Eighteen years ago I started my married life, oblivious to all the poop that would come my way over the years. It started with my biological clock gonging. We decided to get a dog instead. I had dogs when I was growing up, but we lived in the country and they pooped in the woods or the fields or something; I never had to poop scoop. Then we had children. I could never have imagined the blow out such a little baby could make. I'm sure all parents have poop disaster stories. Then our then-30 year old-now 45 year old septic tank had issues.
The babies grow up and thank goodness we don't have to deal with their poop anymore, unless they can't unclog the toilet, which I've shamed them into doing themselves. It was one of those times I used my best parenting skills to help them understand it was not okay to leave the toilet clogged for the next person.
The dogs are another story. It was annoying to scoop poop with the first dog we had, but she was somewhat discretionary in where she pooped and it was tolerable. She never pooped around the perimeter of the yard because that's where she walked. When she died after 10 years, it was rather blissful not to have big poops to hunt down and bury; we only had one small dog by then. I don't know what overcame me, but three years later I had to have another big dog. She wasn't as discretionary, every part of the yard was open for business.
This summer I decided to take back my yard from the dogs. This meant I blocked off the patio so we could enjoy barbecuing and eating outside. I also blocked off part of the yard. They ended up with a bigger portion of patio, but we ended up with a bigger portion of yard. Apparently, the dogs want more yard, as they've begun to poop in the driveway. Specifically, in front of my husband shop door. Now I hear lots of whining at the dinner table about where the dogs are pooping and how if it was dark he could accidentally step in it and yada yada yada. I know he secretly wants me to open up the gate and let the dogs run in the rest of the yard because he doesn't really use the rest of the yard.
I decided I should go poop scoop because maybe the dogs don't like to poop in a "full" facility. When I got out there I couldn't see any poop in their portion of grass, so I decided I should mow it (see last Saturday's entry about my lawn mowing habits). The rain had dissolved the poop, and I couldn't see it so I slipped on a big wet one. If this were a comedy I would have slipped and landed in it, but it's not and I didn't. So then I figured I'd make the grass short, the dogs just didn't want to poop in the long grass. It didn't help. I was out there poop scooping yesterday, considering getting rid of the grass and making it just dirt or maybe cement since they seem to be fond of pooping on cement.
The septic tank has given us problems for years. What I can't understand is why we are the only ones in the neighborhood with these problems. I'm going with denial on my neighbor's parts, because that's the only way I can feel peace. The drain field works, but years ago we had to have a new baffle put in (it's the part that allows the water to leave the septic tank but keeps the poop in the septic tank). Because it's new and more efficient (and I say this with the utmost sarcasm), we eventually had to put a permanent manhole cover over it so we could (and I mean my husband) spray it out every few months.
In August since I reclaimed my backyard, I noticed a foul odor. I wanted to blame the neighbors, but because it seemed to be in my yard I had to do something about it and then my husband told me there is a vent coming out of our roof for the septic tank. I called my favorite septic company, because they have the motto "We're #1 in the #2 business" and they are honest and frugal and they have a funny motto. It takes a lot of self-esteem to claim that motto. He suggested it needed to be pumped, which it did, very badly, in fact. I figured the problem was solved. It's not.
I've actually noticed the smell in the front yard for years. I always figured the cats had killed something and drug it into the bushes to rot. Now that I'm in my backyard more, it's back there too. Now I have a call into my favorite septic company to come out and smell my yard. I'm sure there is another layer of poop facts for me to yet discover about the vent in my roof. I can hardly wait.