Secret Time: I Just Started Cleaning Up After My Dogs

Before you put me a box with the rest of the criminal disorderlies – understand I live in a  quasi rural area of Goochland County.

Yes, it is a neighborhood with a name and an entrance.

Yes, there is landscaping that is not free.

Yes, there are patches of woods and natural areas between large lots that I hustle my dogs to with about 50% success rate.

Yes, I should not be so new to this neighborly practice of delicately (with pinched nostrils) scooping their aged poop.

My dogs are 10 and 12.

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For a decade we had an underground fence that gave them a toilet that was over an acre big.  Our lot is 2.5 acres.  We felt we were being generous yet choosy in their roam-ability. Luckily they are polite enough to isolate their business to the wooded part of  their domain. So, when the fence corroded and the college tuition bills loomed large, we decided to forego the $1,000.00 repair. I will spare you the details on the neurosis that resulted. You’re welcome.

Nobody likes poop. I know I should have been picking up after my dogs for the last 2 years but the thought of it literally made me gag.  So I didn’t.  Therefore, in the pre dawn hour as I walk my dogs in my pajamas, I would look around, hope everyone was still asleep (they weren’t) and skedaddle my way through a well worn path to their morning constitution and back.

Until my friend Ken Risdon, said, ‘Who doesn’t clean up after their dog?” Well, Ken – this girl.  Until the last few months.

Why the change? (Besides, Ken’s direct question….). 2 things.

  1. I got tired of sneaking around.  I am now proud of my little poop bags fwapping about as I waited the first drop so I could show my nabes how very communal I am.
  2. I took a core values test at work.

At the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation we are in an exciting time of creating vision and strategic growth plans to match for the next 3 and 5 years.  You gotta know what matters to you to proceed forward. In this process members of our team are taking a core values assessment. I learned that there is a gap between my intrinsic and demonstrated value set and my professed ones.  For example, I feel overwhelmed at times and yet I don’t delegate or ask effectively for help.  I dream big and move things forward and don’t want to take personal credit. I move forward like an island yet I need and want my team. Bridging the gap is the rub. That gap is the where the magic of self discovery lies.  The gap is where the alignment and the progress happens.

I believe in community. I profess to want to get to know my neighbors and live less in silos and more in human contact. Yet I let my dogs shit on their grass.

More secrets:

I miss being with my friends and haven’t arranged one girls night out. I keep waiting for the phone to ring.

I ‘dream’ of more free lance writing but I haven’t made that long list of long term contacts to mine.

I believe in my children and have a strong faith but not strong enough to let them go.  Having a really hard time with this one.

I am working on the gaps.

The gap is where you scoop the poop even when it makes you gag.  Perhaps I am scooping more than just my dog’s poop each day.  Each day, I get to throw it away.  What a gift.

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2 thoughts on “Secret Time: I Just Started Cleaning Up After My Dogs

  1. This is all brilliant and actually brought tears to my eyes. Struggling with some of the same things right now (but am already forced to pick up poop since Stella’s are enormous). I’d love to ring your phone sometime soon.

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