Posts Tagged ‘Responsibility’

What You Deserve

Friday, March 12th, 2010

As reported in Hill dog owners howl over field lockdown (Washington Examiner 3/11/10), Capitol Hill dog owners are upset because they will no longer be allowed to use the Tyler Elementary school field as a dog park. The school has posted signs and locked the gate. Dog owners have removed the signs and cut the locks.

 “The baseball diamond is rife with holes and the field is a dog poop minefield.” — Mike Godec, Sports on the Hill vice president and a Tyler parent

“The teachers and staff at Tyler Elementary School have been reluctant to take their students onto Tyler Field due to the excessive pet waste found in that area. In addition, there have been dogs running around the field without a leash while students are coming to school which poses a significant safety concern.” – Tyler Elementary Principal Terry Dade in email to school neighbor

“It’s a shame they couldn’t be nicer to the people who were here first. The people who walked their dogs there were pushed out.” — neighborhood dog owner Michele Bogdanovich

“I don’t really care how it gets resolved. There should be some way for us all to come to a compromise.” – neighborhood dog owner Dave Mosick

“At first I thought people could work it out.” — Ward 6 DC Councilman Tommy Wells (after people failed to work it out)

“That’s the park I take my dog too. Why should I clean up after him?” – Senate Minority Leader John Boehner

Dog owners, if what the school says about the poop and holes is true,

Then the fault lies not with the school, but with you.

That’s all there is to it.

Dog owners, you blew it.

What’s so hard about following a simple rule,

Especially, for God’s sake, right next to a school?

Not cleaning up after your dog is always rude,

But in that case it’s even more crude.

Capitol Hill dog owners, you had your chance:

Those piles of poop and holes didn’t appear by happenstance.

You watched your dogs leave them, and then you left.

Are you of all common courtesy bereft?

When someone lets you use something that’s theirs

You need to take special cares

To make sure you leave it at least as good as you found it,

Or you justifiably won’t be allowed to stay around it.

I’m a dog owner too and enjoy taking Buddy to our dog park

(We usually go in the evening, before it gets dark).

He especially liked to go after it snowed.

But I digress: what I want to talk about is the Dog Park Code.

Cleaning up after your dog is rule number 1–

Leaving poop on the ground just isn’t done.

(Yes, I realize that it’s true

That it would be more fitting if we called that rule number 2.)

If ever anyone doesn’t clean up their dog’s poop,

They’d be politely reminded to do so by the group.

And any one that refused

Would be justifiably (verbally) abused.

(I personally would also call the Mayor’s Hot Line

And report them so that they’d get a fine.)

Sometimes, when noone else is around

Miscreant owners still leave their dogs’ poop on the ground.

When that happens, the next person who sees it cleans it up

(Mentally cursing the owner, not the pup).

I’ve done that many times, and no, it isn’t fair,

But it’s better than just leaving the poop lying there.

Sometimes the rest of us have to do more than our share,

To make up for the people who just don’t care.

And for those caught in the in the act

Of breaking this important social contract,

We apply the laws and regulations

We have to prevent and punish such depredations.

With environmental protection, the principle is the same:

We should leave the world better, or at least the same.

Unfortunately, we’re not succeeding,

In spite of all the environmentalists’ pleading.

That’s where regulation steps in,

To keep things clean and punish offenders (what I call win-win).

I’m all for positive reinforcement,

But when it fails, you need enforcement.

Why then do Republicans oppose regulation

And so often resort to its demonization?

Is it because they’re the ones leaving their crap lying around

In festering piles all over the ground?

(When I wrote that I meant it figuratively,

But since then it has occurred to me

That some of those who in clean-up remiss

Might be from the nearby RNC office.)

Now back to the Capitol Hill dog park

On which so many dogs have made their mark,

It’s for you owners that I this judgment reserve:

I feel bad for your dogs, but you got what you deserve.

Dave, what you say about compromise is usually true,

But one can only compromise with those who will compromise with you.

Dog owners have already proved they couldn’t make it work out

And now you and your dogs have to do without.

And to you, Miss We-Were-There-First,

I think that you may be the worst.

They should have been nicer, you whine and pout,

And the dog owners shouldn’t have been unfairly pushed out.

The field belongs to the school, for crying out loud

If you can’t take care of it, why should you be allowed?

The school did you a favor to let you use it in the first place,

So why should you be allowed to wreck the place?

You have no right to the field, you don’t deserve to use it

(Especially not when you and your fellow owners so abuse it).

You were given a privilege, and now it’s been withdrawn

(Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone).

And for our own non-cleaner-uppers (you know who you are),

Lately you really have gone too far.

I’ll catch you red-handed one of these days,

But until then, I guess I’ll just keep cleaning up anyways.


Here’s your theme music, Big Yellow Taxi by the incomparable Joni Mitchell.

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