Monday, January 08, 2007

Shitty Weekend

By "shitty", I don't mean awful. I mean "shitty" in the literal sense. My weekend was all about shit - cleaning it up, stepping in it, dodging it on the sidewalk, cleaning it off my shoes. This past weekend, I house/dog sat for my friend Chris. He left me in charge of his large condo in Gold Coast, as well as his adorable pug, Beau. With dogsitting, comes a certain amount of expected poop scooping. However, my weekend went far beyond just cleaning up after one dog.

Let me first say that I am always excited to house and/or dog sit for friends. I love dogs but just don't have the kind of schedule that would permit me to own a puppy. And I would want to start with a puppy to train him the way I would want him to be trained, rather than adopt an older dog that might be harder to train. I also like to stay in different neighborhoods in order to learn more about my city. So when Chris asked, I jumped at the chance.

Gold Coast is one of the more affluent and sophisticated neighborhoods in Chicago (Starbuck's even has a coffee named after it - which features, of all things, a woman walking a dog on the packaging). It's a place where everyone looks the same and they all drive a BMW, Benz or Lexus. Couples dress alike when they exercise, and they dine in Bistros and Taverns rather than eat in diners and restaurants. In short, these residents seem to have a lot of money. So much, in fact, that they don't have to clean up after their pets.

It is, I guess, beneath them to wrap their hand in a plastic bag, bend over, pick up their dogs' feces, and deposit it in a wastecan. I've never seen such an accumulation of dog shit in one neighborhood. It's everywhere: on the sidewalks, in the landscaping, in the grass, sometimes on the street. Saturday afternoon, my friend Jessica and I were walking Beau and we couldn't believe how messy the residents leave their neighborhood.

One would think that given the amount of the property values in Gold Coast, the inhabitants would take better care of, or at least more pride in, their neighborhood and come down out of their concrete towers to stoop low enough, like the rest of us do, to clean up after themselves. But no, they can't be bothered. I actually saw it in progress. I didn't say anything because it's not my 'hood. Up in Andersonville where I live, I have never had to dodge a pile of anything on the sidwalk. In A'ville, people do the right thing.
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