Dog owners know that they have a responsibility to make sure their pooch doesn’t leave nasty deposits on public (or private) property. Vigorously enforced municipal bylaws back that up.
I expected Germans to be even more diligent than Canadians when it comes to cleaning up after their pets. It is a clean country, and citizens take pride in that. In the hundreds of kilometres I have walked on village streets and forest trails in the past five months, I don’t think I have ever come across a deposit of doggy doo. Germans really do poop and scoop. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem, in this area anyway.
While I have seen no dog deposits, that doesn’t mean the streets (and sidewalks!) are excrement free. I always have to be on the lookout and careful where I put my feet. It seems there are new deposits daily on the routes I take.
There are signs warning dog owners to pick up after their pets – but none warning horse owners. And there are a fair number of horses in this area; they seem to use the same sidewalks I do, and they are not careful about where and when they let loose. Nor do their owners stop and bag the steaming mess. In the daytime the mounds are easy to see and avoid, but at night, with no street lighting…I leave the problem to your imagination.
I doubt the issue is big enough for municipal officials to mandate horse diapers, such as those worn by caleche horses in Quebec (at least I think that is where I first saw them). Still, it was fitting somehow to see the Weckensonntag ceremonies delayed last Sunday because someone had to clean up the mess left by the horse pulling the burgermeister’s carriage. It made a huge mess right in front of the Rathaus (city hall).
If it had happened in Canada I would think it was a political statement, that someone wanted to express their opinion about the state of municipal politics. Here it was just another day and another pile of horse poop.