The 5 – Finger Pick-Up

It’s the hottest thing in the desert, in all the Preserve and even in the state. Maybe the world! You can be single or married, young or old. What is this hot, exciting new fad you might ask? Well, although it’s really hot, it’s not well known yet. But we are hoping to make it better known. So get ready to spread the word!

The 5 – finger pick up is… using all five of your fingers inside a plastic bag to pick up your dog’s feces, uhmm poop. Well, it is steaming when it first hits the dirt, and well, you do have to pick it up. Oh come on, don’t tell me you haven’t heard of this! OK, let’s suppose you haven’t. In that case, you might not know that it is required by city, county and state to pick up after your dog. Your cat too, if you take him out for a walk on the leash. (In case you’re really out of the loop, a leash is required for your dog, too.)

Now don’t get me wrong, it is exciting to pick up your dog’s feces. You have to control your dog, prevent him/her from stepping in it while you also try to avoid stepping in it. You have to get your bag out and still pick it up. But, don’t be so hard on yourself. Just slip all five fingers into the bag, pick up the entire poop and turn the bag inside out over the poop! Of course for a big dog you might need to try the ten finger pick up, that is, use both hands in the bag while you hold the leash with your knees. I’m sure it makes quite a sight from the rear!

But why you may ask do you need to pick up feces, out where so few wander. Well for one thing, more and more people are wandering there and they don’t want to step in it. For another thing, since you should always be on a designated trail, there is an increased chance of stepping in it once again. Finally, it is a health hazard to the native wildlife. The most dangerous thing is the domesticated diseases our dogs get, can infect the coyotes. Even a dog that has just had its vaccinations can slough off the virus in it’s feces for 5 to ten days, depending on the dog (and the veterinarian you question). So please, do the wildlife a favor even if you don’t care about fellow trail users.

Now to make this game even more exciting, make it a challenge like I do. That is when my dog does his thing; I look around and see if there is any other poop or garbage I can pick up to add to the poop bag. I give myself bonus points if the bag is completely full before I tie a knot in it. Believe me; you want to leave enough room to tie a knot in the end of the bag. Even if you can handle the odor, the people who have to walk by you may not be so forgiving. My dogs and I have made a great game of this. They always try to hold it until after we pass all garbage cans and still have a mile to go. I always make them wait while I pick up every poop and piece of garbage I can find near the, ahem, bomb site. I’m sure they’re thinking, “I put it there for a reason, can’t you leave it alone!” Well, happy, uhmm, hunting!

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