We are dog-sitting our son and his wife's two miniature dachshunds. I like to take them to the nearby park for a walk/squirrel chasing run as often as I can. It has a beautiful loop around the park as well as trails into the woods to explore. The other morning we were enjoying our walk - and the older puppy dropped a load. I always keep a pack of doggie doo-doo bags with paper towels in them for clean-up. I was leaning over to pick up the poop and heard a woman walking by with her large dog say, "you are the only one". I looked up and she went on to say I was the only one she had ever seen pick up their dog's poop. (I am sure others do - but we/she may not have passed them by at that moment when it was happening). She said she hadn't picked up her dog's poop and some guy had just reported her to the police officer that patrolled the park. She was worried she was going to get some kind of ticket and asked me about it. I told her I doubted she would get a ticket - but that it was a warning to pick up after her dog. She went on to say that there were no signs (I told her there was at least one at the start of the walking loop) and that no one else ever did it. (It doesn't matter if no one else does it - it is something YOU need to do - I thought). I told her that she needed to do it and asked if she needed some bags. She had them in the car - was the reply. Then she said the guy must have reported her because she was Asian! (Really - OMG - I've heard this same kind of logic before - blaming something on your ethnicity, political views, color, ..... instead of taking responsibility). I told her that I doubted that was the reason. That he reported her because she DIDN'T pick up her dog's poop and she needed to do that.
There is a risk in letting things go and not saying anything. I am glad that the man reported it so that the woman was now aware of the rules. Even if it wasn't a rule - it is just common courtesy - whether you are in your own neighborhood or out in public - to pick up after yourself and your animals.
It's the blaming it on others instead of taking responsibility that bothers me - that is why I continue the work I do - one coaching client, one training class, one networking contact, one non-poop picker up in the park... - to create awareness and positive change.
To Pick Up or Not Pick Up? --- Pick Up!