One thing I like about East Atlanta Village — actually the ATL in general — is how pet-friendly people are and the love folks have for their animals.
As a dog owner myself, I see many of my neighbors on their regular morning and afternoon walks in this community of man's best friends.
But as pet-friendly as our corner of ITP-Shangri-La is, a few folks draw the line when it comes to poop.
Specifically, some homeowners don’t want Buster’s, Lulu’s, or in my case, Camus’ bags o' poop in their Herbie Curbies.
Everybody poops, but that doesn’t mean everyone is willing to share their trash cans.
On long walks or jogs with my dog through East Atlanta, I've never given a second thought to dropping a bag in a curbside Herbie Curbie.
Jogging or even briskly walking with a bagful of the stuff isn't very practical. I figured a trash can is a trash is a trash can. (Besides, lots of folks leave their trash cans curbside all week long.)
But my friend, Marcia, an Ormewood Park homeowner and pet lover herself, doesn’t see it that way.
“Most people's Herbie Curbies are on the street on trash pick-up day only,” she told me in a Facebook exchange where several of us discussed the issue. “So the opportunity for dog owners to simply drop their poop bag into their neighbor's HC is usually AFTER the trash has been picked up, but before the homeowner has been able to roll said CLEAN HCs back into their yard.”
That means it won’t be emptied for another week while the bags bake in our 90-degrees plus temperatures.
“We understand that dog owners probably don't even notice the stench, but believe me, those of us who don't have dogs can smell the difference," Marcia said. "I'd never dump my kitty litter contents in anyone else's Herbie Curbie,” Marcia said.
It's caused quite a row in Ormewood Park these last couple of weeks, with some declaring their garbage bins to be poop-free zones. Of course, this problem isn't unique to East Atlanta or Ormewood Park.
Over the years, my friends in other neighborhoods, including Poncey-Highland, Midtown and Kirkwood, have all pipped up about proper pet poop etiquette.
Personally, I never thought it was a big deal; I figured better to bag it and trash it than leave it on someone's lawn.
What I have paid attention to are the lawn Nazis who, no matter what time of day or night, come out screaming at dog walkers if their pooches so much as look at a blade of grass on their property.
Rachel Stubblefield, another Ormewood Park resident, has what I think is a great idea. She suggests homeowners who don't mind or don't care, place "woof" or dog's head silhouette stickers on their trash cans to let dog walkers know it's okay to drop their bags there.
Stubblefield even went a step further, offering to hand deliver stickers to folks who wanted them and placed some "Wag More, Bark Less" decals in an envelope she taped to an old bus stop pole at the corner of Delaware and Ormewood avenues.
That's a solution to which I think dog owners and non-owners alike can raise a hand — or a paw — and support.