A story about poop

Our neighbors are intense. Many of them are also dog lovers. We can see why they’d be drawn to this neighborhood because the community developer installed a dog park right at the top of the hill so as soon as you enter the gates, Grover’s garden of Eden is there to welcome you. It’s a nice, gated, grassy area for dogs and their owners to go without leaving the community— our way of saying fur babies are home here too.

There are all kinds of dogs in our subdivision. There’s a gorgeous grey Great Dhane, a German Shepherd [I think], something that looks like a Pomeranian, one of those medium sized whitish shaggy looking dogs and about four other species I don’t recognize. They have legs. That’s the extent of my description.

I am not a dog lover. That’s not to say that I hate dogs but, I certainly don’t looove them. To me, they’re just smelly and furry companions that have no regard for my desire to eat or sleep in peace. And since I already have a child, it’s not like I’m itching for another human alarm clock or a mouth to feed.

My earliest memories with dogs were during my summers spent in Jamaica as a kid. My grandmother had two and since I wasn’t there year-round, I can remember having to spend what felt like the first half of my entire stay just getting her dogs to not eat me.

To my Grandma, I was the sweetest little baby boy, but to her dogs and Jamaican mosquitoes, I was American cuisine. They terrorized me. Click To Tweet

So you can imagine, I’m always a bit thrown off when faced with the the passion of dog lovers. As far as I’m concerned, if the FIRE movement is a cult, then dog lovers are a religious order. Dog lovers have places of worship aka parks, they shape public policy, there have dog statues, bumper stickers— all the trappings of an organized religion. So naturally, they will do whatever it takes to protect their God. Which just so happens to be dog spelled backwards. Just sayin.

We’ve written about our community before and while we love it here, there are moments where the intensity to keep our community up to standard all seem a bit too much to deal with. People have been miffed over decorative pots at the pool, water pumps and pretty much every service provider we use. Things got really bad a few months ago as one of our neighbors blew a gasket after repeatedly having to pick up dog poop left behind all around the neighborhood.

It started with one email. “Guys, I just picked up another pile by the pool”. Then another one would come through. “Ya’ll, there were two today. One off the main road and another one down by the mailbox. Please respect your neighbors“! Then before you knew it, there were ongoing, finger-wagging, shame-filled email threads as neighbors grew increasingly frustrated by the turds. This went on for months.

We don’t own a dog so I figured, I’d step in with some reasonable suggestions. Maybe the person who is doing this isn’t on the email list? Maybe the person who is doing this doesn’t speak English? Maybe they’re cultural upbringing is different than ours and they don’t see what the big deal is? To me, there just had to be a reasonable explanation for why, despite the HOA’s best efforts, someone would repeatedly violate this covenant.

Others would soon chime in with their first world suggestions. We all need to look at our doorbell cameras to see if we can catch the culprit? Maybe we need to all speak with our dog-walkers during the day and make sure they’re aware of the ramifications? Ya’ll aren’t gonna like this, but I think we should fine everybody, like a tax, until the poop issue goes away.”

I just didn’t get it.

We drive by and wave at each other every day. I couldn’t imagine that someone would wave at their neighbor one minute and not use that same perfectly capable hand to pick up after their fur baby; especially after seeing how it was starting to brew distrust in the community.

But last week, the $hit hit the fan [pun intended].

One of our neighbors woke up and found a giant turd AND [using her words] two cups of vomit on their driveway. According to her, she woke up and saw it but let it sit for a while because she just knew that someone must’ve forgotten to pick it up. Surely, they just didn’t have a bag on them and would be back any second now.

I imagined her sipping her coffee, mad as hell, with her camera phone just ready to catch the Mad Pooper red-handed. Kinda like this women below from Schitts Creek [pun intended].

But the poop bandit never emerged from their stinky evil lair and she was forced to clean up yet another pile of poop. Well that was the last straw for Susan. She publicly declared in her email that she wasn’t picking up any more of anyone else’s poop and soon, others chimed in. “I’m with you! It’s a shame to see our beautiful community fall apart like this but it’s simply not fair for those of us who do the right thing to have to clean up after others. Poop is disgusting!

Towards the end of the email thread, one of our neighbors chimed in “Speaking of dogs, keep them close, we had two coyotes roaming the side field last night”. A few days later, another neighbor chimed into our facebook group. This time with video of a coyote snooping around in their backyard. You could feel the tension as they all held their Gods dogs closely to protect them from these ravenous beasts.

I mentioned earlier, that I’m no dog lover, but in addition to money and food, I’m a huge nature nerd. There’s not a Netflix, Hulu or PBS nature documentary I haven’t seen and I’m chock full of useless facts about animals. So if we do have coyotes, first, I was excited to see them and secondly I thought… there must be food here. And if they’re eating, they’re probably pooping because that’s what living creatures in the wild do.

So, I jumped into our facebook group to share my brilliant theory on animal life and poop. Not a minute later, one of our most vocal neighbors chimes in “I think you might be right” and posted a link to a website that helps people identify coyote poop. Speaking of which, did you know coyote poop was technically called scat? Yeah, scat like scabba dabba doo waay scat. Amazing right?

If you’re looking for a financial moral to this story, then I gotta tell ya, you’re $hit outta luck. But I will say this. Each and every one of us need to think about the scat we’ve been holding onto and how it gets in the way of us thinking rationally.

For you, it could be the person that owes you money and never paid you back. Perhaps its your spouse/partner that presumably disregards the budget while you follow it like the responsible person you are. Or maybe, it’s your own scat and you’ve been telling yourself you can’t be good with money because you’ve never been good at math. Whatever it is, let this story of our mysterious $hit bandit be a lesson that sometimes the answer you’re looking for is right under your nose.

Let that scat go. Call that scat out!

But whatever you do, don’t let it build up and fester into distrust or anger. And by the way, if you do have a dog and don’t clean up after them, that’s just a scatty thing to do.

P.S. If you’re our neighbor and you happen to come across this blog post, we hope you can take a moment and just laugh a little.


  1. No one ever suspects the dang coyote.

    We have a family of foxes that live on the golf course nearby, and they make their way into our neighborhood. I don’t doubt that some of the poop I pick up in the front yard is from them.

    Now, when I’m scooping that scat, I think I might crack a smile.

  2. You’re a rarity, at least for here. It’s either people who love dogs and understand general rules about them (though obviously some of them don’t respect that) or people who hate them and look at them with distrust (and expect us to pick up after dogs even when they pee. I’m not sure how they expect that to happen).

    We are dog lovers with two of our own and we carry 11-billion bags with us at almost all times, and the very rare times that we are caught unawares, we run like hell to go get a bag and pick it up. So it totally baffles me that I see piles through the neighborhood, perfectly pick-uppable piles, that are just left there. Come on, people! So I do understand people getting upset about other people leaving poop on their lawns and property. But now you have me wondering if any of those piles are from the local wildlife. We have raccoons, probably coyotes somewhere, skunks, and a few others. But I don’t think I’m motivated enough to look at everyone’s scat just yet 😉

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