How Come Dogs Don’t Step In Their Poop?

27 08 2011

I was outside throwing the frisbee to my 2 1/2 year old Pitbull, Haylee when I noticed something unusually interesting. She gets real excited when we play frisbee and backs up a little, but not too much, mouth open, tongued hanging over the side.

I have three big dogs and I only scoop poop twice a week so at times there are some piles, or landmines as my dad would call them, throughout the back yard. My arm raises slowly and I watch Haylee excitedly anticipate me throwing the frisbee. Her eyes never leave the target, even when I fake like i’m going to toss it.

She’s good.

I can’t help but to notice a fresh pile of poop right behind her and as I prepare to throw the frisbee she backs up with quick jerky movements, anxious and excited. I think to myself, she’s going to step in it. I know she’s going to step in it.

So I purposely draw out this frisbee throwing game to see if she is going to step in this poop. But she doesn’t. I don’t know how she does it but she oversteps and avoids the piles. Without looking, since she’s backing up and eyes are glued to the frisbee i’m holding up in the air.

This is incredible to me and I purposely observe my dogs on walks and when I play with them in the backyard. I’ll spot a pile of poop on the sidewalk.

 Yes, not everybody cleans up after their dogs. Not judging though, there are times I leave the poop too. Except on the sidewalk. When they do that I find a stick or something and at least flick it to the side off the sidewalk. It’s called courtesy. Just try to pick it up more than not because it’s gross.

Anyway, I watch as we approach the poop on the sidewalk and observe my dogs. They all do it. Somehow, without even looking down at the ground, they miss the poop. Some times they come really close and i’m biting my nails in anticipation but then a sigh of relief as they manage to avoid it.

Amazing skills! How do they do this? It’s like they have some sensor mechanism that directs them away from the poop and how cool would that be to have. We could all avoid those times of misfortune when you step in a pile of poop somebody so kindly left behind. I’ve done it many times. But with this new power we would have fewer bad days, fewer “goddamn son of a bitch’s” , fewer chance of catching a feces related disease like zoonoses. Yes I looked that one up.

There seems to be a lot we can learn from a dog.


Crosswalk Crossroads : Letters From The Pedestrian

15 08 2011

Dear old lady, with the Jack Russell Terrier, who could barely see over the steering wheel of her Toyota,

I’m writing to apologize for my ignorance and disrespect as I attempted to walk my dog across the big white striped crosswalk after pushing the button and seeing the white LED man come up on the screen. I must not have been paying attention to the signals that informed me I had the right of way and that it was okay for me and my furry kid to cross the street safely.

It must have been hard for you to take that left turn on a green light so slow and avoid running my dog and I over in the fifteen seconds it took for us to cross. Thank you for creeping up on us slowly and gently tapping my leg with the front of your car to inform me you were coming no matter what. It was so kind for you to again inform me that you had the right away by pointing to the green traffic signal hanging above even while the LED sign was still blinking the 8 seconds left before the orange hand would appear and take over. I was amazed that you were so quick to notice as you continued to drive and weren’t distracted by the steering wheel blocking your view or your hyperactive Jack Russell Terrier standing on your middle console backing you up with his yaps.

You must have developed some sincere patience and self-control over the years because when I pointed back at the sign to show you the seconds still counting down, you came back again, holding your ground and pointed to the green light hanging above without losing the angry scowl on your wrinkly face.

I have plenty to learn from the old and the wise who are somehow still qualified to drive 3000 lb vehicles without meeting proper height requirements and without knowing or abiding by the rules of the road. Thankfully, I can still stand corrected and will hope for a rainy day to wash away the dog shit I inappropriately threw at your car.


The Crosswalk Bandit

Everlast Don’t Have Nothing On Me

14 08 2011

I was a human punching bag.

Ok, not literally but I might as well have been. This is what I became while in my last relationship. I thought because I was strong both physically and mentally I would be able to endure whatever my girlfriend’s personality disorder wanted to throw at me but I was ever so clearly wrong.

I went from being strong and independent to frail and lost. It was so bad that I was lucky to get out of that relationship with the clothes on my back. I had lost almost everything, most importantly myself.

I can name a few things I did wrong in this relationship besides getting into it in the first place. I was in denial that my girlfriend had a personality disorder and I looked past it, first because I blamed our alcohol addictions on it and then secondly because of a newly developed handicap that occurred a year after we got together. She went blind due to a hereditary disease that was active in her family’s genes.

Losing something like your eyesight is definitely a devastating situation to experience. She was 26, a Paramedic that loved her work and was ready to expand to the firefighting field when all of those dreams were wiped away. Of course she had every reason to be angry and hate the world. I empathized with her and my heart broke to watch her drift away into depression.

I should have researched more about my girlfriend’s problems and educated myself on how to handle a person of her caliber. She showed signs of being bipolar, although she denied that and took her anger out on the ones closest to her. Her mom, dad, and of course me. Because I knew she didn’t really mean the harsh words she spewed my way I took the blows. They started out weak but as the years passed they became stronger.

Empathy is something I have been practicing from an early age. I don’t know if it’s in my genes or someting I learned from my parents, my dad especially. I try to understand and relate to what people are going through to either offer help, guidance, to learn something or just to be there for them the best way possible. I tried everything I had in my bag to help my girlfriend but in the end the only thing that worked was walking away.

Did she mean the hateful words she screamed at me almost every day? I have to believe she did not. Was it okay for her to verbally and emotionally abuse me almost every day? Absolutely not. I know now that there is no excuse for treating someone with that much disrespect. I shouldn’t have had to take any of those punches. After each fight I would receive an apology and the words, “I will never treat you like that again. I didn’t mean what I said. I love you.” Those words became meaningless after hearing them for over three years.

I’m not saying you need to turn your back on someone experiencing this problem and run for the hills, but I am saying you need to do your homework. Listen to yourself and follow your instincts. Set your boundaries and limitations and don’t stand for any type of abuse. Then stick with what you know is right in your heart even if your partner says they’re fine and above therapy or medicine. There is plenty of help out there and plenty of ways to get it.

One of the things I remember reading about being in a relationship with a bipolar individual was that it wasn’t going to be a happy and easy journey. It helps when they recognize their problem and really want to work on it but if they choose not to then it’s best to walk away until they do.

I’ve heard several stories of people not making it out of these types of relationships alive. Just because the abuse isn’t obvious to the eyes doesn’t mean there isn’t any damage done. My heart and mind took the punches and thanks to a few angels in my life I was able to put them back on the road to recovery.

I didn’t give my girlfriend at the time any boundaries on the way she treated me. Well, I did try to at times but it was either too late in the game or I didn’t follow through with them. If you are going to be in this type of relationship you have to set some rules and you have to implement them every day. It didn’t do my girlfriend any justice by letting her walk all over me and others when I knew she was wrong. I didn’t stand up for myself or speak up enough. At the time, in that moment, I didn’t see that speaking up would help anything. I only saw it as causing a fight, which I spent every day trying to avoid.

A little advice from me to you – don’t cave in to the wrong way of thinking and acting because you want to avoid an argument. No matter what, it’s going to happen so you might as well do the right thing for yourself. If I had been more confident and believed in myself instead of listening to the negative talk and following her path I might have been able to do more good for her. I’m not saying I could have saved her like I would have liked to but you never know.


Lead by example and be true to yourself.

 If it is meant to be they will be right there beside you.