Okay, everybody. Settle down, please. Let's continue our survey of poop-scooping bags. Today we will consider the ubiquitous newspaper bag.
Every day, thousands of these babies show up in driveways all around the city, even when it is not raining. I think that they are the perfect size for poop pick-up—although my neighbor who has big hands and a giant Labrador says that only the Sunday newspaper bags will work for him. The newspaper bags are deep enough so that you can tie up the bags nicely and have a decent sized knot to hang on to while walking.
Pluses: Free with every newspaper. You are reusing a bag that really was conceived for a one-time use. The bags are deep, and they fold flat, so no bulky pockets.
Drawbacks: Holes, as always, especially when the newspaper guy or gal stuffs a Sunday paper in a weekday-sized bag. Also, most of these bags are clear and revealing—not for the squeamish. (Squeamish? Dog owners can't afford to be squeamish.) Again, not biodegradable.
The New York Times bag, a subset of the newspaper bag. A personal favorite.
Pluses: It is a pretty blue. It provides privacy. It announces to the world that you are an intelligent reader and probably an ace at crosswords (I wish; I can only do Mondays, Tuesdays if I cheat.) It glides neatly through a belt loop for easy carrying.
Minuses: The paper that comes inside it costs about three times as much as the ones that come in the clear bags. And—you know it—holes from when the newspaper guy or gal hurls your highfalutin' blue bag into the shrubbery. "Let's see how much you really want to read all the news that's fit to print."
The produce bag. Is this bag facing extinction? At the market where I buy my veggies, shoppers have the privilege of weighing their own stuff and printing out price stickers. Many folks I know don't bag their produce; they just throw half a dozen apples onto the conveyor belt and hand the cashier the stickers. Other stores, like the Wheatsville Co-op, provide paper sacks for produce instead of plastic. In any event, these bags have the same issues as newspaper sacks.
Pluses: Roomy, and free with purchase. Rarely have holes unless you have purchased some particularly pointy carrots or a pineapple.
Drawbacks: Not opaque (although the ones from Randalls and HEB are somewhat filmy). Somewhat bulky when stored. Alas, not biodegradable.
So whatever your choice, please keep in mind that others at the Park may need some prodding. You can help by bringing your extra bags to the Dog Park. A thoughtful person (not moi, but thanks for asking) tacked a plastic bin to the telephone pole in the north parking lot for the purpose of holding bags. Just tuck your bags in there and then feel free to yell at people who don't pick up after their dogs.
Note: I would like to thank several friends at Dog Park who supply me and my dog family with plenty o' free bags. Thank you for reading newspapers and eating vegetables and sharing the spoils with Roma and Muzzy. You are good people.
Coda: A pet peeve.
People who scoop the poop and then leave the bags lying on the ground. Here's an example. In this case, the dumpster is about thirty feet away. Yet many of us regular Parkers have seen neatly tied bags strewn all about the Park. Who is supposed to pick these up? The Park Ranger? Security? The janitor? ("Wet clean-up in aisle 3, under the 'No Dumping'sign!") Kudos to all those who, in frustration, have picked up bags left behind.