Yesterday we showed you some work from a real cartoonist.
Today, painful as it is, we’re showing you mine, retrieved from the garbage.
The year Ace and I spent on the road was about, among other things, opening up new vistas – for him and me. While he mostly dangled his head out the car window, I experimented with some new things, like dabbling in haiku, eating lobster roll, visiting a gentlemen’s club and, after a visit with an old cartoonist friend in Houston, drawing what was the second or third cartoon of my life.
I’ve long thought I would have been a great cartoonist, if only I could draw.
The only previous work I remember, and I can’t find it now, shows a team of movers packing up a home, one of whom comes down the stairs to the basement holding a very wrinkly-skinned dog by the scruff of its neck, at which point his exasperated supervisor tells him, in one of those voice bubbles, “No,! I said bring me a Sharpie.”
The cartoon above was created on the road (not while driving, but while at a rest area). Displeased with my artistic abilities, I wadded it up and threw on the floor of the back seat of my car, which served, and still does, as my trash bin. Those stains, I’ll venture, are mostly soy sauce and hamburger grease and Taco Bell beanage, left by wrappers and bags tossed in the same area.
Once the trip was over, and I gave the car a good cleaning, I came across it, unwadded it, and decided to keep it as a souvenir.
While it’s not likely to end up in The New Yorker, I may include it with the other charts, graphics and embarassing moments in the book about our travels. The book needs more dirty parts, and it’s definitely dirty, if not in its theme at least as a result of being buried under a year’s worth of fast food flotsam.
It relates to a topic I’ve talked about before — the belief (that I don’t buy, especially when it comes to dogs) that God gave man dominion over the animals, and how that’s often interpreted to mean they are here to serve us and we can do with them what we please.
Of course, “dominion” can mean a lot of things, but I like to think it means something other than shooting them, or fighting them, or eating them, or working them to death. I prefer viewing “dominion” as a responsibility to watch out over them — as I think they do us.
As for my cartoon, wherein the humor lies — if indeed some does — is in the contrast between the dominion we purportedly have and the poop bags we hold. We, millions of us, follow our dogs daily, rushing to pick up their solid waste.
Aliens observing this from afar, as I think Jerry Seinfeld once noted, would assume dogs were the masters and we were the servants.
Clearly it appears to run contrary to what God outlined for us when it comes to those creepy things creeping on earth, particularly dogs. Do we have “dominion” or are we merely “doo-minions,” scurrying to dutifully bag and dispose of the stinky feces our beloved dogs leave behind?
Whatever the case, and however large the pile, it’s a small price to pay.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bible, cartoon, cartoonists, cartoons, dog, dogs, dominion, doo minion, drawing, feces, god, humor, pets, poop, shit, travels with ace, waste
Problem is, IT’S NOT.
Proving once again that words written in all caps should never be trusted.
As the New York Post reported yesterday, the signs, which show a human dutifully following his dog with a small shovel, are a bit off the mark.
Posted in at least a couple of locations, the signs not only have the maximum fine wrong, but the law they cite — Public Health Law 1316 — doesn’t exist.
The actual maximum fine for the offense is $250, and the law behind it is Public Health Law 1310.
Most signs in the city have it right, but apparently some rogue ones got fabricated and posted as well over the years, either due to poor research, or because the city wanted to scare the sheer bejeebers out of people.
The Post reported that “the city for years has posted signs in parks and promenades that threaten a $1,000 fine for dog-waste violations … Just one problem with the signs: They’re full of crap.”
When The Post asked city officials about one such posting on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, they admitted that “1316” was a typo — and that the actual fine is $250. A spokeswoman said for the Parks Department said the promenade sign was taken down after The Post’s inquiry.
The spokeswoman said the sign “appears to be an older sign that is no longer fabricated and no longer installed in parks. We make every effort to replace these signs when applicable.”
That would make sense if the signs were ever accurate, but they weren’t.
The Post found at least one more sign still standing – at Washington Market Park in TriBeCa.
All of which makes us wonder: Is there a fine for putting up false warning signs?
(Photo: Helayne Seidman / New York Post)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: $1000, $250, 1310, 1316, animals, clean, dog, dogs, error, failure, feces, it's the law, law, maximum, new york city, new york post, one thousand dollars, parks, penalty, pets, poop, pooper, posted, public health law, scoop, scooper, shit, signs, typo, violations, warn, waste
A company we’ve told you about before, called PooPrints, made its case before the Dallas City Council this week, promising it could solve one of life’s great and ongoing mysteries — and it’s not who shot J.R.
It’s “Whose poop is this?” and, as company officials pointed out, tracking down and fining the owners of dogs who didn’t clean up could bring in millions in revenue for the city.
(Not to mention millions in revenue for the company.)
At least one Dallas City Council member expressed more than a passing interest in the company’s proposal to establish a citywide doggie DNA registry that would allow unscooped piles of poop to be traced to their source.
The company is already working with apartment and condo complexes around the country, but now it seems to have its sights set on signing up entire cities.
We, in case you can’t tell, hate this idea (and we pick up).
NBC5 in Dallas reports that, while some Dallas City Council members chuckled Wednesday when they heard about the idea, others thought it had merit.
“I think that’s a great idea,” Councilwoman Angela Hunt said. “I think we do need enforcement, especially in some of our denser areas where you have a lot of folks living with dogs and, if they’re not picking up. It creates a problem.”
PooPrints said cracking down, through DNA testing, could help clean up the environment. “This waste does run off into the Trinity River, and it does affect our ecosystem,” spokesman Chris Taylor said. “And we do want to keep our parks clean. We want to keep them healthy. This is a very easy way to do it.”
Company officials say residents could be required to pay for the $29.95 kits required to get a DNA sample. The city — while it would pay for the tests on the poop itself – $49.95 each — would more than recoup that expense through fining perpetrators.
The Ilume apartment complex on Cedar Springs Road in Dallas is already using the program on its property. Residents are required to record their pet’s DNA, and they’re fined $250 if waste on the property is tracked to that pet. A second offense leads to eviction.
“We’ve gone from picking up maybe an hour a day of poop, to picking up maybe one or two a month,” manager Joshuah Welch said.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: angela hunt, animals, city council, dallas, dna, dog, dogs, enforcement, environment, eviction, feces, fines, kits, penalties, pets, poo prints, poop, registry, revenue, scoop, shit, testing, unscooped, waste
In the best of all possible worlds, I would have a poop valet.
On our walks around the neighborhood, he would follow a few steps behind Ace and me, keeping quiet, and waiting to spring into action when his services were required.
It is not picking up Ace’s poop that bothers me so much, it’s lugging the brown and bulging sack around for the rest of the walk.
The poop valet’s job would be to serve as a courier, running the bag back home to my personal garbage can — three four, five blocks away – before washing his hands, checking his pencil-thin mustache, straightening his red vest and returning to see if his services were further required, because double-doody walks, while not common, sometimes occur. (My poop valet, in my imagination, looks a lot like John Waters.)
I can’t bring myself to toss Ace’s poop in other people’s trash. That would be bad manners even if I had a tiny dog. With Ace, it would be no small deposit, taking up valuable refuse space that’s not mine, and adding a lingering scent to the recipient’s receptacle – no matter how tightly I’ve tied the bag – that is anything but lavender, pine or lemony fresh.
As I said, I can tolerate the scoopage, and the brief period of stinkiness as I tie the bag, but being new in the area – and wanting to make a positive impression upon returning to my native neighborhood – lugging an ever-present, generally full poop bag, I fear, works as a strike against me.
It seems, with everyone I have met on our walks, it has been while clutching in my hand a giant bag of poop.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, I know. Far more shameful would be not picking it up. But still, I find myself feeling slightly embarrassed and less confident at these moments. It’s hard to have self esteem when your self is carrying a steaming bag of feces.
Normally, I would just avoid meeting people – but people are friendly here, and Ace insists upon making new acquaintances, especially if the person is a female. (And I swear I never trained or encouraged him to seek out and befriend females. He just does.)
Poop bag-toting was never a big issue for us in Baltimore, because most walks were to the park, and he would wait until there to do his business. There would always be a public trash can nearby, often overflowing with other bags of — to use the local nomenclature — dog shit.
Here in Winston-Salem, though, most of our walks are through residential areas, with no communal trash cans. Here, people don’t say shit so much. Or even poop. Or even waste. My mother, a local, gets mad when I write about the topic – even though it’s one a dog writer can’t avoid stepping in from time to time. For better or worse, people are more civil here, act more polite, follow silly but sweet old traditions and wear well-pressed clothing.
I probably should start ironing my shirts (or maybe the poop valet wouldn’t mind doing that, too).
Being a large dog (130 pounds), Ace’s output (though it was less when he was on a raw diet) is pretty massive. Picture four or five Hostess Twinkies, in a pile.
I generally use white plastic grocery store bags for the chore, they being free and abundant, if not quickly biodegradable and best for the environment. Being white, being big, being full, it’s impossible to carry them discretely.
Making matters worse, our normal walking route takes us past a restaurant on the way home, with outdoor dining. At first, I would cross the street so as not to offend diners, but they have a water bowl set out for dogs, and Ace is thirsty by then.
With a poop valet, I’d have none of these problems.
As I see it, I’d still scoop – for I am not above that. I’d still tie the bag in an attempt to keep foul odors from wafting out, for I don’t consider that beneath me, either. But then I’d snap my fingers to summon the poop valet and he’d rush to my side. I would hold out the bag. He would take it.
“Very good, sir,” he would say. Then he’d trot back to my house, holding the poop bag in front of him with a fully outstretched arm, to dispose of it before returning to take his place behind us. He’d also always carry extra bags, just in case we needed one.
With the poop valet’s assistance, unencumbered by a big translucent white bag of poop, I would cut a far more charming, more appealing figure.
With a poop valet, I would no longer find myself in this position: “Hi, I’m John, this is Ace, and this is Ace’s massive output of fecal matter – one of two loads he will likely dispense today. Would you care to get a drink sometime?”
Had I a poop valet, he could carry my social calendar as well, for I’m certain – once I stop toting poop through the neighborhood – I will make many friends who want to go out, especially if I’m wearing well-pressed shirts.
Without one, I fear becoming known as the guy who’s always walking through the neighborhood with a sack-o-you-know-what.
“Oh, Poop Bag Guy. Yeah, I’ve seen him. The one who’s always wearing a wrinkled shirt, right?”
“Yeah, that one. Have you ever seen him without poop?”
“Nope, he always has it by his side.”
Eventually people would start shouting at me from across the street: “Hey, Poop Bag Guy! Howyadoin?”
In the event some of you are taking this too seriously, let me point out that lugging his leavings is a small price to pay for having the world’s most fantastic dog. And that, though big dogs leave big droppings, the loads of joy they bring far outnumber them.
In the event you’re a company that just so happens to market a handsome, discrete, odor killing poop bag “caddy,” let me say I wish you success, but that to me bagging, re-bagging and de-bagging just seems like too much work, and that I’m not willing to pay money to avoid being embarrassed (though we’ll happily run your paid advertisement).
In the event you want to be my poop valet, feel free to stop by and pick up an application, but be aware I can’t pay for that, either. It would me more of an internship, really — interns being used to doing the sh … stuff … nobody else wants to do.
And, of course, you’d have to provide your own red vest.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, bag, bagging, baltimore, big dogs, caddy, clean up, courier, dog, dog walking, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, etiquette, feces, first impressions, garbage, home, impressions, john waters, large dogs, lawns, manners, neighborhood, pets, pick-up, poop, poop bag guy, poop valet, sack, scoop, self confidence, self esteem, shit, socializing, stinky, trash cans, travels with ace, walking dogs, waste, winston-salem
Feminist Germaine Greer says the way to save Britain’s bluebells is to kill Britain’s dogs.
“If you love your bluebells, kill your dog,” the outspoken academic said at the Hay on Wye literary festival.
The phosphorous contained in dog feces is killing off a fungus, called mycorrhiza, necessary for the flowers to grow, said Greer, who owns a one-acre bluebell wood in Essex.
“…The real threat to our bluebells is not a foreign invader,” Greer is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. “It is the use we make of the woodlands, people running through them, taking photos of each other standing on trampled bluebells.
“And, at the risk of making you all very cross, may I suggest it is also time that the British gave up on their endless love affair with the dog.”
Her comments came at the end of a panel discussion on defending “national treasures.”
A Kennel Club spokesman said: “I don’t think anyone would take Germaine Greer’s extreme and excessively anti-dog views seriously but we feel it would have been advisable that she used her platform to encourage dog owners to do the right thing and pick up after their dog to protect the countryside.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: academic, bluebell, bluebells, britain, daily mail, dogs, feces, feminist, flowers, fungus, germaine greer, gungus, hay on wye, kennel club, literary festival, love affair with the dog, mycorrhiza, phosphorous, poop, shit, threatened, uk, waste, woodlands
“All Over Albany” has noticed that dog poop is, well, all over Albany — and they’ve fashioned a helpful flow chart to help address the (fecal) matter.
(Click on the illegible version above to be taken to the full size chart. Then come back, for this isn’t just an upstate New York issue, but a national, nay, global one.)
At my park in Baltimore, and probably your’s, it seems that, when the snow and cold arrive, the manners of some otherwise responsible dog owners depart.
Whether it’s because people don’t want to traipse throught the snow to scoop it up, or because it’s just so darned cold, there are a lot more lingering dog droppings to be seen, and stepped in.
In a perfect world, those not scooping would be the ones stepping in it — but it never seems to work out that way.
And while, granted, solidly frozen poopage won’t despoil your footwear, neglected droppings, amid continued freeze and thaw, can come back to haunt us.
“We’ve thought a lot about this issue,” Alloveralbany.com reported in a piece last month. “And we finally came to the conclusion that winter somehow impairs the ability of some people to make good decisions about whether they should pick up their dog’s poop.
“So, we’re here to help. We’ve constructed a flow chart to assist citizens of the Capital Region in their decision-making process on the all important question: ‘It’s winter. My dog has pooped. What now?’”
Posted by jwoestendiek January 29th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: albany, all over albany, animals, civility, cold, dog, dog poop, dog poop flow chart, dogs, feces, flow chart, freezing, frozen, ice, manners, pet owners, pets, pick up the poop, pick-up, poop, poopsicle, responsible, scoop, shit, snow, turd, waste, weather, winter, wintry
I have heard the term “brick shithouse,” but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one — until Saturday, when I encountered something close: a toilet made of brick in a restroom made of cinderblock at a park well outside Harrisburg.
It — the term — is, at least when I’ve heard it, generally used to describe someone of sturdy frame, as in: “He (she) is built like a brick shithouse.”
Urban Dictionary offers these definitions: “…very muscled and tough; impervious, unassailable … a stand alone toilet, constructed from brick.” (Is there a rural dictionary? There should be.)
I’m not sure of the phrase’s origin, but I’d guess, when outhouses were common, most were made of flimsy wood — until someone constructed a brick one, and word spread about how sturdy it was. I’m guessing people flocked to see it, making comments like, “Now, that’s a shithouse.” Somehow, from that point, the phrase began being used to describe large and sturdy people.
Ace and I were on our way to visit some puppies for sale by an Amish breeder (story to come) when we stopped at a municipal park to stretch our legs (to use a more polite euphemism). I stepped into the bathroom to see a toilet seat perched atop what appeared to be a chimney.
I’d imagine sitting on it — a purpose I did not require — would make one feel a little like Santa Claus.
Anyway, having seen a brick shithouse, or at least something close to it, we can cross it off our list and continue our travels, staying on the lookout for hell in a handbasket, a two-dollar whore, raining cats and dogs, and lipstick on a pig.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bathroom, brick shithouse, built like a brick shithouse, dog's country, dogs, house, pennsylvania, pets, phrase, public, restroom, road trip, rural, shit, shit house, shithouse, slang, toilet, travel, travels, travels with ace, urban
It pains me to report that the PooTrap, a strap-on device that catches your dog’s poop before it hits the ground, is not a comedy bit, but a real product.
Its website, pootrapusa.com doesn’t seem to be working right now, which I hope isn’t a result of high demand for the device, because it’s downright silly. I’m not certain dogs can feel embarassment, but if they can’t, a few hours in one of these get ups should do the trick.
Other than its possible use on an ill dog, ala diapers, the PooTrap, gets our nomination, sight unseen (other than in the video) for the dump.
A look at the website’s FAQs, as reported by Crunchgear.com, indicates the makers of PooTrap aren’t real knowledgeable about dogs, or the English language:
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: catcher, catches, device, diapers, dog, dogs, environment, feces, harness, pollution, poo, poop, pootrap, pootrapusa, product, scoop, shit, strap-on, technology, video, waste
Instead of pointing fingers at owners who don’t pick up after their dogs, surreptitiously photographing them, engaging in shouting matches and confrontations, or fining them $1,000 (aka the Baltimore way), Sandra Kaliga and her neighbors decided to go for the funny bone.
She and her friends now regularly hit the streets of Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district — under the auspices of their organization, Shit Happens – to place tiny flags featuring funny quips atop uncollected piles.
“Only humor is effective,” said Kaliga, a dog owner.
Shit Happens has 15 different flag slogans that they hope will alert innocent pedestrians and remind dog owners to clean up after their pets. “Well formed!” reads one. “100 grammes, just €1.99,” says another.
So far reaction in the neighborhood has been positive, according to an article in “The Local,” an English-language news website in Germany.
“Most people find it funny,” Shit Happens member Sabina Ruminski said. “But we also get some dim-witted commentary, which mostly comes from dog owners who feel like they’ve been caught.” Other dog owners rush to clean up poop when they see the group headed their way, members said.
According to the Berlin Animal Protection Agency, the city is home to more than 107,000 pooches, producing an estimated 30 million pounds of poop a year. Some dog owners in Germany, because they are required to pay a “dog tax” each year, reportedly feel that should absolve them of having to clean up after their pets.
Shit Happens members say they sympathize with Berlin dog owners, who are often forced to carry plastic bags of poop for long distances due to a lack of waste receptacles – a problem the group suggests be solved with dog tax money.
In the meantime, Shit Happens is filling tiny flag orders for communities outside Berlin and is creating new “Danke” flags to hand pet owners they spot doing their part to keep the streets clean.
(Photo from Shit Happens … “Haufen,” I think, means pile, but I don’t know what “Herrchen” means. Maybe some our readers in Germany can help us out.)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 29th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, berlin, campaign, citizens, clean, collect, dog, dogs, feces, flags, germany, group, humor, initiative, littering, organization, pets, pile, piles, poop, scoop, shit, shit happens, uncollected, waste
We’ve reported on this before, but, given our previous post, and seeing as it has made the New York Times, it bears repeating: A city near Tel Aviv is logging information about the DNA of local dogs — by collecting their poop.
The idea is that, in the future, they will be able to analyze unscooped poop, track down the owners and hit them with a fine.
It all got started when the mayor of Petah Tikva called veterinarian Tika Bar-On, the city’s director of veterinary services, and asked if it was possible to use DNA fingerprinting to identify which dogs pooped on his city streets without picking up after them.
As a result, Bar-On introduced the first-ever CSI: Dog poop unit.
Bar-On recruited 12-year-olds from a local grade school to go door to door, persuading dog owners to donate samples, to get the registry started. She’s also managed to get saliva samples from dogs at festivals. And she’s arranging to have her poop squad analyze properly disposed of poop, so that responsible pet owners can get rewards — another incentive for them to register.
To date, the Israeli dog DNA bank contains more than 100 samples. According to Bar-On, about 90 percent of owners agree to donate samples when asked.
The other 10 percent, apparently, are saying no shit. Or spit.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 15th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: collection, dna, dna testing, dog, droppings, fecal matter, fingerprinting, israel, litter, petah tikva, poop, registry, scoop, shit, veterinary