We received the following advertisement in the mail today:
Poopless in Seattle
Your animal waste removal service
- One, two, three and four days a week pet waste removal service.
- For your convenience, we have early, late, and weekend times for waste removal.
- Last minute service available.
- Credit card billing an option.
- No contract required.
- Our employees have had thorough background screenings.
- We clean our tools to avoid contamination.
Prices starting as low as $45 per month.
I don't mean the enterprising people behind this any ill-will. Clearly they have identified a service that someone, somewhere, is willing to pay for and they are, er, marking their business territory sort of speak with these mailings [groan]. But shall we take a closer look at the material of the card? Lets.
For starters, the offering of last minute service scares me. I can move beyond the initial disgust I believe most sane people would have for those who would patronize this service and temporarily imagine a family with lots and lots of money and lots of large dogs. Nevertheless, I cannot fathom for the life of me how a poop emergency would require last minute service. Let's be honest here, if the family is using this service, the poop situation is rather well under control thanks to the weekly service. A last minute situation might involve, what, two or three piles? If you're the type of person who might be entertaining in the yard, then clearly you're also the type of person (or know someone who is) who is able-bodied enough to, you know, use a plastic bag and pick up a couple turds. I have two siberian huskies. We clean up the yard once a week on average, sometimes twice. It never takes more than 2-3 minutes. It's not a dirty job. It's rather benign.
Moving on, the card states that the employeed have had thorough background screenings. Are we really so mistrusting of people that we need background checks on the people who quite literally pick up poop for a living? Unless the dog is pooping in the house, I can't see this being an issue. Except maybe for the super-rich, in which case they should just have their butler do it. Or pay to have the dog sent to boarding school until it learns how to use the toilet.
They also clean their tools. I would hope so because, after all, in case you missed the gist of their flier, the tools are covered in shit.
The service starts at $45 per month, which means that the once-a-week clean-up runs you about $10/week. To put this into perspective, that's nearly 3x as much money as a week's worth of newspaper delivery. A product that not only has dozens of journalists, editors, and photographers contributing to daily, but also requires materials, manufacturing, and delivery.
Clearly the people enjoying this service don't have to forego the newspapers in order to have their dog's waste removed, but really? Do we really need to pay upwards of $10 per week to have someone drive to our houses to spend 5 minutes cleaning up after our dogs? Is this really what we've come to?
I always get the sneaking suspicion I lose a bit of my dog's respect when they see me pick up after them when out for a walk. I can't imagine what they'd say about me if they knew I was so lazy that I had to pay someone else to do it.
If you're elderly or handicapped, this is a great thing. No doubt. But if you aren't...? If you're just lazy or busy or, essentially, too pampered? Well, I hope your dog eats your favorite pair of shoes. And no, not the Easy Spirits. I hope he chomps down on those Bruno Magli pumps you love so much (and then poops in your Gucci bag). You'll deserve it.