Yes, I am guilty.
I have not been blogging much. How come, you ask? Well I live in Wisconsin and it is January and well….motivation is hard this time of year.
Actually let me be more forthright. Basically it sucks in Wisconsin in January, unless you’re a cold, wet, freezing, love the snow, ice and slush kind of person – which I am not.
And since my motivation is fueled by my ability to get outside and do stuff….well, that doesn’t happen much right now. No, I don’t ski (not that there are really slopes in Wisconsin) no ice fishing (what the ? – are they serious? ITS CALLED FISH, YOU CAN BUY IT AT THE GROCERY STORE) no sledding, skating or snow shoeing for this girl.
However, there is one thing that forces me to go outside this time of year.
It is picking up the poo. I do actually like the *look* of snow, so seeing it littered with dog grenades…well, clean up is a must. So today, as I hauled another load of doo doo to the dumpster, I was suddenly struck with an idea. How about I help all those poor souls who migrate to the Midwest from a warmer climate. Idiots….ahmm, I mean poor souls probably have no idea how to pick up the @#% in this kind of weather.
So for anyone new to the dilemma of how to scoop in the depths of a Midwestern winter, there are 3 basic protocols:
The inverted bag grab: This is the standard operating procedure. Every dog owner should know this one. Your hand goes into the doggie pick up bag, you grasp the poo, retract hand while inverting bag, then tie and toss. However, when you live in the “I don’t need to shave my legs from Nov – May” part of the US. you better get it while it’s warm. Once those tootsie rolls are frozen into the drifts you will need to employ an alternate method of extraction.
The chisel and pick: As the name implies, this technique works best with the spade type of scoop. Simply use the corner of your blade to chisel around the frozen clumps, once loosened from the snow, flip into the scoop and dispose.
Note:If you happen to have one of those one-handed, jaw scoop type apparatus, sorry my friend, but you are SOL in getting that piece of equipment to extract FiFi’s frozen feces.
*Warning: Novice cold climate inhabitants will be easily identified by their flailing attempts to hit the target, thus leaving them no alternative other than using a rake to collect the scattered remaining bits. Old time Midwesterners will be standing in their windows with a mug of hot chocolate laughing at your feeble attempts.
That leaves us with the technique of champions (and yes, my personal favorite)
The kick and scrape: This method requires no bending, which is a bonus given that you will need to be in 14 layers of clothing to survive the windchill here. Simply aim your boot toward and slightly below the pile, give a quick, firm jab dislodging the excrement, then slide the turd into your scoop pan and toss. See photo for proper angulation of the toe.
Alternate versions include the Heel Thrust for those times when you are wearing inappropriate footwear. (Silly transplants who think Berkenstocks and socks can work in WI) and the Side Swipe, appropriate only when the offending stool can be dislodged far enough off the trail that it will not interfere with the next passerby.
There you have it my friends. Next time your yard looks like a Danish roll factory exploded midair, you know what to do.
Robin & her daughter Maddie head out for a morning of poop patrol
Ps. For those emergencies of loose stool, diaherra and vomit: an adequate dusting of fresh snow will provide sufficient coverage until spring. Don’t worry, living in Wisconsin you’ll only have to wait a a few hours until the next flurries.