DEAR ABBY: You advised "Pooped Out in North Carolina" (Sept. 21) that as long as dog doo-doo is securely sealed in a bag, you saw no harm in putting it in a stranger's garbage can.
While I agree in principle, as a homeowner who is a frequent recipient of foreign feces, there is a practical issue that you may not have foreseen. Our garbage collectors will not dispose of small bags of dog poop; they will only take trash bags of the larger size one would expect to contain household waste.
The result is that after our trash is taken, we're left with several bags of strangers' dog waste in the bottom of the can. My wife and I have to pull these bags out and add them to larger bags of garbage. Otherwise, they'll remain at the bottom of the can indefinitely.
So while putting one's dog droppings in a stranger's trash may appear to be harmless, it may also have consequences you didn't consider. I would suggest that pet owners err on the side of taking it home with them. And if you don't want to carry it for 15 minutes, don't walk your dog 15 minutes from your house. -- FREQUENT FECES FINDER
DEAR F.F.F.: I'm sorry to say my advice to "Pooped" landed ME in the doghouse. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: You should have told "Pooped" to check the local laws first. In my community, if you're caught putting your trash in someone else's container, you are made to clean it out, fined and sometimes given jail time. I'm sure "Pooped" would not appreciate being sent to jail on account of his dog's delivery. -- TOM IN REED CITY, MICH.
DEAR ABBY: A lot depends on how the trash is collected. My trash collector and the nearby city collectors just come and pull the bags out of the cans. That little baggie, if deposited in my trash can, would either be knocked out on the ground or fall to the bottom of my trash can. Neither is acceptable.
On the other hand, some of my neighbors use a trash service that utilizes a truck with a mechanical arm that turns the cans upside down and empties them into the truck. In a case like that, I don't see what difference it makes whose can it's "deposited" in. -- CONNIE IN PARIS, TENN.
DEAR ABBY: I walk my dogs through the neighborhood and, as a responsible pet owner, I clean up after them. Often, however, I wonder why I bother. Many dogs here run loose and leave their messes wherever they please with no one to clean up after them. I think that neighbors should thank pet owners who do clean up -- no matter where they deposit the doo-doo. -- DOG WALKER IN LAYTON, UTAH
DEAR ABBY: When we walk our dog, we always carry a bag. I have seen others "scoop" up after their dog and then toss it under the bushes. Carry it home, folks! Or, as the gentleman did, place it in a trash container. If it's on the curb, it's public property. -- SCOOPER IN FLORIDA
DEAR ABBY: We walk our dogs four times a day and place their carefully bagged "deposits" only in the trash at our house. We do this for two reasons: One, people can be territorial about their refuse containers and resent any "unauthorized" garbage placed there. Two, many homeowners hate finding animal waste on their property or in their trash.
Abby, please rethink your reply to "Pooped Out." He sounds lazy. His wife, family and co-workers, on the other hand, appear to be responsible and considerate. -- PICKER-UPPER IN CALIFORNIA