justice-smiles-gold-large.pngBack in November. I had former US Attorney General for Western Washington John McKay speak at our University District Rotary club about ‘the AG purge.’ At one point when we were discussing my work, he confirmed with me that a boundary dispute is rarely about the boundary line – at least not in the city. Instead, he suggested it is more often about things like finding the neighbor’s dog poop on your lawn.

So, the third most popular comment offered in response to yesterday’s (3:00 PM) Seattle Times article Seattle City Council bans plastic shopping bags by Lynn Thompson which explained that this ban was unanimously approved by the City Council on Monday got me thinking.

The unedited comment states:“Oh geeze, theres going to be dog s*^t everywhere, watch your step…..”

Now, I have a neighbor down the way whose dog comes down through the alley and up around to the right-of-way between the walkway and the curb in front of my house for a moment’s “expression” now and again. Afterwards, this dog trundles off as he or she does seems to know the way home. And yes, it is not a pleasant task picking up after someone else’s dog.

But, I will also say that taking the owner – or worse the dog – to task for this malfeasance must be handled adeptly. It’s reasonable to inform the owner of what has been going on after you’ve listed out perhaps 2-4 incidents and kindly see if a more appropriate arrangement can be made for the pet’s bathroom breaks.

Have a face to face conversation and then follow-up by documenting for yourself the conversation. If you have the neighbor’s email, you might send a quick note too. But, don’t make a big brew-ha-ha over it until it appears that your neighbor is unwilling to reasonably extend the common courtesy of taking appropriate public care of his or her pet after you have given polite notice of your frustration. What do you think?justice-smiles-gold.png