I have a little dog called Gus. He's about 30 pounds, all black, mostly schnauzer, and loves to poop all over our neighborhood. That's one of the great pleasures of being a dog, after all. Pooping on flowers, garbage, bits of grass you manage to find in an urban environment such as NYC, and everything in between. And I, of course, allow his this pleasure because I am a good dog-mom.
While being a good dog-mom, I also want to be a good person-mom and follow the rules of the neighborhood RE: poop. I always pick it up. I don't let him pee on motorcycles or strollers. What more could my community want? Well, they also want me to "curb" my dog:
Great! I will curb him! If only I actually knew what the hell "curb" meant. You may be reading this and thinking, "Phaea, you are a moron..." but stay with me here, I have an antidote.
I was letting Gus poop under a sign that said "curb your dog." My husband told me I was doing wrong. He explained that "curb" meant "keep your dog away from here and don't let him do his business", which is quite a stretch for a little word. I told him I thought the sign should just come out and say that if that was, in fact, the message. My husband told me that it implied that message.
That's bullshit. A word means something that it means. It can't imply a secret message to humans and then be let down when we don't pick up on it. I asked my mother if she picked up on the secret message and she told me that "curb" meant "make your dog do his business on the curb."
I love my mother. But this only made me angrier/more confused. What does that really mean? Make your dog poop within in the one foot wide section of the sidewalk that squats between the street and where people walk? Another friend suggested it meant dogs should only do their business in the street. THE STREET! Where livery cars wait at every corner to run my dog over? Fuck that shit! Why is this dumb little word so vague and confusing?? I always thought it meant "restrain your dog." Which I do. With a leash.
Hello non-confusing sign! You win the award of actually explaining yourself. Leash-curb! I get that! Curb is a verb meaning to hold back your dog with a leash. Perfect. Why can't all signs be like this?
Or even better! No pets allowed! Clear. Concise. Even the visuals make more sense then that damn CURB word. Yes, I ignore the sign, but that's my choice.
Here we have the winner. A sign that comes out and says what the rest of the signs are all thinking. This sign I respect. This sign speaks its mind. And cries over poop. As do I.
As do I.