DEAR SHAUN: I live in an apartment building where there are few spots to let your dogs relieve themselves. One popular spot is a grassy area next to the building’s parking lot. We have designated spots and mine is next to this grassy area. For the most part my neighbors do a nice job cleaning up after the dogs. However, at least once a week there is a mess made by a dog quite close to where I get into my car. Not often, but often enough, I have stepped in that mess. I don’t know the dog or the owner that is doing this, but how can I get a clean path to my car in the future? — In Deep Dog Doo
DEAR DOG DOO: This is tough because you do not know the offender. I suggest you do some recon. Start hanging around dog parks, sniff a couple butts, shake a couple of tails, interrupt someone’s game of fetch if you have to. You need to become one of them, earn their trust. You have to make them believe you’re a dog and that they can talk to you.
Once you are on the inside casually talk about your favorite spots to sniff. That can lead into trading of stories of times of where you went and what happened. You can casually bring up a story about how you peed on a woman’s shoes in Boston and she petted your head anyways because she was a very forgiving human. They will not believe you at first. “Surely, you were given the shame tone.” “They must have even balled up their fist and yelled, ‘no!’” And you will tell them, “no.” You say that you have perfect empathy eyes, you have figured out the perfect angle to crimp your ears and tilt your head.
They’ll ask you to prove it, they’ll ask you to go over and pee on a woman’s shoes. This will be tough for you, because while you have figured out how to infiltrate and convince a bunch of dogs you are a dog, humans will still see you as a person. But you have to do this, you need to figure out who is letting loose near your car. So you go over to a woman at the dog park on all fours and you lift your leg like a dog does. You do this with your back to the other dogs. As you do this, you whisper to the woman that you are puppy training and you are showing the dog how to do it. She giggles. The dogs are in awe. When you come back they bark and yip and wag their tails.
The next day at the park, the dogs all notice you and run to you. They revere you. You ask if anyone has ever taken a deuce right in front of a car. They all say they have at least once at some point. But one barks that they have a spot they like to go to in the morning in front of a car that looks a lot like a car that you own. You ask the dog who their owner is and you chase the dog over to the owner.
This is where you have to break character. Despite making a bunch of new friends that are dogs, you have to betray them now. And you confront the owner and ask why they haven’t been picking up the poop in front of your car. And they say it’s so early in the morning they always forget bags. And then you say no problem, I will set up a little dog bag carrier near my car for you. And then you shake hands and the dogs are jealous that they don’t have hands in this moment to share in this little slice of humanity. Please let me know if this doesn’t work, because I will be very, very surprised.
Worcester comedian Shaun Connolly provides readers with bad advice in his weekly column. Send your questions to email@example.com.