I had to clean dog poo from my yard today. I had to do it in the rain no less. Granted it’s my own fault. I let it get that way.

I’m a lifelong dog owner but I recently moved to a new climate. Even though I’ve had the cleaning up after the dogs thing down to a science for a long time, outside changes presented new unforeseen challenges. This new climate meant my yard was kind of swamp like, water drains slowly in problematic and sometimes damaging directions. I kept up on it pretty well during the summer but it was exhausting finding and removing all the land mines, sometimes they were so well camouflaged I missed them. Eventually I wanted a break from my responsibility. A reason to act selfishly, even if deep down some part of me already realized there’d be consequences.

It was the promise of snow.

For a while there I had myself convinced the snow would magically disappear all the poop through some kind of supernatural osmosis and come spring everything would be new, dry and green. I didn’t scrutinize my terrible hypothesis because I didn’t want to. I just wanted my belief to get me through because I didn’t want to deal with the reality.

But the reality is ice.

The reality is also slush and half frozen mud and decomposing leaves and water. So. Much. Water. All of these things work together not to create a magic dog poop dissolving osmosis. No those things all combine to make the poop mushier, more disgusting and much, much harder to clean up.

I thought the problem was going away but in reality it was amplified. This new climate allows it to bond with the ground seeping into the soil in a way that cannot be simply picked up and instantly erased. The damage is to the point that the worst can be scraped away but only time and the natural forces that created such a putrid situation can completely undo it. The marks are deep and long lasting.

I wanted to believe it wouldn’t be the case and my god I had a great reason to. There was that one time it kind of happened but not really.

I sold myself on the idea because back in the fall we had a few powerful storms that washed away a few little spots in my already maintained yard. So I used that as justification that winter, months and months of winter,  would come and go taking all the poo with it.

But now we’re halfway through and there was no way to ignore the backlog. The yard was immensely more vile than anything I’d ever encountered before. My willful ignorance built the mess and now I have begun the slow and painful process of fixing my mess.

The solution is rarely easier to implement than the problem.

So now my punishment is to watch helplessly as some of the mess that got beyond any repair sits and seeps till spring when I will have means to counter it; to muck about in the existing filth as I vigilantly remove fresh crops of feces to prevent more such messes from forming; and regularly, systemically going about removing the backlog of messes that are still clustered enough to be scooped up and tossed in the trash.

I could have dealt with the problems early on when all it required was a baggie. Now I have a shit swamp that will not only be harder to clean up but will also make cleaning up the new turds more difficult.

If only I was talking about literal dog shit.