Scooping sloppy stuff

Coming home from a midday run with my dog, I arrived in time to see a man hunched over and diligently working a patch of my lawn (weeds, really) with a plastic bag. His Rottweiler splayed indolently nearby. The man was making a gallant effort to erase any lingering remnants of a successful outing. I appreciated his effort, even as I knew how impossible this can sometimes be.

Waiting in my in-box was an email from local gardening maven Robin Haglund with an idea for this precise state of affairs. Canine kismet? Her pup Shiloh (sleeping, above) has been struggling with ongoing GI issues and diarrhea, precisely the sort of icky necessity that births invention.

I was feeling horrible about cleaning up after her on walks and leaving a “smear” on various parking strips. It seems so simple, but one day I was thinking, “I wish I could train her to go on paper.” And, it struck me, why not take a sheet of paper on walks and slip them under her as she “gets in position” to poop? I tried it, and it works like a charm. No embarrassing, smeary messes left behind anymore. I just grab a few sheets of paper from the recycling bin (ads that come in some bills work great!) and a few recycled veggie bags from the grocery, and we’re good to go for a walk.

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