Woof.

Morning in Washington, D.C. A time of high energy and even higher expectations as powerful people rush to do powerful things, their hands firmly gripping a leather briefcase, a steaming cup of fresh coffee, and sometimes, dog poop.

Surprised? Well, I guess it is a little risky to be rushing around with hot coffee in your hands, since you could spill it all over your power tie. What's that? Oh, it was the other thing that seemed a little odd.

Actually it's a common occurrence in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where my youngest child attends school.

Every morning we drive by Dog Poop Park–that's what we call it–and observe the half dozen or so Washingtonians exercising their pets. "Exercising"is the polite Capitol Hill word for "letting them poop,"since that seems to be the main concern of the dogs. (Although, in fairness to the dogs, that's actually not all they do. They also run around in circles.)

Now, before you point out that this violates a number of local ordinances and telephone the mayor so he can immediately dispatch city inspectors as soon as he gets back from a fact-finding trip to some other continent, let me inform you that this is one of the cleanest parks in the city. The conscientious dog owners are very meticulous about tidying up afterward. They follow the dogs around, some even in their pajamas. (The people, not the dogs. Although once there was this cute little terrier wearing the same sweater that a co-worker wanted to buy from a catalog until I told her it didn't look all that good on the dog. It had horizontal stripes and made her hips look a bit large. The dog's, not my co-worker's.)

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1998
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