"I got it," I said heading to pick up the huge pile of s*^t. The woman was aghast that the photographer was having to pick it up. I'm no normal photographer; both her and her daughter were decked out in their finest attire, of course I was picking it up. Once again I said "I got it," heading over to pick up the steaming pile on an abnormally chilly morning as the owner stood in shame,trying to control their very unruly youngster as the trainer, "I" was picking it up. Not a big deal. Ahhh...they keep us humble don't they? I remember watching a gorgeously groomed and poofed Standard Poodle on a televised dog show years ago. It was prancing around the ring with it's handler who was as proud as a peacock when Mother Nature called. That's right, that drop dead gorgeous animal hunched over and dumped on National Television. Not so glamorous after all eh?
Isn't it just luck that our dogs always wait until there is an audience to do their hunching. Not only is there an audience in attendance for the big drop but it is unusually large, goopy and seemingly never ending. Several days ago Luke had an issue while pooping. He is really becoming weak in the rear so the art of pooping is becoming exceedingly difficult for him. As he hunched, his legs gave way so I had to prop and hold him whilst he finished. Nice. While holding onto his harness for balance, I realized that I was in a very bad place. The fumes wafted up to where I stood, doing my balancing act. I held him in place until he was done and I could breath once again. Just another day.
Cleaning up after our dogs and living with dogs in general keeps us well grounded. Sure you can pump yourself up, thinking that your dog would never, your dog is not your typical dog. Look at that coat, that face, that structure; no this is no ordinary dog. That is until you are all decked out; strutting your "better than all the rest" dog and she takes a dump while crossing a very busy intersection. Oh yes, it happens to us all; somewhere, sometime most inopportune, it will happen. When it does, you will come plummeting down to earth with the rest of us.
When you have dogs, there is a lot of work involved. They happily go through their day to day with us picking up after them, very literally. We feed, groom, walk, and pick up after the dogs that we love; because that is what is involved when you live with dogs. As someone who works with dogs; the pick up part is something that I expect now and again.
I have been witness to complete transformations as far as those who say that "they will never pick up poop." In their mind it is something best left on the ground; most definitely not something they are touching, not even with a bag in between it and their hand. Once a bond is created and the pressure from society not to leave crap in your path; that said "person" who was never picking it up makes sure that they have a bag before heading out. Nice, very nice. Typically they are also the ones calling out those who don't pick up after their dogs.
Living with dogs is just the best in so many ways. They give us their all; unconditional everything. There are no hidden agendas, no one to impress; it is all about you and your dog. So when they occasionally spew some previously chewed up twigs onto the carpet; poop before they make it outside or wait until you hit the most crowded section of the beach before having explosive diarrhea; simply smile, thinking "don't worry, I got it." It is part of living with dogs and your dog is most definitely worth it. They are working at grounding you and keeping you humble. Picking it all up is nothing; not having your dog by your side would be far worse. Sure, there will be embarrassing moments throughout the years with your dog. Times when you'd like to crawl under a rock and leave your dog standing alone to take the rap. But that's wouldn't be very flattering for us, would it? When the chips are down we run and hide? No, our dog, our mess; it's what we do because we love our dog. And like they always say, s*&t happens.