Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The big shit (updated with links at bottom)

Excerpt from The Toronto Star "City okays controversial ban on dogs at Kew-Balmy beach":

Toronto City Council has approved a controversial plan that will ban dogs from Kew-Balmy beach so it can meet the international Blue Flag standard.

The Blue Flag designation means the water is safe to swim in, and such beaches are out of bounds for dogs year-round. The city has already applied for the designation, an "eco-label'' given to beaches around the world. It's expected the designation will come in April.

Dog owners have argued that Kew-Balmy is a popular off-leash area in the winter, but city staff are concerned about dog waste left in the sand when the snow melts.

Miller said that those goals have been "sidetracked'' by the dog issue, and whether unleashed dogs should be able to "use beaches that children swim in and play on as a bathroom."

Yes, that's right. The best way to counter the dog owners is to not have any meaningful discussions with them but to simply throw them up against the baby owners. Woof woof versus ga ga.

By the way, how many tons of shit does the average baby produce? And how many tons of disposable diapers? And how many tons of shit do those babies' parents produce? And those parents' neighbours and friends? And all the rest of us? And how many millions if not billions of dollars do we have to spend to process that shit? To make it "go away".

And how about the shit that comes out the back ends of our cars and buses and trucks? Or the plastic and styrofoam shit that goes into our landfills? Or the oily toxic shit that gets washed off our roads and dumped out into the lake every time there's a rainstorm?

Then there's also the shit otherwise known as uncontrolled development that blocks access to the lake and its beaches for millions of Torontonians. There's the shit known as the Island Airport which sits on what should be a public park with what could have been amazing water frontage. There's the shit known as every building, road surface, parking lot which we have built up to make our lives easier but which denies life to so many other living creatures.

I mean yeah, sure, I love the convenience of being able to drive to my next door neighbour's house as much as the next person but really, we humans are the shittiest shitters of them all and yet here we are spending so much valuable time and energy worrying about those little clumps of dog shit.

Well, alright, you know what? Truth be told, I also hate it when I walk down the sidewalk and see doggie turd bombs every few feet, so, just to make the dog haters on council and in the general public happy, if I were Jesus tomorrow - there's a lottery for that, right? - my first miracle of the day would be to make the owners of those dogs eat every last morsel of the shit their pets left behind. That's right. Eat it. No ketchup, no soy sauce, no MSG. Plain. Hell, I wouldn't even give them plates or utensils. They'd have to use their fingers and then lick the remnants off the sidewalks and parks and beaches.

But here's the thing. There wouldn't be that many of them brown nosing those aromatic meals of divine coprophagous retribution because most dog owners in Toronto are responsible when it comes to bagging up the poop.

Here's where I put on my Steven Hawking hat and do some arithmetic. Please do join me: Let's say there are 10 dogs living on the block (in my experience, 10 is a low number, more like 20 or 30). So, conservatively, 10 dogs x 2 dumps/day x 365 days/year = 7300 dumps. That's a lot of shoe wipes along the sidewalks of a single block.

Luckily, that's not what happens. If the vast majority of those dog owners didn't pick up after their dogs, the sidewalks wouldn't just be littered with shit, they would be shit.

No, what it is, is that a very small minority of lazy asses do all the damage. Just one dog owner not picking up results in over 700 yummy fecal deposits on our sidewalks, parks and beaches every year. Those very few shitmeisters ruin it for the rest of us.

So my dear Toronto City Council, target those people, and make them eat shit. Don't penalize the rest of us.


Joan Sinden at Me and my dogs in Halifax, Nova Scotia has written a few posts on this topic. In this one, What's the difference between litter and poop?, she likens "dog poop to Tim Horton's cups - just because dog poop can be targeted to dog owners - why should every dog owner suffer because of it? You wouldn't shut down every Tim Horton's coffee shop because you want to end the blight of Tim Horton's cups on the sidewalks everywhere would you?"

And in What to do about the poop problem Joan talks "about the fact that the reason - at least in Halifax - that a lot of people don't comply with picking up their poop - is because there are no consequences when you don't."

Holy shit, Joan. It sounds like Halifax has the same problems as Toronto. Maybe Haligonians and Torontonians come from the same breeding stock after all.


Miz Minka said...

That's literally a really shitty decision by the TCC. :( Hypocrites.

BTW, I'm a new lurker (well, unlurked now) to your blog. I used to be a dog owner, I had five dogs of my own at one point. Always went for the unadoptable ones: abandoned, old, diseased, "dangerous" (Chow mix with behavior problems). Unfortunately my circumstances changed -- I now live in an apartment and can't have a dog (couldn't afford it anyway). I hope to provide a home for an unwanted dog or two again in the future when I've graduated and changed careers.

I really enjoy your blog and reading about all the good work you're doing. I miss having dogs!

Fred said...

Well, thanks for outing yourself Miz Minka. The more the merrier.

borderjack said...


re miller's comment about 'whether unleashed dogs should be able to "use beaches that children swim in and play on as a bathroom."':
because kids never "go" in the water, either.

Anonymous said...

Merde! Fifi and I, we must go to Paree, ze poop capital of ze world!

Where, at least, they allow dogs in restaurants and shops...How sympatique, non?

Leaving Mr. Miller, City Council and their giant broom to sweep the beaches clean of bird poop (the biggest contaminant, according to Experts - hope they don't kill the birds now!) and garbage left by the species that has Dominion over everything, if you believe what some people say.

Fred said...

If the beaches on the east side of Toronto are anything like the beaches on the west side of Toronto, I'd say bird poop is not just the major source of poop, it's the major source of poop by a hundred fold. This morning as I was walking my two along the lakeshore, in areas I had to watch out for bird poop every step I took, especially now that everything's melting. It was like hop scotch.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the doggie poopsicles are starting to rise in the backyard with this week's melt. It isn't a pretty time of year; you really need a sense of humour or the absurd.