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  • Writer's pictureJerry Della Femina


What is it with me and my dogs? A few weeks ago the subject was doggie flatulence, and I threw my wonderful little friend Shlomo under the doggie farting bus. This week I dug up an old column with a true story about a frightening doggie poo disaster. Please believe me that this actually happened and I still get frightened whenever I think of it…

It happened on what had to be one of the worst weather days of the year. There was a heavy rain being pushed around by a strong wind. I was warm and comfortable in my home, reading a book, when my dog Oreo made it clear she had to go. Mumbling to myself, I took a plastic Ziploc bag to pick up after Oreo. I threw on an oversized hooded East Hampton sweatshirt. I put a leash on Oreo, grabbed an umbrella and walked into the rainy night. One look at the rain and Oreo was as unhappy as I was to be out at night under these terrible conditions. We walked down the street, turned on to Park Avenue and headed for Oreo’s favorite spot. It was a subway grating right near the curb on 63rd street, just 30 feet off Park Avenue. Sure enough, as soon as she spotted the grate, Oreo started to go. As most dog owners do, I respectfully looked away until she finished. Now came the disgusting job of picking it up. As I started to lean down to pick up the poo, a cab came racing down the street and splashed a tsunami wave of water in my face. I was soaked. Cursing under my breath, I pulled the oversized hood onto my head. I put my hand in the plastic bag and reached down and picked up the enormous amount of dog poo. I decided to carry the poo in my plastic-encased hand to the trashcan that was 30 feet away on Park Avenue. That’s when the disaster started. As I straightened up, the hood on my head slipped down over my eyes. I couldn’t see. I was blind. In one hand I held the poo, in the other hand I held the leash and the umbrella. There was no way I could lift the sweatshirt off of my eyes. I started to walk to where I thought the trashcan was. Get this picture: A wet, cold, totally blind man walking towards Park Avenue with handful of dog poo in his hand, which is stretched out to blindly lead the way. That’s when I walked into this man who must have been coming around the corner. I didn’t just walk into him – I crashed into him. I must have grabbed on to him to keep from falling. “What’s wrong with you?” he screamed as he shoved me away from him. “I’m sorry. I can’t see,” I said. “Jerk,” he said. “If you can’t see you shouldn’t be walking the streets.” I started to tell him that I wasn’t blind, but that the hood of my sweatshirt had covered my eyes, but decided that was too bizarre and I figured it was better he thought I was a blind man with a Cockapoo seeing-eye dog. He was nasty. He called me a jerk one more time and I walked to the wastebasket and that’s when I realized the dog poo was gone. I just had a Ziploc baggie covering my hand, but the dog poo had disappeared. I threw the baggie into the trash can, lifted the hood off my eyes and retraced my steps, searching for the dog poo. It was nowhere to be seen. It was gone. But where? Then I watched the man I had crashed into walking down 63rd street and I realized what happened when my outstretched hand had hit his chest. Now came the moral dilemma. Do I call after the gentleman and ask him to check his clothes and his pockets to see if he has my dog’s poo? Should I offer to pay his cleaning bill? Or should I run like hell before he started to smell the evidence? I took the coward’s way out. “Run, Oreo, run!” I said. “We’ve got to get out of here.” And so Oreo and I raced down the street to the warmth and safety of our home.

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