Dear PoPville – What do I say to poop pickin’ haters?

by Prince Of Petworth June 17, 2014 at 2:30 pm 83 Comments


What to do I say to poop pickin’ haters?

“There is a dog poop problem in my neighborhood. It is so bad that people have even hung signs encouraging people to pick up their dog poop.

Anyways, I have two lovely adoptees and a third, a mastiff, that was abandoned at the house that we purchased — we call him the most expensive dog we ever purchased, because he came with the house. We take care of our pups — vet, groomer for the hairy one, glucosamine for the older ones, and special diets for each.

More importantly, we pick up our dog poop. We pick up so much poop that we order poop bags from Amazon by the thousand. We pick up so much poop that we have a designated poop can to throw the poop in. We pick up so much poop that sometimes when there is another dog’s poop next to our dogs poop, we pick up that poop — because it is the neighborly thing to do. I even offered to share my poop in a package for someone having package thief problems to act as a “Trojan package”.

There are some people that have yelled at me while my dog is pooping on the frontage. Most recently, while my dog was mid-poop and I already had a poop bag on my hand, a neighbor, who has not been very neighborly at all since we moved in, opened her second story window and yelled, “You better pick up that up.”

So, I want your suggestions — How can I say back that is entertaining to me or the people witnessing to keep the mood light when someone is so angry they they need to yell at me before my dog is even finished pooping?”

  • Anonymous

    Raise hand encased in ready-to-deploy poop bag. Extend middle finger of the bagged hand. Smile cheerfully and say “Good morning to you too, neighbor!”

    • yeah, i was going to say just smile and cheerfully wave at her with bag-gloved hand.

  • anon

    “You better pick up that up.”
    “I always do, but generally wait until it’s finished coming out his ass.”
    “This bag on my hand isn’t a puppet.”

    • Anonymous


  • anonymous

    Kudos to you for being responsible. But, there are enough dog owners who don’t pick up their dog’s crap that it makes people wary of every owner. I have had to pick up dog crap from my lawn. I’ve seen it on neighbor’s lawns. I see dog owners walking around with nary a plastic bag in sight. The other day I was walking by a lady whose dog was pooping in the grass strip in front of someone’s house. She saw me and did a fake reach for a plastic bag. When I turned around she had walked off with her dog. No plastic bag. Let someone else clean it up.
    Sorry, but I don’t think dog owners can be shamed too much into making sure they clean up after their dogs. At least the person did not yell at you for letting the dog go on her lawn in the first place.

    • baloney

      My dogs and I were strolling down the street the other day, and they weren’t pooping, peeing, or doing anything else, just happily strolling along, when a woman walked by me and volunteered “you’re going to pick up their poop when they go, aren’t you?”

      Totally rude, uncalled for, and obnoxious. No different than saying to a young African American male on the street “you’re not going to rob me, are you?”

      • Anonymous

        Yep, no different at all. Great logic. (sigh)

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, it’s different. I hope I don’t have to explain why, so I’ll just point out the first step of the logic: your dog will definitely poop or pee at some point in time, probably the same day if not within minutes. Now see if you can figure out why that is different from your example.

      • Anonymous

        -1 million

      • Anonymous

        yea, the rampant dogism is ruining our city.. /I wouldn’t bother with the LSATs if I were you.

      • dunning-kruger

        Black guy shoulda thought about racism before he brought his melanin back from the shelter.

      • anon

        Working off this twisted comparison I can safely assume that all dog owners are racist. I hope you are a troll, but you might just be an entitled pet owner. Luckily, my building bans pets.

        • Baloney

          You all are missing the point. I’m not equating dogism with racism, I’m equating prejudice with prejudice. The assumption that someone with certain characteristics is going to do something wrong simply because they possess those characteristics — be it a young AA male wrongly assumed to be up to no good, or be it a dog owner wrongly assumed to be breaking the law — is prejudice, plain and simple.

          As for Anon at 6:23, he’s the one who needs help on the LSAT. The comparison isn’t between the young man assumed to be up to no good and the dog who everyone knows will poop; it’s between the young man and the dog owner.

          Talking about race doesn’t make you a racist.

          • Anonymous

            “the dog who everyone knows will poop”
            …which means that the owner will definitely encounter the decision to pick up or not to pick up. There is no such inevitable decision point with the young man’s actions.

          • Baloney

            No, but again not the point. The point is that all people make decisions, and you can’t assume that any kind of people will make the wrong one. The overwhelming majority of dog owners clean up after their pets, otherwise with the number of dogs around here you’d see a LOT more poop.

          • Anonymous

            I know it’s not the point, but you fail to realize (or at least acknowledge) that your analogy doesn’t make the point well at all; it complicates rather than clarifies. Your point is fine, your analogy is not.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is pit bulls. Since they can barely be controlled, the owner isn’t going to scoop up after them with one hand while trying to rein in a dangerous dog with the other.

    • dcrea;

      You Win -ass of the day award! throws a fist full of poop @ you!!!!

    • 3 out of 10

      • Anonymous

        Hahaha, this is at least a 5

    • Anonymous

      The dogs are fine, it’s usually the owners who can’t be controlled.

    • Anonymous

      Is this comment for real?

      • Anonymous

        Troll-hook, line, and sinker.

  • Anonymous

    As you’re getting ready, before you pick it up, but while the bag is on your hand, raise up your hand with the poop bag on it and exclaim, “this ain’t a fashion statement!”

  • Anonymous

    That used to happen to me when I lived in Rosedale. There was one lady who used to wait inside her house and then go out of her way to come out and yell at us for even being in the vicinity of her house with dogs. She even yelled at me to “pick it up” when it was just pee. I fantasized about throwing heaps of poop-filled bags on her porch (because I always do pick it up), but some people are just real jerks and there’s nothing much you can do. I did inform her lightly that short of holding a cup under my dog as she goes, I could not in fact “pick up” pee.

  • Anonymous

    Impossible problem to solve. People who don’t pick up their dog’s poop, stopped giving a shit about their city, their neighborhood and their neighbors at that point. No amount of guilt is going to change their mind nor will any signs informing them of such.

    Lost cause. Pick it up for them and don’t waste your time confronting someone who in all honesty may turn violent on you as well. They don’t care about you, your concerns or your feelings. They may also not care about your physical well-being. It’s just not worth it unless you are prepared to physically defend yourself in case they attack you.

    • +1, just suck it up as part of owning a dog in a city. Some people are always going to view them negatively, you ain’t about to change their minds or get a reaction you want.

  • dcreal

    I’d be soooo annoyed that I’m pretty sure I’d wouldn’t be able to find anything nice to say…But more likely I’d just turn my back and ignore them.

  • kken

    You mean good owners paying for the price of bad owners? Kinda sounds like us good bikers who pay the price for those that blow through stop lights!

    • Anonymous

      This is great. Now that we have reached the “Pittbulls” and “City Bikes” nadir, this thread seems to have reached it’s logical conclusion.

      • Mary Kate

        New York City dog poop is SO much better than DC dog poop. Fact.

        • caballero

          You win, Mary Kate.

        • Anonymous

          my dog lays small locally sourced organic craft turds and people pay to pick them up

      • monkeydaddy

        I do believe it still lacks references to hipsters, gentrification, and juvenile crime policy.

        • Sounds like a serious case of some NIMFYism.

    • HappyCyclist

      nah, the dog poop is obviously the fault of cyclists.

  • Anonymous

    Its nothing you can do. Many DC residents are getting tired of stepping in dog poop, when getting out the car, walking down the street, etc..

    I know if I see somebody walking their dog in front of my house, I watch them to make sure they pick up after their dog, and if they don’t I call them out for it.

  • Identified

    You can’t do anything. Just smile and walk away.

    I got the “pick that up” when my dog is peeing… and no matter what I said, dickhead wouldn’t shut up.

    I walk with multiple bags, because my dog loves to take multiple poops on walks,, and I have been yelled at as I am actually picking up the poop.

    Nothing can be done.

  • Anonymous

    Eh. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to do then why say anything? It’s not like you’re going to change hearts and minds with a snappy retort. If this is a close neighbor that you actually want to try to “win over” then I guess you can just say nicely “don’t worry, I always pick up”.
    If you really must do something, try looking directly at them for about 10 seconds with a completely expressionless face. Don’t say anything, don’t even think anything, just look at them. For a better idea of what I’m getting at, google “Still Face Experiment.” I think it’s OK if you do it on adults.

    • dcreal

      +10000 It’s like the bend and snap…it works every time…lol

    • frickorfrack

      I’m so going to do the “still face” thing next time my boss get’s unnecessarily snotty.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not entirely sure why a dog owner should have to pick up their dog’s crap when they already have to walk them in the first place!

  • Just clean it up and move on and avoid the idiot’s house next time or the next block. There are haters, cranky old folk, and Anonymous Posters – everywhere.

    Oh by the way, ripe that sign down next time you pass it. It is silly to fret about people like this when you and your buddy are out for a walk. Make it about your dog, not the Haters.

    How foolish… Like the police would stand on the corner, use a snap shot of a person with their dog doing his business, to track ’em down and deliver a ticket.

    Bless your heart.

  • Anonymous

    Think like you are from New Jersey or NY and with a heavy accent say “what? you talking to me? You want a piece of me? I don’t think so!”

  • Anonymous

    Slightly different topic: but what if the dog has diarhhea and while I do have a poop bag and always pick normal poops up…it’s not really condusive to a poop bag, and can wash away in rain or maybe throw some dirt over it…Has anyone experienced that?

    • Anonymous

      Um, yes. You still have to pick it up because it will solidify. But whatever “residue” is left over can be covered with dirt since there’s not much else you can do.

    • been there many times. you try and pick up as much of it as possible without puncturing the bag and thus getting your hands covered in it. it’s gross and it sucks, but you do the best you can.

    • I always put some dirt or mulch or whatever on it, and then pick that pile up. Makes it a little bit easier to scoop. If you’re unlucky enough for it to happen on the sidewalk though, that really sucks.

    • well

      Having to ask myself whether I need to pick up diarrhea is one of the reasons I do not own a dog.

      • Anonymous

        For most dog owners, this is a very rare occurrence.

        • Anonymous

          Exactly. If this is happening frequently, you’re doing it wrong.

  • anon

    I would simply hold the bag up and say, I’m about to. Maybe if you see that neighbor another time, explain to them that you always clean up after your dog, as well as other stray poops. I don’t know what neighborhood you live in, but thanks for doing that, by the way. There’s not much else you can do for cranky, unreasonable people who are willing to yell at random strangers who are doing nothing wrong other than just ignore them and move on.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s another, uh, sticky situation: what if you run out of bags? This hasn’t happened often, but sometimes my dog is having issues that cause him to poop a whole bunch (like, poop once, I pick it up, we walk a few feet, he poops again, etc.). We have one of those dispensers with bags on a roll, and I’ve picked up the first two, but then he poops again, and I’m all out of bags. What’s the kosher thing to do here?! It’s not like I’m intentionally not picking it up – I would if I had the bags!

    • If no other dog walkers are around then in an ideal world you would return home and get another bag then go back to the scene of the crime.

      • +1.

      • Anonymous

        I have done this on the rare occasion I’ve found myself bagless. It’s the right thing to do. If you happen to be far from home when it happens, see if you can borrow a bag from another dog walker (I have been approached before and am happy to lend a helping bag).

        • AA

          Also, look around for errant Northwest Current newspaper deliveries. Some neighbors never take them in and so I will take the bag off that as my emergency replacement. I’ve even used a huge leaf before. It was not pleasant but I was in error for not checking the bag status of my carrier before leaving.

    • Anonymous

      This is when that usually-terrible plastic bag litter comes in handy. I’ve been in this predicament a couple of times and there’s always a stray bag around on the ground or a helpful neighbor with a roll of poop bags to save the day.

      • Anon

        I saw this a few years ago. A woman was walking her dog, and after it pooped she started to walk away. I asked her if she was planning on picking it up and she said that she had no bags. As if on cue, a plastic grocery bag blew by in the wind. I just pointed to it and waited there until she got it and picked up the poop. She most definitely wasn’t happy, not that I cared.

    • Eponymous

      Ditch the dispenser and just throw a roll of bags in your pocket – that way you’ll know if you’re at risk of running out.
      Failing that, I would stop at a convenience store/CVS/grocery for a shopping bag.

      • Monroe

        Might cost you a nickel (and I for one don’t take money when I’m out with my dog) : (

        • Anon

          When you got your dog you assumed a certain responsibility and if you’re going out without money or bags then you’re failing to live up to that responsibility.

          • SVC

            No one said anything about going out w/dog w/out poop bags – sheesh. This was a “bag tax” comment

          • Anonymous

            The bag tax comment was in response to someone suggesting stopping into a CVS or other store to get a bag should one run out. Sheesh yourself, fool.

    • Monroe

      That happened to me recently – I asked a guy standing on the steps of the house if he had a bag he could spare. If there is no one around, I’d look for an empty cup or piece of paper or another substitute. There’s always something lying nearby.

    • figby

      That happens sometimes. Usually there is some trash paper or something around — gross, I know, but even a page from a newspaper — you can use in an emergency, if you walk the dog around in the city.

      • Anon

        No more gross than stepping in dog crap because some owner was too lazy/inconsiderate to pick it up. It’s your dog, the burden falls on you and no one else.

    • Anonymous

      I typically do not throw away the bag after the first time my dog goes because she usually goes a second time. I’d rather not waste two whole bags on one walk. My dispenser has a little clip to hold the bag while we walk so that way I don’t have to carry it in my hand the whole time.

    • Anon

      You are intentionally not picking it up if you don’t find something else and make it work. Don’t kid yourself.

      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Interesting replies and much appreciated. I guess I should say that there tends to not be much trash/plastic bags around me (weird, I know, it’s not like I’m in Chevy Chase either; right by Garrison Elementary). But thank you all.

  • Ninth Street Neighbor

    Wear a hat which articulates: “I pick up my dog’s poop”.

  • TB

    “Can’t we just talk about shoes?”

  • Linc Park

    Hold bag and Say “I’m wrapping it just for you! Shall I leave it on your porch?”

  • Anonymous

    You ever heard of the phrase “curb your dog”? Meaning, the dog should not be pooping on the grass or the sidewalk anyway!

    • DC Dawg

      And where exactly would you like them to poop?

    • Anonymous

      So….they shouldn’t poop on the grass in the tree boxes…or the sidewalk. Where do you propose they go? Perhaps you’d like to volunteer your front lawn?

    • Identified

      And you are quite wrong.

      DC has a scoop law, not a curb law.

      “Curb” laws are quite antiquated – no one wants the waste to go into the city sewer system and out into the rivers.

      You are required to scoop (bag) the waste and place it in a trash receptacle to be taken to a dump:
      Scoop your Pet’s Poop:
      Believe it or not, there are pooper-scooper laws across the United States including the District of Columbia. The law states that no person owning, keeping or having custody of a dog in the District, except a seeing eye dog, shall allow or permit dog waste to remain in any public place. DDOE wants the public to understand why it is so important to scoop your pet’s poop:

      -Properly disposing of pet waste helps to keep park grounds and sidewalks clean.
      -Pet waste transmits disease.
      -Pet waste is bad for the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and the city’s smaller neighborhood streams. Rain carries waste into storm drains and nearby streams, contaminating the water with harmful bacteria which make the water unhealthy to touch.
      -Pet waste adds unwanted nutrients to local waterways causing algae blooms and poor water quality.


  • psh


  • Kevin

    I have two dogs myself and have had similar encounters. If you see someone whose dog is doing their business and suspect they don’t have a bag – simply ask: “do you need a bag?” and give them one. Believe it or not, some folks may be responsible dog owners and forgot a bag – or the dog decided to go twice instead of once on the walk, etc.. By offering a bag to a complete stranger, the initial engagement is less confrontational – you never know, you might be able to influence a better outcome than showing frustration – they might just pay it forward and help someone else. In the end, you’ll feel better about the experience.

    That said, I have a cat-lady next door who lets her hoard of cats out all the time and doesn’t pick up any of the mess in my yard – any ideas on how I could solve that problem?

    • Anonymous

      By hoard of cats what do you mean? Five cats? Ten? More? DC limits the number of animals that can be kept in one household to five. If she is violating that you can report her (the only exception is if she has obtained an animal hobby permit, which seems doubtful).

    • anon

      wrt cats–garden hose is best, but supersoaker is adequate.

  • Becks

    You could say, I’m waiting for the ring he swallowed.


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