The story

Stop me if I’ve already told you this.  I have to set the stage.


Every morning, my 1o-year old and I walk Lola the Dog.  I crawl out of bed, pull on my exercise clothes, brush my teeth and put on my glasses.  I do not look cute during these walks, but who cares, right?  It’s not like the paparazzi are waiting for me.

This particular morning, I completely forgot to grab a plastic bag to clean up after the dog.  But honestly, the dog rarely does anything requiring clean-up during her morning walks.  She saves it for the back yard.  I don’t know why.  Who am I to question my dog’s digestive system?  It doesn’t matter.

Except for that particular morning.  All the sudden, she paused, hunched her back and . . . did what dogs do.  Only, Lola the Dog does not like to admit that she’s doing That Thing so she continues to move away from it, disavowing anything that happens at her back end.

I watched with dismay because my pocket was empty.  No plastic bag.

We were far enough from home that I didn’t want to go back to get a plastic bag.  But I couldn’t just leave the mess on someone’s lawn (and driveway).  I decided to walk a little more, then turn around, go home and get a bag so I could come back in the car and clean it up.

I am a responsible dog owner and I would never in my wildest dreams just leave It there.

So we walked some more and as we walked I wondered how I could get a plastic bag.  I was peering into cars by the road, looking in the gutter, wondering if someone might have an accessible trash can.

Then I realized that a lot of people’s newspapers were still sitting in their driveways.  The papers were double-wrapped in plastic bags because it had rained the day before.  I didn’t want anyone to think I was stealing their newspapers, so I hesitated, but finally I took a chance and stripped the outer plastic bag from someone’s newspaper and we hurried back to clean up the mess.

As we approached, I realized with horror that a mom and dad and several kids were standing in front of the house.  From a distance, it appeared that they were studying and discussing the dog poop sitting on their grass and driveway.  I was mortified.

We got closer and I saw that they weren’t actually staring at the dog poop, but I smiled and announced to the mom and two of the kids, “Hey!  I’m here to clean up my dog’s poop!” Nothing like pointing out your idiocy and lack of preparation to a stranger.

As soon as I spoke, I realized how I sounded and looked.

I kind of babbled about forgetting a bag and stealing a plastic bag from someone’s newspaper and how I would never, ever not clean up after my pet and she said, “Oh, we’re having  a fire drill,” and then she directly looked at my daughter and said, ‘Hi, I’m Mrs. ____________.  What’s your  name?” and my daughter answered and I thought, “Hmmm, this lady seems like a school teacher.”  And then I thought how nice she seemed.

I carried my dog’s  poop home with me and that was the end of that.  I haven’t forgotten to bring a plastic bag since.


My 10-year old daughter started taking an art class at the local homeschool co-op.  The first day, we arrived at the last minute and she took one of the last open spots in the classroom.

Afterward, she told me that she’d starting chatting with the girl next to her and they discovered that they both lived very close by.  In fact, the girl lives in the neighborhood just down the street from us.  The girl’s mom gave my daughter a business card with her address and email on it.

“The mom looked so familiar to me,” Grace said.

I asked a couple of questions but I instantly knew the mom was the same lady who caught me sneaking back to her yard to clean up dog poop.

I emailed her and said, “I think we’ve already met.  I was the one who came back to your yard to clean up dog poop and you were having a fire drill.”




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