I like when my neighbors are out of town; their absence means I get to walk their dog.
This responsibility not only reminds me why I don’t own a dog myself, it gets me out of the house several times a day and gives me more to do while wandering around the neighborhood than feel irritated at the lush, green lawns, which are evidence that the city is clearly not enforcing the watering ban.
But when I’m with the dog, my walks have a purpose beyond making me feel bitter towards my water-happy neighbors. Actually, they have two purposes: 1) to get the dog some exercise, and 2) to get the dog to poop.
Which leads to the thing I don’t like about my neighbors being out of town: carrying poop with me around the neighborhood.
Picking it up is bad enough, all warm and squishy through the plastic baggie, but that’s not nearly the end of it. I have to carry the baggie(s) of cooling feces all the way back to the neighbor’s garbage bins.
I try tying the bags to the leash handle, but, weighed down by their noxious payload, they inevitably fall off, and then I have to retrace my steps in order to reclaim them.
So, I carry the baggies in my free hand, worrying all the while that I’m going to forget that I’m toting dog waste and reach up to wipe my nose.
I also forget what’s in the bags when I pass fellow pedestrians, which means that if you are out walking in my neighborhood and pass a woman who smiles a “Good afternoon!” and waves a bag of dog poop at you, that’s me.