I often walk my dog along Basin Road. It's a dramatic place: Spectacular cliffs interlaced with tumbling cascades, a beautiful clear river and all the hallmarks of a Southeast Alaska rain forest. Bears in summer and goats in winter are not uncommon sights. But you'd better stop walking if you want to take in the scenery, or you'll be strolling to the smell of dog poop wafting from the soles of your shoes.
What are your chances of stepping on a pile? One day this week I tallied them up: From the last house to the gate and back (which I walk in less than 10 minutes) I counted 119 piles. Nearly a quarter of them were on the wooden bridge and another 30 lay in the gutters or out in the street along the last block of houses (the folks who live there must appreciate that).
And that's just Basin Road. You'll find the same sorry conditions at Twin Lakes, the Wetlands trail, the Glacier Visitor Center, Sandy Beach - even downtown streets, where dog poop is smeared on the sidewalk in almost every block.
This isn't a dog problem; it's a people problem, a problem of thoughtless and irresponsible people who can't be bothered to keep public places free of their pets' sewage. There's a bag dispenser at the beginning of Basin Road and there are garbage cans at both ends of the stretch I'm talking about. Ditto at Twin Lakes, the Wetlands, the Visitor Center, Sandy Beach and every park in town.
If you're among those who think it's inconvenient to pick up after your dog, think about the rest of us for a change! There's no excuse for leaving your dog's pile behind.