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    The Down Sides of Dog Ownership

    So Herman and I have gotten into the habit of picking up Moxie’s leavings from her walks with us around the neighborhood. We’re trying to be like State Farm Insurance, “Being a good neighbor.” I’ve also noticed that many other residents are doing the same thing.

    But I’ve also noticed some people have left their bags, like bad door prizes, along the side of the road for others to discover. Such as Herman and I. So we’ve made the habit of also picking up these bags as we go. There aren’t that many, and Herman is already doing the disgusting duty, so why not?

    This is a definite down side to dog ownership. Cats are fastidious about leaving their waste in a litter box and carefully covering it up. Even if you allow your cat out to roam and poop, which I would never do, I have never discovered cat leavings in a bad place, such as the bottom of a sneaker. But doggy landmines do present a hazard.

    So if you walk your dog in a town, I’m sure you are familiar with the pooper scooper habit. Some towns even have special waste receptacles for poop that has been scooped. But here in the country, even though it is a tourist spot in the summer, rules are more lax and people basically do what they’d do if at home.

    Herman, who was raised on a farm, never worried about where the dog went and what he or she may have left, as they had lots of land and few neighbors. But here in this Adirondack community of Caroga Lake we’re packed in pretty tight and need to watch what we do to affect our close neighbors.

    Did I ever tell you that the farm Herman grew up on was over 200 acres and they not only raised cows and the food for the cows, but also had a bottling plant and dairy as well as a milk route at one time. Herman and I couldn’t have come from more different backgrounds if we’d tried.

    But back to the discussion of what to do about many dogs in close proximity, not only is there a poop problem, there are also aggressive dogs and those who don’t abide by the leash law. Unfortunately, Moxie, our Dalmatian, is one of those dogs who are suspicious of other canines and tends to be over protective of our property and when we walk, even of our surrounding areas. Herman has to keep tight hold on a short leash at those times we encounter other dogs (one exception being Moxie’s affection for Logan, her local boyfriend who I spoke of a few weeks ago).

    I don’t pretend to have answers here, I’m just noting the facts that there are down sides to dog ownership. Not that I’d give up our Dalmation’s company for them.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"