The Art and Science of Shoveling Shit

I love my life. I have great kids and a wonderful family…but there are some aspects that are not so pretty and nice, like dog duty/dooty. But when life, or the dogs for that matter, give you a yard full of steaming piles, you have to make the best of it. Or at least try to make something of the stinkin’ piles…so I decided to give it a creative twist.

I shovel so much shit that I have it down to an art form, a science. I have an exact routine; from the best way to hold the shovel for maximum turd scoopage to the proper cursing of having such a nasty job. 

Even the kids know the routine. I grab a plastic grocery sack from the cupboard and Collin knows what time it is. “Dog poop,” he says, one of his limited phrases that is clear, it’s right up there with “me, too!”

He usually takes the sack from me and I go to the garage for the “shit shovel.” By the time I’m out and across the yard, Collin is already next to a pile yelling with excitement as if it were Easter morning and he found a candy filled egg.

I’m getting real good at shoveling shit, though, and I have it down to a science. It’s best to use the shovel with the somewhat pointed end. If you angle it just right and scoop from the bottom, aiming for the middle as best as you can, this will give you the maximum amount of turds per shovel, usually about five to six for small dogs and three to four for larger loads. And don’t forget to bend at the knees, nobody wants an aching back.

The technique is different if the grass is long and in need of mowing versus if it is short and burnt to a crisp, like it is now with the hundred degree weather we have had this summer. It’s much easier to clean up in the burnt grass. The turds dry up pretty quick and are easily scooped. If you run across a fresh pile, it is best to wait until it is dried and shriveled up. Otherwise it just smears and gets stuck to the shovel. 

You can also collect information as you lift a pile onto the shovel. This one is blue, dang dog must have eaten a piece of sidewalk chalk the kids left out. What the heck is that? I don’t even want to know what the dog ate on that one. We once found a small Squinky toy, which is a little rubber figure less than an inch tall. It came out squeaky clean, but there’s no keeping it now. I hurried up and dumped it in the bag before any of the kids saw it and tried to keep it.

You also have to have the right amount of cursing under your breath with your head turned so the kids wont hear you and go repeating, “Damn, dogs. This f*cking sucks. This is a bunch of shit. Why do I always get stuck with this shitty job?!”

We shovel up shit so often, the babies are even trained to locate piles. They follow behind and point. The other day while playing out in the yard, I found Mallie squatting down and examing something in the grass, her hands on her knees. When I went to see what she had found, she was just staring at shit. Ugh! Get away! Don’t touch it.

It’s a shitty job, but somebody has to do it…and in this house, unfortunately its me.