Posted by Michael Coscia on Apr 1, 2003 - 2:32:00 PM
Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
LOS ANGELES — Imagine yourself walking with your loved one, hand in hand, underneath the beautiful California sun. You're feeling the love, having just made it a few hours before, and at this moment nothing could possibly get you down. You gaze into those sexy ultra blue eyes and pop the question, "Will you move in with me?" Before you can get an answer you suddenly slip and slide, losing your balance, and almost landing with a thud. Luckily your loved one has held on tight and you miss falling on your ass. A bit flustered and embarrassed you quickly look around to see if anyone noticed. They did. They're pointing at you with sourpuss looks on their faces. Suddenly you smell and see the reason why. Pasted on your new Nikes is that dreaded shade of brown: dog crap. Your moment of love has suddenly gone to the dogs.
This has become an all too common occurrence on the streets and in the hiking canyons of Los Angeles. Dog owners are not picking up after their pooches and everyone else is forced to suffer the consequences. I don't know about you but I do not enjoy scraping dog crap from the soles of my shoes. Nor do I like when I wear sandals, or worse go barefoot (a rare occasion considering the circumstances), and I step in your pooch's poop. What has gotten into the minds of these dog owners? Before people get their bowels in an uproar over this, let me say that there are dog owners who religiously pick up after their dogs. I applaud them. Yahoo. It's the inconsiderate dog owners that ruin it for everyone.
Recently while hiking Runyon Canyon I watched a cute little beagle do its duty in the middle of the trail. The dog's owner turned her head the other way. I stopped and waited. Once finished she started walking away. I yelled out to her to pick up the mess. She whined that she didn't have any more plastic bags. She claimed she had already used three bags and had no more. That was a total crock of you-know-what. Not fifty yards away was a supply box nailed to a post with plenty of bags. Then there was the other time I witnessed a woman not picking up her rather large dog's load on the lawn of an apartment complex. I confronted her and she became quite indignant screaming she didn't have to pick it up because she lived in the building. What? I think someone should mess on her living room floor and see what she thinks. And finally comes the saddest story of all. I was walking up Fuller Avenue to Runyon Canyon when I saw a well-dressed woman on the sidewalk getting into a car. In the grass area was a " you've got it" load of wet doggie defecation and whoops! She went down on her butt. Not only did she get a bruised derriere she also got a stained dress. No amount of Chanel #5 was going to cover up that stench.
Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News
I know what you are thinking. You think I'm obsessed with dog doo and consider myself the dog doo police. I'm not and I don't, but when I see an inconsiderate dog owner I get riled up and feel it necessary to confront them. Granted there will be times when someone runs out of plastic bags or forgets to bring one with them, and they are extremely apologetic when caught leaving the scene of the crime. We need to give people a break sometimes, but this is happening way too often. Sadly, you have to tip toe through the dog crap if you want to hike. As an alternative to the bags, I suggest bringing a little garden spade with you and digging a little hole off the trail and burying your little darling's pooh. Another alternative would be not to have a dog. If you cannot take responsibility for picking up after them then I really don't think you should be a dog owner in the first place. Sorry if it offends you, but it's aggravating having to always watch where you're stepping. The odor that permeates the air upon entering Runyon Canyon is enough to make one gag. I call it "Baked Sh*t." And with the hot weather not too far away it is only going to get worse. I often wonder if the apartments near the entrance to the canyon can, when the breeze is just right, smell the dog crap while sitting in their living rooms watching television. I know some of you think I should just shut up and stop hiking Runyon Canyon, but I have spoken with other people who hike other canyons and they complain about the same thing. Sadly, wherever there are dogs there are bound to be inconsiderate dog owners. I just don't think we have to grin and bear it. A fact of life is that sh*t happens. We all do it. Luckily humans flush it. But for the dogs their owners need to bring a bag along and pick it up!