As soon as I learned to walk, I learned to keep my eyes on the sidewalk. My neighborhood had more dogs than children, and in the era before pooper-scooper laws I knew how to distinguish the triumphal mound of the Great Dane from the delicate droppings of the aptly named shih tzu.
I thought I'd seen it all, but a strip of grass under an empty flagpole at the corner of Barry and Leavitt takes the prize. It must be the worst dog patch in town--a moat of shit from curb to sidewalk. There are so many mounds there's no path around them, no way to tiptoe through unsullied. Even a Chihuahua would step in it.
A man stands in the doorway of the corner house, and I ask a stupid question: Where did this all come from? He gives an appropriate answer: "There's a lot of dogs around here."
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