Dogs, Green Grass, and Human Behavior

I walk a lot, as it helps chronic nerve pain in my back. Zoned by the repetition of a few regular paths, I only pay attention to my surroundings when something stands out. It’s an odd collection of observations. Here’s one…

beautiful green lawn

In residential areas, folks walk their pet dogs. Most are considerate and, when the inevitable happens, clean it up. Maybe 85%.

please and thank you

This could be a reflection of society. Not all neighborhoods are the same… but the same things happen.

Most people are “good citizens” who abide by the rules, both formal and informal.


there’s around 10% who are not responsible. I’ll avoid being too graphic.

The majority of these pet owners are simply social slugs, regularly leaving problems in their collective wake… for others to deal with. Which says nothing about their personal appearance or outward behavior otherwise; from what I can tell, this character defect in humanity slices all strata.

SO, while out on a lovely walk,

the dog poops in a neighbor’s front yard and the owner does nothing for a while. Here’s how I imagine it went down:

DOG OWNER (thinking to self):

I don’t have a bag with me. It’s not that much. It’s biodegradable. No problem.

HOME OWNER (discovering the evidence):

Why me? This happens several times every day! I shall pointedly remind dog owners…

House on a corner put up TWO signs…

It must be a problem. This is not the only house in the neighborhood with such signage.

In A Perfect World

End of problem, right?

Maybe it worked! I didn’t notice as much “abuse” when I strode by a few times after the signs went up.

And then the signs came down.

After seeing the signs, owners may have restrained their dogs from doing their business on that lawn… but evidently did not keep the dogs from marking their territory when nobody was looking.

The signs were like dog magnets.

Exactly where a sign was…

Let’s file that under Unintended Consequences.

That doesn’t cover all behavior, though.

A few, perhaps 5%, do something totally inexplicable.

They bag their dog’s poop yet, at some point in the journey home, toss it to the side.

Maybe it was too heavy? Now, inside biodegradable bag, it actually takes longer to return to the Earth.

This happens more often than you’d think.

Lazy would not bother in the first place. This is semi-lazy.
I didn’t think you could get lower than lazy but I’ve reconsidered. Semi-lazy actually detracts from the equation.


I was going to make some intellectual comparison to social networks.

I forgot what it was.


Thanks for your time while I distract myself briefly from my software development project.