A few days ago, a friend came by my house for a visit. When I answered the door, she had a horrified look on her face and said...
"ALTR, some guy just put a bag of dog shit in your trashcan!"
No, it wasn't the Uptown Billy Madison playing a prank on me. It was apparently some guy, who was walking his dog and carrying poop bags, that had placed his dog's bag of poop in my trashcan, which sits in a nook in the hedges on the side of my building. My response to my friend was apathetic: "Meh...it really doesn't bother me. I'd rather have shit bags in my trash can than have dog shit on the grass, where I'll definitely step on it when I'm getting into my car."
My response to my concerned friend was what I have often thought when I've observed (and smelled) bags of dog shit in the SDT can whenever I throw in a garbage bag or haul the can out to the curb on trash days. But, honestly, there are some days where I'm especially frustrated or angry at the world, and it really does piss me off that people can't carry those shit bags home to their own garbage cans. It's not my fault that they chose to walk their dog far away from their own house. Moreover, I pay for my trash collection - stop adding more shit (literally!) to the can that is already overflowing with my discarded pizza boxes and wine bottles (and wine boxes).
For a non-dog owner with street parking in a dog-infested city like New Orleans, is it better to have shit in a bag at the bottom of your trashcan than shit stuck to your favorite high heels when you're running late to class or work?
But that doesn't mean that it's not super-annoying to witness my neighbor drop Fideaux's latest deuce in my trashcan when I know perfectly well that he has an equal-sized SDT can only 2 houses down the street. (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)
New Orleans City Code Sec. 18-13 provides for a fine of at least $100 and 21 hours of trash cleanup for owners of animals who "soil" public or private property. And, like the City Code drafters, I think we all agree that shit on the ground is totally unacceptable. Around Uptown, I've noticed several houses with milk cartons containing grocery bags nailed to trees, encouraging dog walkers to help themselves to a bag should one be needed. These creations are no doubt the brainchild of some homeowners who just want that shit off the ground. But what do these milk carton-bag holder creators think about shit bags in their SDT cans? Does having a plethora of bags also imply "feel free to use my SDT can to dispose of your shit bag"?
Perhaps I could put a sign under the lid of my SDT can that says "I don't put shit in your can, don't put shit in mine." But I feel pretty certain that such a sign would actually encourage the offenders to let their dogs take a massive dump right by my door.
There are various message board threads on this topic that I found doing a Google search, but I wonder what the New Orleans take on the issue might me. If anyone else has some thoughts on this - what's proper and what's not, I'd love to hear some input. Perhaps our blog has a future as the Emily Post-style resource for dog poop etiquette in New Orleans.