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Best of Jeff Ward: Straight Poop on a Geneva Scourge

Ah, the stuff your doggie leaves.

  • Editor's note: Jeff Ward is taking the week off. [OK, I will continue after the din of thunderous applause dies down. There. Now, as I was saying ... ] In the heartbreak of Jeff's absence, we're re-running a few of his oldies but hyperboles. There'syet in Geneva, but there might be one of these days. So here's a little ditty previously published March 21, 2011, after we had A LOT of snow ... and other stuff.

Geez! Maybe all that snow melting so quickly wasn’t such a good thing after all. I may no longer be slipping in streets and subsequently teaching middle schoolers the more interesting aspects of the English language, but as reader Sandy Klimowski noted on my very first Patch column, our retreating February glacier left us with mountains of manure!

Well, she may not have put it quite that way, but she did say, “I have a neighbor whose dog did his duty all over the snow on the SIDEWALK. Piles and piles of it. Have they cleaned that up? NO WAY. I'd rather have the snow than that.” More-prophetic words have never been written!

With my sincerest apologies to Dr. Suess! I have seen it in the park. I can smell it in the dark. It’s on the biking path, incurring every walker’s wrath. It’s on the sidewalk near Klimowskis', so pick up that stuff now, please! (Didn’t think I could come up with a rhyme for Klimowski did you!)

As I gaze upon the fields of Fisher Farms winter feces, I can’t help but think this is one of those rare occasions where I’d actually like that “we’re a cut above the rest” Geneva mentality to come shining through. If you can pick up your Shih Tzu, then you can pick up your Shih Tzu’s you-know-what. But no! There’s even piles of poop on Heartland Elementary School’s front sidewalk, just so some unfortunate first-grader can track it through the entire school.

Since Geneva has yet to adopt a motto, I’m thinking we could go with something along the lines of “First City of Fox Valley Fertilizer” which, with our fair city being the county seat, has the added benefit of also applying to some of our finer local politicians.

Ah! But unlike snow shoveling, we do have a handy ordinance making it mandatory for dog owners to do away with their doggie’s droppings. If the sign in Kay Lovett Park is an accurate indication, each violation can run you half a yard ($500). I’m officially encouraging astute and observant readers to start ratting out irresponsible and pet owners.

While I certainly consider red light cameras to be just another municipal pocket-picking scam, I’d love to see the city of Geneva make an effort to close any budget gap on the backs of lazy dog owners—$500 a pop adds up pretty quickly!

As if this doggie doo doo scourge wasn’t bad enough, with our recent spate of  balmy spring weather, I’ve broken my indoor running bonds in favor of St. Charles’ Great Western Trail. And there’s horse manure everywhere! If there isn’t already a statute covering this kind of stuff, there certainly should be, because one skinny horse creates far more collateral damage than one well-fed Great Dane.

If I have to clean up after my darn dog, then you need to pick up after your poopy pony. Well, either that or you should be forced to adorn him with one of those strategically placed hiney bags. Most of us visit the GWT to run or mountain bike, not to have to endure an equine manure obstacle course. Just for good measure, I’m gonna start leaving rubber snakes along the trail. That’ll teach 'em.

So, as you might have already surmised, I’m standing firmly behind Ms. Klimowski if for no other reason than that means she’ll step in any doggie sidewalk poop well before I do. Who said chivalry was dead!

Meg March 21, 2011 at 12:40 PM
I agree 110% Jeff...we live in Mill Creek and it's down right disgusting. Our park is full of dog doo...and I'd like to think that even the act of walking in a child's park would prompt you to clean up after your dog but noooooo....I even have doo in my yard that's not my own dog's...how do I know? 'Cause I have a huge dog and huge dog = huge you know what...those little tiny piles are in no way my own dog's so it kills me that people think they can camouflage it with my own dog's....I really think some dog owners think it will magically melt with the snow...well, it doesn't so PICK IT UP or don't have a dog!
Kimberly Kozar March 21, 2011 at 01:45 PM
As the editor of the Mill Creek Messenger for many years, this has been the most popular complaint in the community. We have run articles and reminders, especially since my daughter - then 2 years old - bent over and picked some up to examine some of the clay-like substance up close. Ewwwhhhh! It's a lot of work having a pet, just as it is having kids. Unfortunately, many of us don't realize what we're getting into... I don't think anyone has the solution - it's one of those things that fall under the "commons": sense and courtesy.
Lynette March 21, 2011 at 04:01 PM
There is poop all over Fisher Farms all the time. Is there a doggy dcfs to call on the parents of these pups? If you let a child do the same a parent would get in trouble. I think if you can't pick up after your pups then you may not be responsible enough to own one.
Sandy Klimowski March 21, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Jeff - Loved the article! The bike path behind the house looks the same way. I know some of the neighbors who leave poop behind (okay not necessairly the neighbors themselves) and it really surprises me on who it is. Their yards are beautiful! I'm going to keep a copy of the peom. Didn't think Klimowski was rhymeable (is that a word) either. - Sandy Klimowski
Jeff Ward March 21, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Lynette, Doggie DCFS? I like that one! Jeff
Becky Hruby March 21, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Thanks for the scoop! Loved it. And very impressed with the Klimowski rhyme!
Political PR Machine March 21, 2011 at 11:50 PM
I am so glad that we are reading about these types of frustrations... it means our ways of being are back to normal and we are not stressed about war, famine, radioactive waste, or terrorism. Watch your step and apprectiate the moment. ..it could be worse.
Guy Fawkes March 22, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Solutions: If you own a dog pick up the droppings, and another dropping that isn't yours. I do it and the same for litter. If you don't own a dog, take a baggy and pick-it up. You are making it better and healthy for everyone else. If you don't do either, yell at the culprit and embarass them in to action.
Jennifer picotte March 22, 2011 at 02:15 AM
I love the scoop and couldn't agree more. I have a great dane who I walk daily on the bike path. I too have noticed all the scat littered about. What would it take to get more garbage cans along the bike path? I'm wondering if the convenience of easier disposal would help these lazy people manage the seemingly overwhelming take of cleaning up after themselves! I'm sure it would help with the unsightly litter problem as well.
Political PR Machine March 22, 2011 at 01:51 PM
I don't think it is laziness. Unfortunately, I believe it is unawareness and lack of interest in other people's concerns. Occassionally, it might be a case of a dog that has to poop and a good owner who forgot a bag. Maybe the answer is to work on getting everyone to realize that their actions impact other people, and to build a culture of responsibility for one's actions.
Political PR Machine March 22, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Hey Guy- I agree-. We should bark at the culprits!

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