The Doggy Dilemma
As a dog owner, you become familiar with several facts of life.
Fact number one, everyone thinks their four-legged friend is the cutest (and it’s usually true).
Fact number two, having a dog means you will never be alone. Everywhere you go, your dog will be right there by your side.
The most important fact is, that your dog is literally your child. A fur baby, if you will. As a pet owner, you are responsible for your dog’s every action. Additionally, like an actual child, dogs make messes. By messes, I mean poop.
Cue the gasps!
When it comes to a dog’s stinky situations, nobody is more familiar with how to handle it than our pal, “Emma.”
Emma and her husband, “Brad,” had three dogs, and considered themselves exemplary pet owners. Not long after moving into their new home, they set up a fence and a professional doggy waste station behind their home.
According to the couple, they did everything in their power to reduce the dreaded doggy doo-doo in their yard. After all, they didn’t want to run their neighbors off from the smell!
However, their grumpy neighbor “Dave,” was fed up with Emma and Brad’s furry friends. He alleged a “smell” was still remaining from the dogs next door, and he believed the waste station was a total eyesore.
Emma believed Dave didn’t have room to complain. Besides, she cleaned up after her dogs every other day.
Wait, only every other day? Yikes!
Could Emma and Dave have been doing more to maintain their dog’s messes in the yard, or was their nagging neighbor Dave just a grouch?
Break out the pooper scoopers, because it’s about to get real!
The Dedicated Dog Owners
Emma and Brad had three dogs in total. Two of the dogs were considered “large breeds,” and the other dog was a “small breed.” They owned a typical single-family home in a suburban subdivision, and their lot was on a quarter acre. For the sheer convenience of being able to let their dogs out anytime, they fenced their home shortly after moving into the home. Unfortunately, their pesky homeowner’s association only allowed black metal fences, which didn’t allow for adequate privacy. At the bare minimum, the fence did an adequate job at keeping their furry friends contained in the yard.
The duo also believed it would be a good idea to set up a pet waste station in their backyard. The waste station was small, and it was similar to the kind pet owners could find at a dog park. It was also centered in their lot against the back of their house, so it wasn’t visible from the front of the property. Since it was fairly hidden, they believed it left little room for complaints from their neighbors or the HOA.
Emma and Brad believed setting up the station was a responsible move, as their three dogs did tend to use the bathroom in the yard often. The station made clean-up a million times easier, and it surely reduced the doggy poop smell for their next-door neighbors.
I wish my neighbors cleaned up after their dogs so thoroughly!
As far as the couple was concerned, they were doing everything right. Nevertheless, their nosy neighbor began to harass them.
One day, one of their neighbors, Dave, texted the couple and claimed, “I have an issue with the dog poop in your yard. I can smell it when I am sitting on my back porch, and I can’t even sit outside and enjoy my yard.”
Moreover, Dave said his screened porch was now rendered, “unusable,” due to the smell.
I think Dave just wants to complain, but that’s just my opinion!
Regardless, Emma promptly apologized to Dave and immediately went outside to pick up the dog poop in her yard.
Emma wondered if her other next-door neighbor had an issue with the smell, so she reached out to her.
The other neighbor explained, “I have never smelled anything. You aren’t causing any issues for us here.”
Emma even consulted with a neighbor down the street who had the same number of dogs.
This neighbor admitted, “I only pick up the dog poop at my house every two or three days, and it has never been an issue for me.”
Emma was becoming suspicious about Dave’s complaints. There were several other pet owners in the neighborhood, and they had never received complaints about their dogs. Emma and Brad were doing more to clean up after their pets than most of their neighbors were!
Four days later, Dave texted Emma and Brad again. This time, Dave’s problem with the couple was major.
The Combative Confrontation
Dave’s text to Emma and Brad read, “You need to do something about your backyard. The smell is going to ruin our relationship, and you need to fix it.”
Emma and Brad had already planned to clean their yard on this day anyway, but when Dave texted them, it was early in the morning. They hadn’t even gotten a chance to eat breakfast yet before their neighbor was bothering them again! Emma had cleaned the yard twice since he nagged her last, and she didn’t understand why he was so persistent.
The couple was put off by Dave’s text message, and they felt like their neighbor was now dictating their entire lives. The entire situation wasn’t reasonable at all, but Emma went outside and cleaned the yard once more to avoid further conflict.
The following evening, Emma and Brade spoke with Dave regarding his neverending complaints.
Emma explained, “From now on, we will be cleaning the yard every evening. We never intended to upset you or put a strain on our relationship.”
Dave shook his head and angrily responded, “Absolutely not, you need to clean your yard every time your dogs go to the bathroom!”
By her neighbor’s reaction, Emma sensed there was a deeper issue going on.
Eventually, Dave admitted, “Honestly, there isn’t even much a smell coming from your yard. However, the eyesore of a cleanup station is my issue. When I am trying to relax on my back porch, I look down and all I can see is that monstrosity.”
Brad stepped in and argued, “We are going to be planting trees along the fence line when we renovate the yard, so it shouldn’t be an issue when it’s complete.”
Dave countered, “That still won’t work for me. I need you to train your dogs to poop away from my line of sight. I don’t want to see it.”
Okay, Dave. I know dogs are smart, but training them to use the bathroom in specific areas of the yard doesn’t seem feasible.
Emma replied, “Well if it’s still going to be an issue, it would make more sense for you to plant trees in your yard.”
“I refuse to plant trees. I am too cheap for renovations,” Dave said as he rolled his eyes.
Emma and Brad left the conversation feeling as if there was nothing they could do to please Dave. Going forward, Emma made the effort to clean regularly but didn’t dwell on Dave’s feelings.
Do you think Emma and Brad were in the right, or do you agree with Dave’s perspective that doggy doo-doo was a major don’t?
Hot Takes From Reddit
One commenter disagreed with Emma’s actions and responded, “A quarter acre of yard space isn’t enough space to let dogs out to poop regularly without picking it up daily. We have a neighbor who does this and their yard reeks. You need to schedule a daily pickup time.”
I totally disagree. A quarter-acre yard is pretty large for living in the middle of a subdivision. Besides, Dave’s porch was elevated. I don’t understand how he smelled Emma’s yard when he was clearly a good distance away.
Another Redditor countered Emma’s argument and said, “You should be picking up the dog poop as soon as they go to the bathroom. Those are big dogs and presumably big piles. I have a dog as well, and even I find this gross. It’s not like you’ve got a big yard. You should also reconsider having your baby crawl around in the yard your dogs use to urinate and defecate regularly. Even if you’re picking the poop up, some surely remains streaked in the grass. It sounds more like you’re using your backyard as a dog run, not as a family-oriented outdoor space. Honestly, I don’t blame your neighbor. Dog poop is disgusting.”
Woah, this commenter was shady! While I agree that perhaps Emma’s child shouldn’t be crawling amongst dog poop remnants, it isn’t always possible to pick up after your dogs immediately after they use the bathroom. Cut the girl some slack!
In true Emma-hating fashion, another person commented, “As soon as the poop leaves your dog’s bum, you should be picking it up. Dog poop attracts rodents and other pests. Those pests don’t stay in your yard, and they will surely roam into your neighbor’s yard or even your house. Dog poop can also contaminate the water supply. Dog poop also stinks, especially in the summer heat. It doesn’t matter how small or big your dog’s Tootsie Rolls are. Stop being lazy and pick them up as soon as they leave your dog’s body.”
Okay, the rodent part is valid. However, these people act like Emma is home twenty-four-seven to clean up after her dogs. People have lives outside of their homes, y’all!
Thankfully, one commenter decided not to tear Emma to shreds.
One replied, “You’re not in the wrong, it’s your yard. You’re cleaning it up regularly and doing absolutely nothing wrong. I’ll die on this hill alone, I don’t care. Cleaning up the poop from your own gosh darn yard every other day is perfectly reasonable. Any neighbor that wants to text and alert me when my dog poops, can heck right off.”
This is a comment I can get behind!
The Author’s (Unpopular) Opinion
It is difficult to know where I stand in this situation. On one hand, I do see how dog poop attracts rodents and smells absolutely awful. On the other hand, I believe Emma and Brad were doing their best at being proactive and cleaning their yard regularly.
I think Emma did a great job at communicating how she felt to Dave in a calm manner. Meanwhile, Dave was being weird and looking at Emma’s backyard for dog poop twenty-four seven. Nobody bothered to mention how creepy his behavior was!
I didn’t think Emma’s proposition to Dave about cleaning the yard more regularly was unreasonable. However, what was unreasonable was Dave demanding Emma train her dogs to use the bathroom elsewhere. If Dave didn’t like seeing the dogs using the bathroom, he could literally just go inside his house.
I know one thing for certain; I’m glad it wasn’t me in this stinky situation!