For years now I have watched as she walks her little dog down the street, methodically allowing him to relieve himself on any green patch of land that is not his own yard. He is let off his leash just long enough to get comfy in his business, and then he returns to his owner's side happy as a clam (a clam that has a very healthy digestive system).
This has gone on for years now and I have never seen her once bring along a little baggie or anything to help with clean up. Nothing. Because she has probably lived in the neighborhood for decades nobody is going to approach her and ask her to change her ways. I am not naive enough to believe that is going to happen. If I weren't so opposed to anonymous notes I might send her one, but I can't go against my morals on that one. So, I just turn away or go into the house when I see her and her little white fluff ball coming down the sidewalk. I avoid it.
This morning, however, avoidance was not an option. I was leaving my neighborhood, looking left as I was beginning to make a right turn. As I started rounding the turn I see her, the dog lady, standing there with a terrified look on her face and her hands on top of her head as she stared at my front right tire. I slammed on the brakes out of reflex and she came running to my car. I had just enough time to think, "I might have just killed the fertilizer!" before I jumped out of my car and ran to assess the damage. Her equally elderly sister-in-law, whom I know a little bit, was standing on the other corner holding both her own dog and my nemesis, who obviously had escaped the tread of my tire.
Before I knew what was happening my neighbor and I were embracing and making sure each other was alright. All angry feelings were gone and I had a small glimpse into what this little dog means to this woman. Next time I see them coming down the street I will wave and smile and practice a little avoidance again as the leash is unhooked. But this time the avoidance will help me remember an important question... Aren't there bigger things to worry about?