Unpleasant tasks

I’m sure we all agree that being a parent consists of insurmountable amounts of unpleasant tasks. And that’s ok, because there are equally as many, if not more, pleasurable tasks to be had any given day. I think most of us feel that way.


I wish that most of us who own pets, particularly dogs, feel that way too. Dogs are demanding pets that require a lot more time and energy if the job of raising them is to be done properly. I still cannot believe that there are people out there who own dogs, large dogs, who never, ever walk them. Regular exercise is vital to a dog’s health, stamina, disposition, and anyone who tries to convince me otherwise is wasting their time.

Sure there are days when the dog will take the absolute last place on a long list of pressing tasks. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, even husbands, or such unmeasurable concepts like sleep might push the dog’s needs further and further down the line. Some people come to that realization early and find a good home for their dog before he accepts this sedetary, neglected life as the norm. Because really, he shouldn’t have to accept that he is last all the time.

We are not immune to neglecting him occasionally. There have been days, sometimes consecutive days, when Rusty just did not get his walk. For a variety of reasons, some of which had to do with his own health (he has an occasional limp that requires rest, rather than exercise). But I can honestly say that 95% of the time, someone in this house will take him for a daily spin. He needs to walk, he needs to sniff, he needs to get out of these four walls as much as the rest of us do. And frankly, he is a much calmer dog when he’s had his walk. There is little that irritates me more than a dog incessantly pacing directly in front of me, or blocking my path, or giving me pathetic looks on the days when it’s just not feasible to get him out.

Dogs can teach everyone in the family about needs, wants, taking turns, and a million other lessons. They can be, and often are, an absolute pleasure to be around. Even when their little quirks may get you frustrated or impatient, ultimately, you find yourself glad that he’s around. His mere presence is calming in times of stress, or unease, or exhaustion.

But taking care of a dog can include some tasks that are more than just a little unpleasant. More annoying than incessant laundry, or dishes, or cooking, or vacuuming, or cleaning, or changing poopy diapers.

Speaking of poopy diapers, parents learn quickly that poop is a prominent part of their day from the moment babe announces his arrival.  Offspring poop quickly becomes less “eeww, icky, I don’t feel like wiping his butt” to “hey, poop on a toddler butt hanging over a potty is a lot easier to clean up than all squished up in a pull-up”.

Which leads me to the point of this post. Today, I was faced with one of the most unpleasant tasks that simply had to be taken care of immediately. Because the window of opportunity has presented itself with finally some warmer weather. If I had not taken the opportunity to deal with this unpleasant task today, then future visits to our backyard will inevitably be delayed. 

I am referring to the mountains of dog poop back there. Specifially, the 3, 4, 5 months of accumulated dog poop piles in our backyard. Four grocery bags full of semi-frozen, semi-squishy, smelly, icky, disgusting dog poop.

It had to be done. Just like the diaper changing. Can’t get around it.

Now, all we need is a good, long, soaking rain to wash away the residue and we can finally, FINALLY, enjoy our backyard again!


4 thoughts on “Unpleasant tasks

  1. What I do not understand, is why not remove the stuff in complete frozen state instead of waiting for it to become gooey again. I can only imagine it being an easier job to wack those pucks poops with a stick in the goal garbage bag…

  2. Spoken like a true non-dog owner. Yes, of course the frozen poop is easier to remove. Except when it sinks into 2 feet of snow and then semi-melts during various thaw-and-freeze cycles so prevalant in winter. Then, new snow covers old dog poop and you don’t see it until the new snow melts….it’s a messy affair.

  3. Oh my! We don’t get snow but I have a confession. We don’t miss the poop ANYWHERE near as much as we miss the dog. Obvious I know. Toddlers and turds just don’t mix well.

    We are the disappointing ones you speak of in your post that realised early to rehome the neglected.

    Poor Star… we miss her but know she is better off. Sigh.

    Three grocery bags, eh? Rusty is very tolerant to have been dodging his own messes all winter. He will be pleased too.

  4. For the record, I do not feel disappointed knowing that you did what was best for Star. If you know you can’t look after her the way you want to, and you find a good home for her, then you did exactly what I would have done too. I’m so pleased to hear that she is in a happy place!

    Yes, bags of poop…it’s lovely. It’s been a little bit crazy this winter because frozen poop stuck to grass so hard I couldn’t remove it, and if it melted, it fell apart and I wasn’t able to pick it up…after a while I just gave it up. Blah.

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