I have a dog.
Living in a building that is pet friendly (and next to a building that is pet friendly, and across the street from a building that is pet friendly...) means that there are many neighbour dogs for my little hellbeast to play with.
Getting a pet - a dog, for example - is a big responsibility. They have to be fed, cleaned, brushed, and walked. In fact, they have to be walked often. And it's when that happens that I get really tired of living in the vicinity of other people.
Dogs, like most living creatures, excrete substances. Unpleasant substances. And they do it two, three, maybe four times a day, depending on their diet. No one wants to pick those excretions up. But guess what, pet owners? That's the kind of thing you signed up for when you got yourself a pet!
Many of my neighbors fall into the "Wow, that's sick! I'm not going near that!" category. I don't. That means that when I take my little dog out into the common areas of the neighborhood so he can check his pee-mail and leave some of his own, I feel obligated to pick up his little mess. And being in the minority in my neighbourhood, that means both the dog and I have to navigate a minefield of dog droppings in our to accomplish our respective tasks.
Needless to say, my dog isn't nearly as careful about where he steps as I am.
Worse yet, a lot of the neighbours have BIG dogs. There is one thing I utterly loathe about big dogs. And I am regularly reminded of it when I take my pet out for the last squirt of the night and he walks right through a mess the size of a birthday cake.
I understand! It looks like it weighs 5 pounds and you don't want to put your hands in it! But I don't care! You knew the giant black Lab you adpoted was going to do things like that every day! After a week of not cleaning up after your dog, the strip of grass more resembles a hazardous waste dump, and for some reason that's where my dog wants to go!
And I wish it ended with dogs.
I know cat owners who keep the litter box in their living room (or kitchen, good LORD) and then don't bother cleaning it for a week. I don't visit those people if I can help it.
I know parents who notice their kid needs to be changed and wait for their other half to do the work (this plan breaks down when both parents are extremely stubborn, and it's the kid who has to suffer it).
Irresponsibility is rampant. A big part of it is just that people are bloody lazy.
But more than that, it's that there aren't enough consequences for this kind of behaviour.
It is actually the law where I live that pet owners must properly dispose of their pet's waste when it is deposited anywhere other that the pet owner's own property. If there was a by-law enforcement officer to hang out in our neighbourhood and fine the people who can't be bothered to remove their mongrel's filth, maybe people would start to get the idea.
Ah, but that sounds too optimistic. People learning lessons about their own lousy behaviour and making effort to alter or improve themselves? That doesn't sound like the world I live in.
Maybe if I just woke up tomorrow and all the pet owners were gone, along with their pets, I wouldn't have to worry about it.
Maybe then it'd be the smell of fresh air and green grass that greeted me when I took my cared-for pet out first thing in the morning.