I was standing in the rain in the Capital School playground the other week when I came to a startling realization.
I'm a Charter School parent, which means that a few times each month I volunteer to be a sort of noon-duty and recess aide for the kids, marching them down to the playground with another parent, rain or whatever, so that they can run around and play in the harsh winter weather like any good Alaskan.
It's been my self-assigned task to go around cleaning up the trash and the dog poop each time I'm there. My daughter is in third grade now, so this is my fourth year of doing this.
My realization was that, at a rate of a couple visits a month, I've picked up well over 400 piles of dog poop while on playground duty there.
Luckily the city provides plastic bag dispensers at two locations; one at the top of Seward Street by the little parking pad, and the other up on Sixth and Franklin. There are also handy receptacles (trash cans), strategically situated so that you don't have to walk far once you've cleaned up after your dog.
Now that the legislative session has started and all of us wintertime people are here, I wanted to say a few things to the people who regularly use Capital School playground.
One is that the shredded rubber material in the one corner is not a litter-box. It's to soften a landing when kids fall off the monkey bars.
Another thing is that no matter how small your dog is, what comes out of its butt is still dog poop. It's also still dog poop if it's in a garden or under a tree.
It's still dog poop even if it's pouring rain, and you're very busy, and you're in a huge rush to get somewhere, and you don't want to get your hands dirty (or you're on the phone). Don't worry. Those bags work just fine, and you won't get any of that stuff on your hands.
In fact, while you're at it, pick up a few piles with the same bag. You won't have far to look, and it just might give you that sense of simple accomplishment that is sometimes lacking in our complicated world.
Thanks for your attention.