Yeah, I said it. It's true. No matter what living thing is in your realm, you will have to deal with poop. Dogs, cats, fish, gerbils, babies, friends... everything eats, so everything poops. The trick is knowing what to do with it. (We'll assume your friends have figured this out, so the focus today will be on everything else...)
Babies are relatively easy- they are the reason God invented diapers. (Although... the Chinese gods did not invent diapers, they invented split crotch pants and squatty potties which are too nasty to discuss here on this nice blog. But I digress...)
Toddlers are the next challenge, unless you have my daughter who potty trained herself. Really. (Go ahead, be jealous. You know you want to...) It's not that I wasn't going to do it, I actually had started- but she beat me to the punch. The whole thing was pretty much over with before I could even offer any M&Ms or raisins as a treat for using the big potty. I don't think I even had time to get her a Hallmark card to acknowledge the occasion! (I can hardly wait to teach her how to drive. She probably already studies DMV manuals with a flashlight under the covers late at night...)
And then we come to the real reason for talking about poop... dogs. Our dog, to be specific. Our dog with the black eyes and the little pink tongue. Our dog who thinks the outside world is his toilet. Our cute, cute dog.
The vet tells us that if we feed him food that has high nutritional value, he will poop less. We are supposed to avoid dog food that has fillers like wheat, corn and soy. (So that old saying about computer data- "garbage in, garbage out", might apply to digestion as well.)
When we take him for walks, we use poop bags. You put your hand in like a glove, grab the little gift he left you, close your hand and take the bag off- turning it inside out as you go. Lots of people use them, and it makes the neighborhood and local trails so much neater and less aromatic.
In our backyard, we use a very cool, high-tech, spring-loaded gadget called a Pooper Scooper. It's like a claw that you use to reach down, grab the gift, and transport it to the section of the yard that you would like the dog to use from now on. It's easy enough for a 9-year-old, and cool enough that she doesn't mind being on poop patrol.
Rules for Poop Patrol
1. If it is where no one will see it, smell it, or step in it... leave it.
2. If it must be scooped, don't scoop right away. Wait for the sun to bake it, or the winter to freeze it. At that point, scoopage is much easier and more tidy. If there is no sun or winter is a long ways away, you can always hope for the rain to dissolve it...
3. Never ever - under any circumstances - shoot it with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Well, there you have it. I hope this helps you deal with all the poop- literal or figurative- you may encounter in your life!