Caught Empty Handed When Shit Happens

The shame and hilarity of being caught without a ‘doggy bag’

By Brian Reynolds

Screenshot 2014-08-07 19.37.27
Photo credit: Poo Poo Bags

It’s probably the worst feeling to get when you’re walking your dog. That moment as your hound is dropping a steaming, grotesque pile of awful and that sinking feeling hits you as you reach for your back pocket and realize you don’t have it. You forgot a doggy waste bag.

In winter, some people, if they’re caught without a bag, will just shuffle some snow over the evidence and walk away like a thief in the night. They have to bear the shame of knowing that not only are they a bad person, but that dreadful smell in the springtime when everything starts to thaw is their fault. There is no way to hide it during the rest of the year and you have to find a way to clean up. In Toronto, you can get a $240 fine for not picking up your dog’s business.

Sometimes you catch yourself without a bag before the deed is done. Can you get back home in time to get a bag? Is there a store where you can get a bag? Did you just panic and think you didn’t have a bag when you really did? Winning those close calls can make you feel like Superman but sometimes you hit Kryptonite.

It’s the worst not having a bag but maybe there is something nearby that can work instead. What are your store options? Maybe you can use a couple pages from a discarded newspaper or a magazine? Can you chug down or pour out a coffee and use the handy lid shuffle it into the cup? Can you collect enough leafs to comfortably pick up the waste without contaminating your hands? If you can’t find a way to McGyver something together, you’re going to have to bear the shame until you can come back to the scene of the crime and clean it up.

If you’re lucky, another dog owner will instinctively recognize the look of fear and shame boldly written across your face and offer a spare bag. I’ve caught a few people myself, stunned on the sidewalk with their dog looking guilty. Giving them a doggy waste bag gets you a reaction like they’ve just been called up on The Price Is Right.

It’s filthy, dirty work, but you need always find a way to clean up after your dog. It’s your doodie duty.