A Tribute to a Good Neighbour and a Responsible Dog Owner

For several summers now, my Nugget … and now my Chloe have walked through the park across the road from my home. Sometimes we would meet up with a neighbour Wayne and his little dog Dusty.

Wayne is a good example of a great neighbour (and a first-rate human being!); one EVERYONE would want in THEIR neighbourhood … and one I try to emulate now whenever possible.

You see, whenever Nugget and I walked with Wayne and Dusty, and Wayne spotted some dog’s poo while we walked through the park, he would immediately stop, reach inside his pocket, pull out a doggy-poo bag, and automatically bend down to pick up the poo, though it were his responsibility.

First time I saw Wayne do this, I asked him why he would pick up someone else’s dog’s poo, and he said that it was his way of contributing to the upkeep of the park; that he is very thankful for such a nice park to walk his dog in. (Heck, the city even provides a garbage container to put our used doggy-poo bags in so we don’t have to carry them home to dispose of.)

Now, when walking (formerly Nugget) with my Chloe, and I come upon a little dog’s poo that their irresponsible owner has left behind, I pick it up.

Once, when I picked up a BIG dog’s poo it nearly made me sick to my stomach. It felt like I was picking up a human’s feces. So now, I have dog pooresigned to leave the big dog’s poo to whomever, to pickup, or (sorry!) step in.

About a week ago now, a “for sale” sign appeared on the home that Wayne and his parents live in. It only took a few days and “SOLD” appeared on that sign. Living not far from Costco, seems now EVERYONE wants to live in this neighbourhood.

Sadly, Wayne and his parents will be leaving our neighbourhood near the end of January 2016. So, this is my tribute to you Wayne, a great neighbour and a super, responsible dog owner.

Next summer, I dread the idea of walking through the park across the road. The number of irresponsible dog owners has escalated immensely given the recent addition of homes in this area.

Many a morning, I’ve been SHOCKED to witness just how many dog owners not only knowingly LEAVE their dog’s poo on the ground for others to walk in … or, pick up for them, but far too many allow their dogs to roam the park OFF LEASH; from little, tiny Yorkies, to bouncing, uncontrollable Boxers.

To top this, some of those owners are quick to use the “F” word if/when anyone says anything to them about this park being a leash park. It’s not like there is no off-leash park available in Oshawa, because there is one, and it’s called Harmony Valley Dog Park.

Wayne, Chloe and I will truly miss you and Dusty, as much I’m sure, as Dusty has been missing his buddy Nugget. Come next summer, if dog poo is on the increase as I suspect it might be, in the park across the road, well, Chloe and I will need to find another place in which to take our afternoon walks.

Maybe the city of Oshawa should hire you Wayne, so you and Dusty could walk the park next year, and pay you for the service you have been doing for years now, for so many dog owners, though most are totally unaware.

Wayne … you will be missed!

NOTE: At about 8:15am (it was sunny!), fox eating a squirrelon Saturday, 05 December, while standing looking out of my kitchen window that faces south, movement outside of my west facing window caught my peripheral vision, and I turned to look; while focusing, I literally exclaimed “What the? “.

On the west side of the road, about six feet in from the sidewalk, in between two small trees, in the park across the road, something orange was moving and it caught my attention. Upon a closer look I realized it to be a fox and it was eating what used to be a big, black squirrel.

The fox didn’t leave my sight for over 30 minutes while it munched on its “breakfast”. This fox is become so desensitized living so close to humans now that it is becoming more and more daring every day. Can you image how quickly this fox might capture a little, off-leash dog? crying-smilie


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Given my passion for genealogy, is it any wonder that I eventually wanted to publish my work? Learning to use a personal computer was a natural step once I was introduced it in the 1990s. Then the internet offered a second means to "publish" and now, here I am with a personal blog.

22 thoughts on “A Tribute to a Good Neighbour and a Responsible Dog Owner”

    • Yes Jackie, I telephoned Wayne a few days ago and left word that I had a surprise waiting for him on my personal blog (leaving the URL too, of course). He called back two days later to say “thank you” and he said this post made him happy to the point of tears. Until this, I don’t think Wayne really knew how important and appreciated he really is.

  1. That’s very nice of you to take the time to pick up what another dog owner left behind. I must say there are times I don’t pick up my dogs poo, but only when he runs into the woods to “do his business” otherwise, we always pick it up.

    • Thank YOU Lisa for commenting. I don’t like to ever see any dog allowed to poo without their owner picking it up. Leaving poo in a wooded area does not insure an abundance of poo causing health issues in the future. Kids LOVE to play in the wooded areas of the park across the road from me. Can you imagine if you were their mother and your kid knelt down in dog poo while playing in the “woods”?

  2. What a nice tribute, Trish. I used to have dogs (sadly, no longer) and would sometimes pick up after negligent owners. Some do it on purpose (UGH!) and even one dog, doing his business a couple of times a day, can really transform a neighborhood. Our park allows dogs off leash before 9am and 9pm and they have a great time, but sometimes, amidst all the action, an owner misses the ‘moment,’ and we either call his/her attention to it, or pick it up when we see it, knowing others would do the same for us.
    Great to bring awareness to this issue – too bad about the aggressive response when you try to talk to some owner. Best, Reba

    • Thank you for stopping by Reba. Your explanation of the off-leash park near you sounds pretty awesome. However, given the attitudes of most dog owners around here, I’m left wondering if the off-leash park might look a lot worse than a farm field where cattle are allowed to graze on a regular basis. Maybe that’s why they’re now given to using the local on-leash park like this.

  3. Enjoyed your article Trish and points well taken. I hear you about the “litter” issue, but I have to say dogs running free is a bigger hot button for me.

    I stopped taking my little dog to the park in the mornings because on more than a few occasions we were charged by aggressive dogs running free. Now I walk her in my neighborhood, which fortunately is lovely and rural since we live on a little Island, but still there is a real problem with people not being responsible with their pets. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Sorry to hear that this issue is wider spread than I had imagined Marquita. Saddens me to think that those who claim to truly love animal can be so irresponsible when it comes to picking up after their pets. Can you imagine the complaints should mothers start allowing their children to poo in local playgrounds? Shouldn’t be any different than cleaning up after our dogs, but for some reason too many humans seem to believe it’s okay to deface our parks… and in some cases, even a neighbour’s front yard.

  4. This is a lovely tribute to your neighbor Wayne and like you, I am always shocked how irresponsible some dog owners can be. My daughter and I walk her dog all the time on different walks throughout our neighborhood and more often than not, we see dog poo that owners feel it is okay to leave. I think this piece is worth sending to the Oshawa Parks Department to see if they take some proactive and preventative action and also of course to dear Wayne. It’s always lovely to see people step up and help, even when they don’t have to, Trish.

    • You’re so right Beverley, … and, Wayne taught me to be a much better person by example. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  5. What a kind tribute to your neighbor Wayne. And for sure it’s sad you are going to lose him to another neighborhood. From your description I’d say next year, bring a lawn and leaf with you on your walks!

    • Right ON Patricia, though I pray the poo won’t be as bad as I’ve seen it to be. Time will tell. I wouldn’t have the nerve to simply walk away from my dog’s poo like many do.

    • Thank YOU Susan, Wayne sure is a great example for me to follow, for sure. You’re right, even walking around the block, I’ve notice dog poo left on other people’s lawns. Perhaps humans have become more irresponsible/inconsiderate. Never used to be this bad.

  6. I sure hope Wayne reads this or gets a copy. Wondering if you can bring your observation and complaint to your town’s park enforcement. Perhaps more signs about fines will work.

    • Maybe more enforcers rather than more signs might work even better, Roz. There have been complaints made regarding dogs whose owners allow them off-leash in the park. Not sure but suspect a lack of manpower to do the enforcing may be the real issue.

  7. Thanks for sharing. People like Wayne are unsong heroes. They don’t ask for anything they just contribute. It’s lovely to hear in this day and age that there are people still out there who do this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Sabrina for taking the time to comment. Wayne certainly is an unsung hero that’s for sure. Only wish more of us were like him.


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