This particular adult woman is doing this by dog sitting.
Princess Lijubi arrives majestically with a stash of paraphernalia beginning with B – bowls, blankets, beds, biscuits and, oh dear lord, poopy Bags.
‘Bags’ I say, with an arched eyebrow. ‘Yes!’ declares Lijubi’s owner, BF Sara, ‘and you must pick it up!’ My eye rolling speaks volumes and Sara proceeds to give me an instruction on how to extract said poop from the ground. ‘I can’t believe I am giving you, a Mother, a lesson on this’ she says with a chuckle. I resist interjecting that said offspring did not defaecate parks, pavements and back gardens and listen carefully, one wrong move and I could be ‘in the @$%t’
Sara leaves with an extravagant wave and a cloud of Gucci Rush shouting ‘Call me whenever Sweetie’ over her shoulder, I’d like to think she is talking to me but we both know she means the dawg.
Left alone, Dog looks at me and I look at Dog. I cannot tell who is more curious as to how this will pan out.
Princess Lijubi is a minature schnauzer variety of dog. To those of us who have no clue what this means, it means she is a little grey dog. Oops sorry not grey, but silver. (this is important)
I decide for the both of us that a bonding walk is best to start us off. I collect the pink lead from the bag, and attach it to the pink collar. I put on my coat and check the mirror. No, no, this is all wrong, I run upstairs to my bedroom and return with the correct attire. After I don my barbour jacket, hunter wellies and with my fake tan, I feel like we look the part.
Today I, wildly imaginative Karlie MacGregor, am Responsible Girl About Town With Designer Dog. I can do this! I look sadly at grey skies and wish I could wear my sunnies. Sunnies would have made us look perfect!
Everything is fabulous. I am starting to think how nice this ‘having a dog’ business is. We happily walk along and Princess Lijubi attracts a lot of attention. People smile at her, people stop to stroke her. Other dog owners smile knowingly at me while our dogs bark and sniff each others rear ends. I am settling into this role nicely until Lijubi wraps her lead around a young lad at the bus stop and he falls over. I apologise to his mother and insist I will indeed ‘take more bloody care’ in future. The bus stop, however, was a good opportunity for me to admire myself and dog in shelter’s glass reflection.
We continue on, I, feeling like I could walk for miles, I look down at little designer dogs legs and wonder if they can match my recently accomplished Marathon walker legs. I decide we will play it by ear.
Too busy watching the pavement (and the dogs legs) we find ourselves in a ‘undesirable area’ and never one to blow things out of proportion, a few scary things run through my mind. What if someone pinches the dog off me? You read about this thing all the time, dogs and cats being stolen from outside their homes. I curse myself inside. I imagine my tearful TV plea for Lijubi’s safe return. Just as I am making a mental note to get waterproof mascara, I spy across the road something that makes my heart race.
Standing right across from us is a Staffordshire bull terrier. A big one. He looks hungry. Full of thoughts of returning an empty collar and lead to Sara, I hurry Lijubi along, she agrees and cleverly does not make eye contact with Scary Dog. I resolve to watch road a little more earnestly from now on and we continue our walk.
It starts to rain and I check dog, she is okay. She stops often to wee and it reminds me of the pooping bag burning a hole in my pocket. Sooner or later I am going to have to man up.
Our walk turns back on homeward ground and we are soon retracing our steps along my street, towards my house. Three doors away and neighbour is returning from shopping, he waves and I wave back. ‘Have you got a dog now?’ he says, I like to think not too incredulously. ‘No, no’ I say, ‘Just dog sitting for a friend’. I move to walk on but the lead is stuck. I smile at neighbour and pull again but the lead is still stuck. I then follow neighbours gaze to the dog at the end of the lead, who is resplendently taking a huge crap on his beautiful green lawn. I am mortified.
I raise my eyebrows and say sorry. After a few more seconds, I shrug my shoulders as if to say ‘Dog’s eh?’ and jiggle lead. A few more seconds and I feel my face growing red, hopefully my fake tan hides it.
Soon, lead loosens and right there in the middle of number 57’s lawn is a huge pile of dog poo. A huge pile of dog poo I have to pick up.
Neighbour looks at me and I look at neighbour. I run through my mind on what the legal rights might be on dog poo? Part of me hopes he will offer to do it for me as it’s his lawn. His lawn, his mess? My dog, my mess? But what if the Dog is NOT yours and you are doing a favour? Just as i’m about to ask, neighbour heaves shopping inside house, closing door. The curtains twitch in the living room.
I bring poopy bag out of my pocket. Placing my hand inside bag as instructed a few hours earlier, I take a deep breath and reach for the dog poo. It is still warm and (I hope you are not eating your dinner as you read this) it is a little bit soft.
I quickly grab as much as I can and fold bag in on itself. I stand up and look around. I did it! I feel strangely adult! I, Karlie, have picked up dog poo! I am Responsible Dog Owner About Town. I expect a little round of applause or something but no-one sees. I tie bag and walk along road hoping to bump into someone (anyone) so they can be witness that I did it. I consider taking a picture and tweeting it but decide against it.
I empty poopy bag into my bin and begin entertaining thoughts this ‘having a dog’ thing could be for me, I will have to invest in new ‘dog walking’ clothes i think to myself as I open door and dog runs muddy paws print all along my carpets.
Never work with animals or children as they say 😉 xx