Dogs: The Poop
and the Passion
by Rod Bartchy
When I saw the
thing it just stunned me. I tripped on the
sidewalk and fell into the immaculately manicured
lawn it guarded.
How had they captured the
likeness of my little dog Buster so perfectly?
unsettling visions of men with telephoto lenses
lurking in the bushes outside my house or riding
by in black sedans.
taken aback as well. Growling, he tore it from
the ground, clamped it in his teeth and flung it
into some rose bushes with a shake of his head.
Then he got
down to business. I pretended to be watching a
seagull while he assumed the position and left an
ample brown calling card on the lush green lawn.
blame him? The humiliation of having his private
act expropriated into a metallic image was bad
enough (Would you like to see yourself in similar
circumstances as a lawn ornament?)
But that NO!
in his face, at dog eye level. What an insult.
have been just fine with a more dignified sign,
refrain from leaving canine digestive byproducts
on the lawn. It prevents full chlorophyll
and providing a persuasive rationale. So was
that asking too much?
We moved on.
The next few yards were filled with that white
gravel so popular in some Jersey Shore
communities. Buster disdains such yards as
repositories for his own digestive byproducts.
No, its got to be the real deal for him.
Rich green grass. Depth about 2 ½ inches.
Hydrangeas in bloom in a painstakingly mulched
flower garden close by. Its all about the
Buster is a mix of traditionalist and avant-garde.
Bright red fire hydrants get a robust hosing. But
he always saves half a tank for the verdant green
pastures on mega mansion row. There he favors two
spot treatments that will emerge as small yellow
blotches in a few days. We leave it to the home
owners to add a crescent below them to complete
the smiley face.
gravel wastelands we came upon such a fine lawn
specimen. I could tell Buster was excited by his
impatient yips. The owners had clearly invested
enough money in its perfection to supply a
village in Nepal with food and clean water for 5
years. Buster was anxious to get to work.
But there it was. Another sign.
This time, a picture of a white terrier which
bore the words:
keep off the grass
enraged. He clamped his jaws on it, tore it
loose, and let it sail into a cheery patch of
pink and purple flowers.
The sign was
polite. (They did say please.) Though it was a
really set Buster off was the image itself. An
exact replica of Daisy, the little white terrier
who used to live down the street.
canines had had a torrid affair last summer. Then
she dumped him for a roguish Irish Setter. Daisys
owner, Helen, traded up to a pricier beach house
somewhere. But Buster still carried a torch
I was about to
extricate metal Daisy from the garden next to the
house, when the front door opened to reveal
a familiar woman in her early fifties in a
running outfit. It was Helen in her new
house. And behind her was a small white terrier
the leash out of my hand and charged towards his
great love. She scrambled out the door to meet
him. Helen walked to the sidewalk to chat.
thank goodness the sign worked! she
exclaimed. That damn Irish Setter. I
knew that Jack was bad news. But try to tell
that to Daisy. Well, nooooo, dont listen to
me. Then the bounder dumped her for some
I glanced at
Busters and Daisys reunion. The
passion was running very strong.
was crushed. Helen continued. She
wanted Buster back but I knew she felt bad about
how shed treated him.
like alls forgiven I replied,
observing the panting and crescendo of canine
the sign made in her image. Helen explained.
I was hoping you might walk by and that
this would happen.
Helen was a
call I acknowledged.
Buster were now lying in the grass, facing each
other, snout to snout. The air glowed with
consummation. I checked my watch. It was time to
We never saw
them again. Helen sold the beach house and
moved to the south of France with Daisy whos
now in a committed relationship with Georges, a
Basset Hound with a fine pedigree. Helen
sent pictures. Quite a family. Daisy, Georges,
Helen and four brown and white puppies.
When I showed
them to Buster, I knew he was thinking the same
thing I was. He may have lost his one true
love but those pups definitely had his
If you dont
think a dog can smirk, youve never seen
I knew he was
starting to get over Daisy and I figured I might
as well help the process along.
I hear a
Beagle just moved in down the block, I told
him. Want to go for a walk?