The Pet Lady


I recently hired an Australian shepherd crossbreed (Milly) to provide home security services and to whip me into some semblance of good physical shape. My life has now become consumed by the need for a never-ending supply of plastic bags with which to scoop her poop. To date, I’ve been advised to visit some of the more dog-friendly parks that have bags on hand in order to deplete their supplies, although the nearest sufficiently friendly park is some distance from where I live. It has been suggested that I should subscribe to The New York Times so I might daily receive the handy plastic newspaper cover (conveniently colored blue to hide the offending poo)—an expensive and wasteful option, I think. Most recently I’ve been reduced to stealing from the janitorial supplies at work. My question to you: Is there a better way? (And, no, I’m not buying one of those wussy pooper-scooper contraptions—I don’t want to look like a complete tosser at the park.) Your thoughts?

Law-Abiding Resident Alien


Your underling is unbearably cute— approaching the cuteness quotient of the Pet Secretary—and the P.L. very much admires your floor. The P.L. must also commend you for your cultural generosity in taking into your employ one of our friends from the colonies.

The subject of your inquiry, it must be said, dear L.A.R.A., fills the Pet Lady with extreme distaste; while she applauds dog owners for properly disposing of their animals’ solid waste, her horror at the thought (or, worse, sight) of a human grasping a steaming poo with only a plastic bag between said human and said poo is apparently inexhaustible. In an ideal world, smart workers like Milly would take care of their own refuse, and surely if Milly had opposable thumbs, she would smartly do so. Does that little fur face say, “I’d do anything for you, and I very much hate the fact that you must handle my poo”? Yes, the Pet Lady believes that it does.

But you seem beyond this particular sticking point, so on to your difficulty maintaining a sufficient supply of poo-bags. The Pet Lady has noticed, from the window of a taxicab on her way to a martini, trees that seem to produce plastic bags as their fruit on downtown streets—perhaps you could plant one of these in your yard? Or perhaps one of your neighbors receives the illustrious, blue-bagged Times (or one of those dreadful daily newspapers of the Jet City, which also arrive in a protective plastic sheath, though the prose within is all soggy and stuck together regardless) and would be kind enough to share with you the bounty of their baggage? Sometimes, L.A.R.A., people right next door can be surprisingly generous.

Cheers, love! And a pat for sweet Milly,

The Pet Lady

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