I know we all absolutely adore our dogs, but while they’re relaxing in their crates with their Kongs, lets take a moment to speak candidly among ourselves: We all hate cleaning up their poop. Even well-formed, healthy dog poops are unpleasant. I admit that for myself, one of the bonuses of feeding a raw diet is the reduced volume and frequency of poop, not to mention the fact that the poop usually turns white and crumbles into dust without requiring much cleanup. (Its a miracle!)
I am a slave to biodegradable poop bags. At least once a week I find one in an unexpected place and marvel at the number of them in my life. Theyre in every purse, bag, treat bag, half my pant pockets, all of my coat pockets, the glove compartment in the van, in the back of the van, on my bookshelf, in my office, in my classroom, and in my dogs backpacks â€” everywhere!
While I dont like cleaning up poop, its my job as a responsible dog owner. I always clean up after my own dogs, and I always clean up stray piles that were left behind by irresponsible dog owners. The cleaner we keep the areas where we like to take our dogs, the more places well be allowed to take our dogs! Plus, cleaner environments are safer and healthier for our pets.
Poop bags are a necessary evil, are they not? I know you can get claw scoopers, which are fine for backyard poop duty, but they’re too cumbersome to carry on a walk, particularly if you (like me) are never or rarely just walking a single dog at a time.
I dont know how many of you would call it “art,” exactly, but I love the movie Envy featuring Jack Black and Ben Stiller. Its corny and it received poor reviews, but I love it. A quick plot synopsis:
Ben Stiller and Jack Black are best friends and coworkers at a sand paper manufacturer. Jack Blacks character invents a product called VaPOOrize, an aerosol spray which makes dog waste disappear. He becomes a (very flamboyant) millionaire, Stiller becomes jealous, Christopher Walken [who I also love] makes a cameo, and hilarity ensues.
While Envy is just a silly comedy, it is true that anyone who can successfully market a reasonably priced gadget to save us the none-too-pleasurable experience of encasing a hand in a plastic bag to grab a warm pile of poo would stand to make quite a bit of money.
Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that someone is attempting to do just that!
Manufacturer Paulee CleanTech has developed the environmentally friendly AshPoopie. Here is a one-minute video about the product:
The device scoops dog waste into a chamber where it is then converted to sterile, unsmelly ash. It comes with a built-in flashlight, so it’s easier to find and clean up messes on your evening walks.
Amazing. A magic, poop-dispersing wand sounds too good to be true, like something out of Harry Potter. While I couldnt find pricing information (the site indicates the product will hit U.S. pet stores next year, but the company has not yet disclosed the suggested retail price), this article from Mother Nature News indicates that the operating cost might run to approximately $20 a month for a large dog.
What do you think, Dogsters? Will you be adding Never pick up another pile of dog poo to your 2012 New Years resolution list and asking for an AshPoopie as a belated Christmas gift? What value would such a product have for you, in terms of price and a monthly, per-dog disposal fee estimate?
Maybe I can persuade Jim to buy me one for Valentines Day. To this dog mom and trainer, nothing says love like lifetime liberation from poop-scooping duties!
About the Author: Casey Lomonaco graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and is a member of the following professional organizations: APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), CGC evaluator â€” AKC (American Kennel Club), TDF (Truly Dog Friendly), and the No-Shock Collar Coalition.