The Old Coot makes a request

This is my only complaint about dog owners. Call it a PSA (Public Service Announcement). Some of you are making our species look bad, walking around with a leash in one hand and a bag of dog poop in the other. I’m not against dogs, just the image that some of you are creating, though very much appreciating that you pick it up – most of you, anyhow. 

As a matter of fact, I love dogs. Cats too. I’ve had dogs since I was three years old and my parents let me keep a stray that had been wandering around the neighborhood for weeks. They got quite a surprise three weeks later when “Lassie” delivered seven pups in our basement. We kept one and named him Topper because he left the litter, climbed to the top of the stairs and poked his nose into the kitchen. 

So then we had two dogs, mother and son. Lassie was an unrelenting car chaser. My father, a design engineer, rigged up all sorts of contraptions using wire coat hangers and twine to try to retard her ability to race after a car, but to no avail. She was eventually adopted my father’s friend that lived in the country, and where traffic was extremely light. This was the 1940’s after all. There were such places then. 

Topper was at my side for 11 years, except when I went to church or to school. Otherwise, he was my constant companion – in the woods camping and building forts, at the ball field playing pick-up games. Even to downtown Binghamton, waiting outside a store or the movie theater. No leash; he just plopped down by the door and waited. I had that first love of my life until I was 14 and he passed away.  

I’ve had a succession of dogs for most of my life; I don’t have one at the moment, but when I feel the need for some canine interaction, I go to the dog park at Hickories Park in Owego, or to my daughter’s house. There is nothing like a greeting from a dog – a happy show of affection, no strings attached – even if you are an old coot. 

That’s a long route to get to my point, but I’ve been taking lessons from Andy Hafer on how to string out a short story. He’s leaving town, moving to Georgia, so I plan to carry on his storytelling tradition. 

Back to the point! I’m asking the dog owners who are walking their dogs and carrying a bag of you know what, to put the bag in an old purse with a shoulder strap or in a small messenger bag, so the aliens who watch us from their UFO’s don’t assume that dogs are the superior life form. It’s up to you to save us Earthlings. 

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