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Dear Uncle Mat 

Is it too much to ask that you clean up after your dog(s)?

Keep your dog poop off my yard?

When I first moved to Texas I was super-excited that Austin was so doggie-friendly. But more than that I loved that folks picked up after those amazing four-legged creatures that warm our hearts and give so many of us a reason to live.

Then I moved to San Antonio. Living off of Broadway and knowing for sure that this hip, close-to-downtown ’hood would be doggie-friendly turned into a front yard full of everyone’s dog’s shit but my black lab’s. After a year or so of this I started to put signs up front. “Please pick up after your dog, it’s the law.” Much to my surprise (not sure why), the dog shit was still showing up daily.

One day I actually picked the beautiful, tall, thin, hot chica’s doggie poop up and chased her. With much joy I placed it neatly at her front door while screaming, “I WILL DO THIS EVERY DAY UNTIL YOU START CLEANING UP AFTER YOUR F’IN DOGS.” She never came around again.

The news must have spread about some crazy lady who picks up after your dogs and places it at your front door — no more poop and no more having my little boy walk on it and drag it into the house.

Well, here’s the thing: I have since moved and my new neighbors, whom I love to death, will stand out front, smile and laugh with you, while both their dogs shit in your yard, and then move on without cleaning up.

Last night I stepped out of my truck after a long day with hands packed to the rim, and just like that I stepped in dog shit with my $250 Fluevog shoes. @#%+*&^*%#@ sums up how I felt.

Please advise before I become the psycho woman who cleans up your dog shit and then neatly places it at your front door.

— Desperately caught up in my neighbors’ dog shit …

Dear Knee Deep in the Shit,

Your letter sheds light on more than one possible epidemic plaguing our community. I received and responded to a similar query last fall. Clearly, quite a few citizens of San Antonio do not know how to pick up after their pups, and even more disturbingly, readers are not committing my words of wisdom to memory. Apparently I am going to have to start promoting polygamy if I want a real following in this state.

I really don’t think it is crazy to put your neighbor’s dog shit back on their porch with a nice note. I would do it. This is a very direct way to address the problem and drives the issue home, so to speak. As I said before, I might even skip the note and just set the bag on fire and ring the doorbell. Now that will get you called crazy, and probably a visit from the popo.

Signs rarely help and tend to make people feel alienated. It’s not plausible to hold a vigil in your yard and ask every passerby to pick up their shit, but speaking to someone will ensure they know the message is intended for them. If your neighbors are talking to you while the dog shits and then walk off, you should most definitely ask them right then to pick it up. If they don’t have a bag, ask them to wait and fetch one for them. If they balk, calmly ask them to keep their dogs off of your yard in the future. Avoid hurling the offensive turds at them as this also might escalate the situation in an unpleasant manner for everyone involved.

You could also place copies of this week’s Current in each of their mail boxes with this column earmarked. Here is a message for all of the poop abandoners: Pick up your dog’s shit! Every day and every time! It is part of the deal. And curb your dog. This means keep him on the grass between the sidewalk and the street unless otherwise invited by the property owners.

Let’s not have to have this talk again kids.

Much love and less shit on our expensive heels,

Your Uncle Mat

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at or Your true identity is safe with him.

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