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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Art Of Ice Fishing Helps With Poop Scooping

Back yard on the first day of spring

my own personal ice hole where the
winter poop hides.

Taken from the internet
someone's Ice fishing hole.
I'm thinking I  like that
scoop idea!

At this moment in my life, having just lost my mom at 93 years old I need silly diversions to keep me from massive breakdowns so with that being said the article below is not my typical informative one that I might do on food recalls, dog products, or training. Nope, it is just a frivolous comparison of spending time doing what I normally would be doing this time of year but now I am doing it in a different state. Same person, same routine, different environment.

Last year and the 20 years prior I spent my first spring day in Pennsylvania. This first day of the equinox  always met me with  a few fall leaves still lingering about the lawn , the magnolia tree in my side yard was beginning to blossom, daffodils were sprouting,  and all of the trees began budding leaves that would eventually become my future Autumn’s nightmare.  All of this was going on and it was nice to see the sprouts of newly growing grass from the mud tattered earth where my Newfie’s heavy footing left their imprints.  Earth,  greenery at it’s finest!

 The first day of spring was special as the long cold winds and snow of winter diminished, the deck furniture uncovered and laid out on the large deck and yes, for dog owners it was the first poop cleanup after a long hard winter. This meant contractor bags, rubber gloves, a sturdy rake ( not the dinky rake you get with your pooper scooper),  a baseball cap, bug spray,  and a big garbage can on wheels. After all, when you own five Newfoundland dogs a Golden Retriever and one Cocker Spaniel, the poop is not pellet sized but dinosaur sized and spread out all over. Only the Cocker’s poop was well hidden deep inside the poop of the ‘Gigantor boys’ also known as Steeler and Chance.  (Mental note:  next dog: small, less work)  That is how every spring sprung in PA at my house.

Ah, enter the beautiful winter scenes just forty minutes from the twin cities, the lakes, the ponds, the sunsets, the frozen water falls and the ice shanties.   Granted unlike PA I now only have two  large dogs and one almost daily small lab visitor here in MN. Emma, my old Newfoundland gal, and Brody, my very large now nine and a half month old Newf /Golden mix, and the love of Brody's life a little Lab lady named Brunie,  but I also have a much smaller piece of property which  means more frequent work to keep the area clean.

I once did a blog article called “The Scoop On Poop” and why it is so important for one to know what their dog’s poop looks like under normal circumstances. By knowing this information you can tell when something is going on inside the dog’s body that may need attention.  Not everyone is like me though, so neurotic that they know which of their dogs made which pile like I do, but it is important to the dog’s health to be aware of this.

Anyway I digress, if you want to know what your dog’s poop could alert you too click here because I am getting off the fun beaten path.

As I said earlier, there is no seriousness in this posting; it is more of a comparison to my old digs verses my new digs here in MN and the differences from one environment to the other.

In Pennsylvania you could see the ground on the first day of spring, unlike here in Minnesota. During the last couple  of weeks Minnesota has been having short spurts of  warm weather , teasers if you will, stuck in between Mother Nature’s  sudden fury of  7 to 12 inches of snow. These teasers of what is to come, prompted me to get a jump on poop detail. The memory of what this entails was shut away in the back of the brain where the yucky things usually go.  Instead my mind was taking in all the glorious scenes this brutal winter gave to the new state I am now living in.

With the short warm fronts blowing in  I was reminded of my new Veterinarian’s words when  she was here dropping off the  6 month supply of  Sentinel for the dogs.  This is the very wise verbiage which came spilling from her vocal cords,  “ Yeah,  in the winter it’s difficult to keep up with  different parasites because the  dog poops, then a fresh snow comes and covers it up, then the dog poops again, and there’s another storm so there are layers and layers of poop and snow. And not even the cold below zero temperatures we have here in Minnesota can kill some of the parasites.”

Yeah! I thought, and with that long sentence uttered by Dr Z, I compartmentalized it all into the little spot of my mind where the yucky thoughts go.      

Poop scooping on the first day of spring in Minnesota I found is seemingly much like what I imagine ice fishing might be like on one of their beautiful lakes, minus the shanty of  course.

  Each layer of snow and ice as it begins to melt in your yard leaves a small breach around a previous lump of poop. I suppose one who is experienced in ice fishing on the lake would have no problem hooking onto that, but I have no practice with ice fishing. In fact I have no practice of any kind of fishing at all!  But I am a thinker, a problem solver and  I suddenly realized that today, on this beautiful warm almost 45 degree day, I could fracture the little hole of the top layer of snow to a larger size and unveil the deeply hidden poop underneath .  And with steady hand, focused sight, and precise movement I could penetrate the holding cavity.  All I needed was one or two prongs of the rake to hook that poop and then I could toss it into the air and flip it onto my shovel!  Now there’s a plan of action!  Get up as much poop as possible on this warm spring day!

     So there I stood in my knee high  rubber boots, rubber gloves, feet anchored to the ground so as not to accidently crush or fall into the hole I had just made larger, and I was hooking  poop like a fisherman catching Yellow Perch from the lakes of Minnesota! VoilĂ  !   I had nailed it! Good thing too because there is more snow in the forecast!

And that my friends it how I take my mind off of the sadness and focus it onto something fun and frivolous while at the same time getting a job done. I think mom would have been very proud or at the very least she would have gotten a chuckle out of the whole systematic event as she was a frugal and practical person!

 Laugh, live, and be frivolous to get over the harder times in life.     
Until next time, be well and stay safe. 

Mom, 12,/29/ 1920 ~ 03 /14/2014