Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To scoop the poop? (musings on running with baby and dog)

So, I went for a run yesterday. This might not seem like a big deal, but believe me, with a five-month-old and a high-energy labrador retriever, running takes on a whole new dimension. Especially when said labrador is intent on touring local parks in hope of consuming goose poop, but otherwise ranks running on pavement on par with the intestinal bacteria, giardia, to which he is unusually prone. Which is why, lately, I've been really trying to focus on the other side of running, which is, of course, NOT running. I'm down to about seven miles a week and working hard to cut out this last little bit. Wish me luck.

But alas, every so often I fall off the wagon and find myself chugging along behind the running stroller in fits and starts as the dog alternates between pulling manically toward the nearest park (the location of each he has committed to olfactory memory) and pooping himself silly.

This would be merely sad if it weren't for my other running conspirator, who demands perpetual motion. Woe be unto ye who stops the running stroller, lest the voice of the babe ring forth from every mountain top. So doing my platic-bag duty every time the dog squats and grimaces entails a one-handed scoop, with the other hand continuing to rock the stroller, while trying to keep the labrador from pulling the entire rig into traffic in hopes of expediting the park experience.

Thus, quick decision-making is a must and I found myself in need of an equation:

P= The number of people who caught your dog in flagrante defecato
L= If left, how many people would encounter this poop in the course of an average day (add those who would smell it, see it, and then double any that are likely to touch it)?
R= How many times are you likely to return to this same spot in the next month?
F= In dollars, the fine your city poses on unrepentant poop-ignorers
I= The inconvenience of scooping the poop, which can be augmented by lack of near garbage cans, an unusual number of holes in the plastic bag, especially foul and/or runny poop, and, of course, the potential for the world to spin off its axis, prompted by the screams of innocent youth (1-10 with 10 being "easier to build small kiln on the spot, cook poop to crisp, then shatter it into miniscule shards")

If ScoopIt is greater than one, you should get up and personal with your dog's solid waste

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