I have been a dog owner for about six months now and I have managed to collect all her poop on walks. I have been able to do this because I take bags out with me, I watch what she’s doing when she pulls over and I just deal with it when it comes out.
Collecting poop in a little bag and throwing it away: not rocket science.
And yet, so many people in Denmark can’t figure it out.
There is one group of dog owner that just lets their dog shit on grass verges. It’s ‘natural’, you see. There is poop in nature. Grass is nature. Combine the two: extra nature. What is irrelevant is that people might want to walk on grass verges, maybe even have their children walk around there. If they wanted to walk in a poo free environment, they should have stuck to the pavements.
Another group of dog owner lets their dog shit wherever it pleases. I have left the house to find poop on my doorstep. This has happened in more than one house here. I am not taking it personally, I have seen it on other doorsteps too. Some dogs get to poop in other people’s gardens. In playgrounds. Pavements.
And yet another group of dog owner actually stoop over, pick up the poo in a bag, tie the bag and then.. throw the bag into a hedge. This last step is baffling. If you wanted the poop to continue to pollute the environment, why go to all the trouble to pick it up? Just leave it, guys. Just leave it.
I have always wondered. Who are these people leaving this crap lying around? Are they all people who just forgot to bring bags because their dog never poops on walks and then it does? Are they people with severe arthritis who lack the physical ability to collect the leavings? Are they daydreaming and just don’t notice their dog has answered the call of nature? Do they mistake it for a wee? Are they all foreigners who simply do not understand that THIS IS DENMARK and IN DENMARK we clean up after our dogs? I have my suspicions of who these people are and what they are about.
Today, I was walking with my students back from the Queen’s birthday parade and I saw a dog crapping on a bit of grass next to a playing field. I watched the owner watch her dog shit. I watched the owner walk away.
I caught up to her and pressed a brand new poop bag into her hand. She took it and then threw it to the ground without a word.
Having met one of these elusive misanthropes, I can confirm she is everything I expected. She was white, Danish, older, looked reasonably well off and had no answer for me about why she was not going to take responsibility for her dog.
In a way, it reminds me of a video of a French person demonstrating that Danish people do not hold doors open for the person after them. He confronts a couple of them “Why did you let the door slam on me?”
“I didn’t see you,” they lie unconvincingly.
They did see him. They just did not give a fuck about him. I’ve heard it explained as “Danes see each other as family and holding a door open is just a little too courtly” except when I checked with a couple of Danish people “would you hold a door open for a family member?” they all said “obviously”. It is the opposite, they don’t see the need because the person is not family. As in, nothing to them, so who cares what happens to them?
These dog owners let their dog shit without cleaning it up because they do not see the need to do anything for anyone else. Who cares what happens to the poop? Who cares who steps in it or which kid swallows it? Those people are not important.
Denmark isn’t a community, it’s a collection of solipsists.