I’m picking up your dog’s shit.

Volunteer to pick up dog shit, keep trails beautiful, and inspire social responsibility. Stop That Shit — an idea from Make Idaho Better.

(UPDATE: Jill Giese had an idea like this a while back, so I’m not the first to get this crazy — ‘10 people could solve’ the dog poop problem in Boise Foothills, one volunteer says.)

I hike a lot.

And I have a walking path by my house that I love. I can get there in 1 minute and I can walk my dog off-leash. He loves it, we get some exercise, and it’s a great way to clear my head after a long day. But, there’s one issue with this path.

There’s dog shit EVERYWHERE.

Like, little mounds every 10 feet or so. Pretty disturbing. I’m guessing it’s particularly bad here because it’s not an officially maintained trail, and I doubt it it’s anybody’s job to keep it nice.

This has bothered me for a while.

I would marvel about how irresponsible it is for people to not pick up their dog’s poop and leave it for everyone else to look at.

But I get it… When your dog’s off-leash, you might not notice every time they’re pooping. And if your dog’s like mine, they might have an annoying habit of pooping twice. No one wants to bag up poop twice.

It dawned on me recently that the poop situation isn’t going to get any better.

Maybe I should be a part of the solution...

For instance, if I pick up a little bit more poop than Wookiee drops each time, we could be net-positive in the shit-sphere.

Then I had a crazy idea — what if I just picked up all the shit?

What if I treated this trail like it was my trail. Like, adopting a highway or adopting a fire hydrant, I can be the poop police for this one trail, the trail I love, and make sure that it’s more pleasant for myself and other’s. I could take one for the team.

I could do it in a visible way, so other people know I’m doing this, and that they know they’re leaving poop for me if they don’t pick it up. I’m guessing most people wouldn’t feel good leaving a stranger holding the [shit] bag.

I could start a website, called Stop That Shit.

And it could inspire people to take personal responsibility for their actions, for others, and help everyone be a little more conscientious.

I could make a yard sign.

And put it at the trailhead that looks something like this:

I’m picking up your dog’s shit.
I use this trail several times a week, and I love it. But, I do not love all the shit. I realized it wasn’t picking itself up, so I’m picking up the slack. So, please know that if you don’t pick up your dog’s shit, you’re leaving it to me. Do you want shitty karma? Didn’t think so.
If you like this idea, join us at StopThatShit.Show.
Wookiee is proud of all the shit I picked up

This sort of thing is my ideal type of solution.

Something done by individuals, that’s inspiring, and has the potential to change behavior through social pressure. Getting the government involved with carrots and sticks is my least favorite solution.

I need to give Make Idaho Better some credit for this crazy idea.

As I’ve been running the nonpartisan, crowd-sourced, research platform, I’ve come across many engaged, inspiring Idahoans that want to make the state better. One subscriber and I ranted and ideated on the dog poop situation for quite a while over email recently, and that planted this seed.

We can do this! We don’t need more rules and enforcement.