Just outside the pillar marking the west entrance to “Sky Ranch”, I noted some dog-person had bagged dog-poop but had forgotten to retrieve the bag on some prior stroll. Continuing our walk homeward I then noticed another green bag nicely tied off about ten feet from the first bag. But what was truly confusing, is along the nicely trimmed trees, shrubs, edged and well-watered lawns of attractive (though modest in comparison to the “Sky Ranch” community) apartment complexes, neighboring one another, were at least a dozen bags of poop left unattended.
This is something I have not expected to see in our dog-friendly communities of Santee or the unincorporated neighborhoods where I walk. As some readers may be aware, Dexter, Comet and I spent most Saturdays mornings over the last several years hiking in the Mission Trails Park in San Diego. A particular trail is fairly well traveled by dog-walkers of all ages, races, genders and social standing. For both dog-walkers and others, that hike is notable in the absence of dog poop. In County parks generally, dog-people seem to follow the social contract (and the signs quoting Ordinances and fines) of picking up after their furry pals. When COVID mandates closed public spaces in California, I started to walk Dexter and Comet around our neighborhood. But I found a longer cardio trek, walking up the fire road between my neighborhood and ridgetop subdivision of Sky Ranch. By the time man and dogs reach an overlook for El Cajon and Santee west and to the north, it is all downhill from there. And we are in our second wind. Sky Ranch seems quite dog-friendly with poop-bag dispensers and receptacles. We encounter resident dog-walkers and clean potty-free landscapes throughout the walk up on the ridge. Though I have met joggers ascending that long hill road, I have not seen another dog-walker coming up or heading down that hill. Though they restrict entry to Sky Ranch on certain holidays, I think the ascent might be part of the answer for what is absent in their little ridge-top community.
Non-residents will not ascend the hill to leave untended “lowlander” droppings behind. The small dogs I have seen in the community which might descend first might have left the poo at the bottom of the hill, but it seems unlikely. I have seen few dog-walkers with the vigor – in themselves or their dogs to make a circuit of that hill. And not in July. However, I might be missing something that the Sky Ranch folks, or myself for that matter, are lacking. I conclude the apartment residents have a special service we do not. There must be a “Poop Fairy” who comes along to pick up after those dog-people!
In the time of COVID economic troubles, I think the residents who pick up their dog’s waste (and properly dispose of it) may believe they have no other choice. On the contrary, folks who have left those neat bags I saw along the road are actually contributing to employment. If poop fairies are not a thing, then perhaps some enterprising business person might make a good living from a s**t job.