Dog Signage

German Village is dog territory.  It seems like 90 percent of the residents here have dogs, and whenever you go out for a walk, you’re likely to encounter every variety of canine, every form of terrier and shepherd and retriever, from mutt to pure-bred, out strolling our brick-lined streets.

And you’re also likely to encounter signs warning dogs and their owners to avoid answering the call of nature in the yards and flower beds of the non-dog owners among us.  Some signs are more polite than others, some use “please” and some just say “No!,” but the message is ultimately the same.

What, exactly, is the purpose of those signs?  If it is to encourage dog owners to be responsible in performing their poop scoop obligations, the signs seem . . . unnecessary.  Most dog owners accept the need to stoop and scoop as part of the price that must be paid for having a four-legged friend in the house.  And f a dog owner is inclined to ignore his/her general obligations in a civilized society, a mere sign doesn’t seem likely to change their approach.  So I’ve concluded that the signs really are just another example of the prevalent NIMBY phenomenon at work.  The people with signs know the dogs are going to do what dogs do — which is to produce dog doo — and what they really want is for dog owners to yank their canine friends away from the sign owner’s property so that they find their target in the neighbor’s patch of ground instead.

The signers are really saying that their property deserves special treatment.  It’s not a very neighborly thing to do, when you think about it.

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Dog Signage

German Village seems to be a very dog-friendly place.  Most of the people you see walking around have a dog, and I’d guess that dogs outnumber cats by about 10 to 1, if not more.

IMG_0828But then there’s that unfortunate but inevitable biological byproduct that dogs tend to leave behind. And if you don’t own a dog, and you’ve got a nice little flower bed between the sidewalk and the street that you’d like to cultivate, and the dog owners walking by aren’t living up to their end of the dog owner’s social compact with the rest of humanity, you might just get fed up about the whole issue.

And when that happens, a passive-aggressive sign is bound to be the result.  I particularly liked this one, with its neat penciled lettering on lined school notebook paper and all-weather plastic sheathing.  Proper punctuation and grammar, too, as well as kid-sensitive use of an acceptable alternative to more vulgar terminology.  It obviously wasn’t written in the heat of fury, but rather as a matter of deep resignation and indignation, after one too many discoveries of an unpleasant surprise.  The heartfelt “it’s disgusting” at the end is a particularly nice touch.

And it worked, too.  We always pick up after Kasey, but once I saw that sign I decided that discretion dictated steering Kasey away from even snuffling contact with that particular patch of ground to more neutral territory.