Friday, July 22, 2011

Poop In The Sun

Warning: This post contains graphic language, the description of dog poop in the sun. If you find the subject of dog crap offensive, please spare yourselves and leave now. But if you stay, I think you will learn something, because this post will end with a moral.

As a pet owner, I am a very conscientious person. I take my dog Underbrush out several times a day, and when it comes to droppings, I always clean them up. You'll see me out there with one or two bags. In fact, I'm often even carrying bags around town just because I've forgotten to take them out of my pocket. But it doesn't matter, because they're always the clean ones.

But as conscientious as I am, once in a while she manages to go and I don't notice it. This always happens in my own yard, because if we were in someone else's yard, I would be watching her like a hawk. In our own yard, though, I might have glanced away, although it hardly ever happens. I'm actually proud of my vigilance, being one of the most vigilant people around.

Well, it just so happens that there were two such incidents in the last week or so. I've been out in the yard, taking her out later in the day, and then I've noticed a missed pile of crap. No matter, I just gang it up with whatever fresh she might be doing and it gets cleaned up.

Yesterday -- and you might remember there's a nationwide heatwave -- I took her out mid-morning and noticed some crap apparently from earlier in the day. (Other dogs can't get into this section of the yard.) It was still moderately fresh, indicating that it was from her prior visit to the yard a couple hours earlier.

Flies were buzzing around it and some had landed. There was a lot of activity. I was feeling a little queasy, so I just left it there, making a mental note not to step there. A few hours later, I went out again and it was dried up substantially -- dog poop, like the human body, being about 90% water. There were just a few flies left. (This must be an important source of water for flies, I don't know.) Then later yet, toward evening, after the sun had been bearing down on it all day, it was totally shrunken, dessicated, packed together, and black. It started out brownish and bigger. And now there weren't any flies.

It really made me think: 1) Why am I cleaning up poop when it's wet and sloppy, when I could let it set in the sun all day and clean it up when it's neutralized? It turns out poop has a half life of only a day! 2) If I were a scientist, I might wonder if it'd snap in half like chalk. Anyway, toward evening then, at that time, I scooped it into the bag and put it in the trash.

The moral of the story is this: Shit doesn't stand a chance in the sun. On these hot days, be careful, the sun can be very harmful.

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