Urban Doggie Style:

if-your-dog-shits-on-my-yard

Having grown up  in the city and as a relatively newly minted hick and hayseed, I enjoy my trips to town. Seattle has a well earned reputation as a friendly place and people are generally well behaved. I am hardly ever disappointed however in witnessing an example or two of the hostility bubbling beneath the surface where too many people occupy too little space. Killing time while waiting for my appointment, I pulled up a chair at a bustling sidewalk cafe in the western outreaches of town, ordered a cold one, and proceeded to observe the latest incarnation of the urbanist in its natural habitat.

California Avenue south of Fauntleroy is a busy, pedestrian friendly thoroughfare with a growing and robust mix of small business and modest residential real estate. A walking neighborhood. If I was to ever move back into town, I could do much worse than this area of West Seattle. The home owners on the street put up with a heavy load of foot traffic on the periphery of their small front lawns but such is the price of life in this energetic and creative community. A certain percentage of this foot traffic is of the canine variety and this leads to the essential dilemma of owning a dog in the city. That of course is the dilemma of whether your dog, as they must from time to time when out and about with their owners in such neighborhoods, chooses to relieve him or her self on the hot sidewalk amid the shoppers and diners, or on said small patches of residential green between the shops and cafes. If the sidewalk is chosen, being that there are many witnesses who might take offence at this offering in such close proximity to their lunch time territory, you would of course sheepishly scoop it up, drop it in the nearest can and hurry along. Dogs being dogs however, they will almost always choose the cool grass which leads to a second dilemma faced more by the dog owner than pooch. Do you pick it up and carry the soft, warm, unpleasant load around for a while until a suitable receptacle to drop it in is found, or do you nonchalantly whistle and look from side to side while fido does his business and then quickly move along, hoping that no one inside the home notices. As I sipped my beer at the adjacent cafe, this very scenario unfolded before my eyes and unfortunately for all involved, the homeowner very much noticed.

As the offending dog and owner attempted to shuffle off, the home owner burst from his house and shouted with great gusto something along the lines of “HEY CUMNOZZLE! YOUR MUTT JUST CRAPPED ON MY GRASS!! GET IT OFF!!!” Ordinarily the dog owner, realizing he had lost his gamble of not being seen, would probably have meekly removed the offending material and gone about his business. With the entire clientele of the sidewalk cafe and another across the street however suddenly intensely aware of a potential scuffle brewing, the dog owner, apparently seeking not to lose face before the crowd of onlookers boldly denied everything. “WASN”T MY DOG ASSHOLE!” he defiantly stated before turning his back on the now quickly advancing homeowner. To the fascination of all at the cafe, the homeowner rushed to the trespassing turd, picked it up with bare hand and hurled it at the retreating dog and master.

Dog shit, when travelling through the atmosphere at high speed won’t follow a pure ballistic path toward the intended target but instead fans out into a wide kill zone, much like a shot gun blast. Unfortunately for a few of the patrons at the sidewalk cafe, and ultimately for the homeowner, the outermost two or three tables at the cafe fell within this kill zone. Once the gasps of surprise and disgust from the cafe clientele died down, a very large bald man at one of the tables now wearing a very soiled T-shirt stood up silently, stretched his arms out palms up in the internationally known sign language for WTF JERKOFF!  while making direct and unblinking eye contact with the pitcher of the poop. Quickly forgetting the offending dog and owner, who suddenly had disappeared from everyones consciousness, the homeowner pivoted 180 degrees, walked deliberately back to his front door, entered, and slammed the door shut, assuming we all imagined that the sanctity of his home would protect him from retaliation. He was incorrect.

When a large testosterone and adrenaline fueled muscular man hits the front door of a modest forties vintage home with a lowered shoulder, it will usually give after one or two attempts. In this case the first attempt was successful and entry was granted. An eeary silence ensued, broken only by the occasional muffled shout of “where are you you cocksucker!” as the patrons of the cafe listened for the large man to find the hiding place of the homeowner. After a bit, a shrill high pitched scream followed by the sound of what seemed to be breaking furniture broke the silence alerting all that he had been discovered. Mayhem then ensued.

Out in the sticks where I live, where church going people still have an obligation for compassion regarding their neighbors, an attempt might have been made out of pity by one of the onlookers to rescue the home owner from the consequences of his poor judgement. Whether that is a good or bad idea is an argument for another day. In the city however, where folks are a bit more jaded, a call from an unseen cell phone to the police department would suffice and if the homeowner took a bit of a beating while waiting for the officers to arrive well, he probably had it coming and it might serve as a lesson for the future in constraining the more volatile emotions while in the proximity of others.

I love my life in the country but my upbringing in the city has infused a certain jaded cynicism and gallows humor that makes me miss the straight forward bluntness of urban life and in witnessing the daily theater of misfortune befalling others that never seems to end when too many people occupy too little space. Is this wrong? Maybe, but there it is.

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15 responses to “Urban Doggie Style:

  1. Ah, a most satisfying resolution to the situation. I love it when real consequences return to our overprotected urban existence.

  2. The next time you’re around downtown I’ll buy a round to hear that told in person.

  3. Great write up. I can see it all happening.

  4. I will take you up on that offer. Round two will be on me as you seem to have gathered a pocketful of good stories yourself that I wouldn’t mind hearing from the horses mouth.

  5. Thanks Nicole.
    It was better that going to the movies!

  6. Are you sure about this? Given the effete types who make up the overwhelming preponderance of Beta males inhabiting the city of Seattle I’m amazed to hear of a resident who is such a ‘manly’ man.

    Probably visiting from the country.

  7. Tarnation Arthur! Don’t let yer mama here ya steereotypin like that. She might give ya a good whippin and sind ya to sinsitivitee trainin.

  8. Let me know where the drinks are pouring, and I’ll join you. Especially if you’re in West Seattle again, Mark.

  9. I’ll do it Andy. I get over there every couple of weeks or so.
    Your invited too Arthur!

  10. Only if we go to this place. I want to feel life in a new way.

    And hear it!

  11. Glad to hear that the good old fashioned ass whuppin hasn’t gone completely out of fashion, even in Seattle.

    Can’t say I’m to interested in venturing to the Emerald City, though, although beer is a powerful calling. It might be interesting to meet old Arthurstone, and probably realize that he’s not such a bad guy at all. 🙂

  12. A somewhat disproportionate response I feel. Not mentioning the possible charges of breaking and entering, criminal damage to property and assault.

  13. Disproportionate indeed exit. From the looks of the guy his life story was one of disproportional responses. He looked like a pit bull in a t shirt and shorts.

  14. Damn, what’s a little dogshit among the effete? That burnt Seattle coffee smells like it!

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