At long last, our new sewage treatment plant is up and running. Unfortunately, it won’t address our newest sanitation problem: dogs.
It took humans a long time even to realize we needed proper sanitation. And when the automobile supplanted the horse and buggy in the early 1900s, we were finally able to rid the streets of horse manure and urine. Cleanliness was clearly in sight. What could go wrong? Well, to use a well-worn phrase, we turned loose the dogs, lots and lots of dogs. And guess what dogs do, everywhere, just like horses, only more difficult to detect and avoid.
We must by now rival watch-where-you-step Paris in blighted sidewalks, trails and playgrounds. I see owners with two and three dogs each, or his and hers to match, wandering freely on long retractable leashes, an oxymoron if ever there were one.
Yet irony abounds, as new condo projects pronounce their pet friendliness while providing zero outdoor space for you-know-what. This makes for a grand mongrel-mashup of dog crap on the nearest available tiny patch of turf. Those so-called responsible dog owners manage to leave a healthy helping of incriminating evidence behind them (actually, behind their dogs).
Our contemporary tragedy of the canine commons is undercutting the good intentions of the new wastewater treatment project. Until politicians summon the courage to limit and better regulate dog ownership, keep your head down.