in the snowbanks, which was often as much fun as getting to the bottom of the hill and sometimes more.
Anyway, it was a lot more fun than putting a toboggan bow-first into a tree, which happened often enough. And not only did that result in bitten tongues and bonked heads, but it often was, as hinted here, the demise of the sled.
Best not to spend extra money on the kind that came with a mattress. They were all destined to be converted to kindling anyway.
Change of Topic
Getting completely away from waste and foolishness, Betty offered this strip on Thanksgiving.
Pretty nice way to mark the holiday.
So long, Roy.