some notes from the field

Picking up dog shit on a crisp autumn evening.

The first movement:

There are leaves everywhere.

The light is dim, my phone is charging, and I am not one of those ‘headlamp people.’

I grope around in the pile of crispy brown leaves.

Like a crispy crunch bar, searching for the warm, squishy chocolate amongst the golden-brown crispy leaves.

I hope that as I extract this feces from the leaves that a twig does not poke a hole in the bag. I don’t want to have a ‘squirt through’ again tonight.

The second movement:

The situation is dire.

He’s straining... 

Now? Now he’s spinning on his butt that kids head in Exorcist. He’s our little red exorcist doggy.

Now, he’s going to inflict hell on me.

I’ve dreaded this for years. 

Am I finally going to face the anal glands, 

Or who the hell do I pay to take care of this?

It’s midnight. Shit. I can’t pay anyone to squeeze my dog’s ass glands at this hour.

Could you imagine calling the midnight groomer for some late night butt gland squeezing.

That service would provide me with a sense of peace and well being.

I have been dreading the anal gland problem.

I have not been left alone with an anal gland problem.

I’m grateful for this fact.

The third movement:

Glistening on a bare patch, underneath a street light lay a steaming pile of relief. The little red dog was relieved of a load he no longer needed to carry. I was relieved from facing unimaginable grossness - the unblocking of the dog by the squeezing of the glands. The little red dog, in leaving his signature ‘J’ on a patch of grass, relieved not only himself from poo, but me from fear. No anal glands would be squeezed on this fine evening.

I venture out, each night, into the shadows, groping for shit.

Sometimes it is messy, others are terrifying. And every now and then, the shit takes care of itself.

What a relief.