Common dog-walking habit raises stink with readers

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, December 21, 2021

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DEAR ABBY: I’m responding to your request for comments about your answer to “Doggy Business” (Oct. 28). Please IMPLORE your readers not to put their dog’s poop in their neighbor’s garbage cans, even if the cans are on the street. This may seem harmless, but I live near a park and daily dog walkers use my trash can like it’s a public service.
My garbage quickly fills with endless poop bags, sometimes between five and 10 a day. Garbage is collected only every other week in my community. I’m sure your readers can do the math. Then I end up having to work around all this poop, and not only does my garbage can perpetually stink to high heaven, but I have to be judicious with what I throw away myself.
Rough materials will rupture those bags and poop gets all over the inside of the can. I’m currently saving up to modify my property’s retaining wall so I can keep the receptacles away from the street, but I’m at the mercy of dog owners until I can afford this renovation.
Please, if you have a dog, be a good neighbor. Be responsible for its waste. If you don’t want to carry it, get your dog a harness or pack with a pocket, and dispose of it in your own can when you get home. — PEEVED IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

DEAR PEEVED: I advised “Doggy Business” that disposing of his dog’s waste in neighbors’ garbage cans is a big no-no. After asking for readers’ thoughts, an AVALANCHE of responses descended. The vast majority agreed with me, expressing disdain at the practice and explicitly sharing the messy, smelly details of their experiences.
Some areas require trash be placed in a large, sealed plastic bag in the receptacle. When garbage collectors pull the bag out, the small poop bags can spill out and the contents disperse onto the street. Worse, if the bags are thrown into a neighbor’s garbage container AFTER collection, those bags remain at the bottom and smell for days.
Readers, encourage dog walkers to take a larger bag with them or wear a fanny pack with multiple compartments to transport their pets’ “souvenirs” back to their own home.
DEAR ABBY: Our nosy children have been pressuring us to explain their inheritance. I’m appalled. I was taught that this is something for the parents to tell, not the kids to ask. Several friends of ours who are executors for their parents are now being questioned by siblings while the parent is sick and fighting for life. Please explain to readers what is the best etiquette with regard to inheritance. — UNSURE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR UNSURE: I know this can be a sensitive subject, but it is also an important one. Although some may not agree with me, I happen to be in favor of open communication regarding money matters. Too often money (and the promise of it) is used to manipulate and control family members. This is not a matter of etiquette. If adult children are going to inherit, they need to learn early how to wisely and responsibly handle money. And, if circumstances change and the estate is affected, the heirs should be given as much forewarning as possible so they are prepared and not shocked.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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