Due to the mediocrewhelming response to Pooper Scooping 101, I bring you PS 102. Subtitled “Handbagging.” Subsubtitled “For suckers that don’t have the right tools.” Suckers like me, at the moment. My Poop Hound is in storage. Having handbagged for a few months, I would say that the first and only rule to handbagging should be, “Don’t do it. Get a real scooper.” But I know that economic times are tough and that some of you don’t have a proper shoulder harness to take your scooper mobile.
Let me back up and describe what handbagging is. In short, I’m talking about grabbing a steaming pile of dog poo with only a thin inverted plastic bag to separate it from your pristine fingers — the same fingers that might be used only a short time later to put food in your mouth. In your mouth! Handbaggers are not too different from the hazmat-suited bioweapon guys who handle Anthrax or Ebola viruses, except those pathogens aren’t… you know… warm and stinky.
Let’s dive in to the rules:
- Don’t step in it. See rule 2 for more.
- Map out your route. If you’re in an apartment that allows dogs, you’re probably in a poop minefield because others are too delicate and insensitive to pick up their own dog’s poop. Take the lay of the land like a general surveying the battlefield, paying attention to clear ingress and egress routes, wind conditions, and locations with dangerous flanking vulnerabilities (more on this one next).
- Be prepared to improvise. If in a public location, other dogs and their owners could burst into the scene at any moment, causing your dog to engage in the “hunched bread crumb drop” (aka “the walking poop”) or forcing you to alter your route. Don’t lose your cool — stay focused.
- Don’t let go of the leash. Take it off instead. An unheld leash will end up between your dog’s legs — right in the drop zone.
- Don’t touch it. You know what I’m talking about. See rules 6 and 7 for more details.
- Check the bag for holes.
- Fold the bag all the way back around your hand — no downturned edges. Edges = danger.
- Take a deep breath and hold it.
- Grab and seat the payload at the bottom of the inverted bag, not the edges. Again: edges = danger.
- Just use finger tips and a light touch. You’re not shaking a guy’s hand.
- Hit it fast. If you start losing your breath before you get it all scooped, leave some behind. Casualties are to be expected.
- Walk upwind after engaging the target. If needed, take a breath with head turned away from steaming bag, then dash toward your disposal location.
- If in an apartment with a heavy lidded bin, don’t bother tying the bag. Corollary: repeat breath-holding when opening bin in case others have been following my advice.
- Do a followup hand inspection, just in case you inadvertently violated rule 5.
Two most important rules: 5 and 1. Feel free to add more in the comments section, but please, no pictures of mishaps. I have a sensitive stomach.