Friday, April 10, 2009

In the Bag, Part 2

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. 



  1. Nice survey! I too wonder about the squeamish non picker-uppers. They are invariably owners of larger dogs; what must their own yards look and smell like?

    And the bags of poop tied and then flung about six feet off the trail or left in random places? I picked up one that had been placed on the bbq by the water barrel recently. Some kind of passive/aggressive action? "I'll pick it up for you poop-huggers but I won't do it willingly or properly."

  2. I hate the trail bags...why bother? Like its a favor or something. This is probably my biggest peeve at the park...aside from the looming project across the street..

  3. I hate the trail bags, why bother? That is probably in the top three of my peeves at the park.

  4. I do not do this, but I have seen other dog parkers at the beginning of a walk pick up poop, tie off the bag, and come back for it later when they're finished walking and their dog is no longer 40 yards ahead on the trail. I've always assumed it was unwritten Dog Park Law that this was acceptable behavior so long as you come back to get it the same day. Am I wrong?

    I am feeling like a complete neophyte re: Dog Park Law today after realizing that I was being a slacker about refilling the Bucket.


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