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.