Cher Yukon,

Comment ca va? Today’s letter is going out to all of you dog lovers and owners.

Before we came to Montréal, we gave our beautiful dog, Brae, to a wonderful lady and her eight-year-old daughter.

Brae is a big, furry Northern dog from Braeburn (thus the name) and we felt that coming to a big city centre would be too hard on her space-wise, climate-wise and lifestyle-wise.

I think we did the right thing and I still remember our Brae with fondness whenever I see a big ol’ dog.

Now I’ve mentioned before that our streets are lined with duplexes, fourplexes, six- and nine-plexes … wall-to-wall housing on most streets here.

The flats have basically the same layout: long hallway with a kitchen at the back and rooms coming off the hall.

They are not big, except the bottom flats have a basement. The yards are the size of stamps and are shared with whoever lives above or below in the building.

It just blows my mind how many people here have dogs.

I am not talking about cute little lap dogs. I mean big dogs: German shepherds, Labs, Great Danes and even huskies.

It’s just like in the Yukon: having a dog comes with the responsibility of feeding, grooming and walking the animal. We all know that and I think most people do a pretty good job at caring for their pets.

There is one responsibility, however, that many people, despite bylaws everywhere, appear to neglect. That is cleaning up after the dog.

We have just had a major melt and the sidewalks that were once covered with piles of snow are now “adorned” with doggy do – literally, “poo landmines”. It is so gross.

I know some Whitehorse people are guilty, too, of not cleaning up the mess. And I know there are some favourite walking areas that are littered with doggy piles.

We used to call the area where we walked Brae, “Poo Alley”. I know there is controversy as to whether it is better to let the excrement return to the earth, so to speak, rather than sit in plastic bags in the landfill for years and years and years.

I think, however, if dogs are being walked where people are walking, the doggy do should be picked up. Unfortunately, I give our borough of Verdun a very low mark on “doggy-do pickup”. It is so disappointing to see.

The other thing that happens here, too, is that the “do” may be picked up in a little bag, but then the bag is just dropped on the sidewalk and not put in a garbage can.

What’s the deal with that?

Living in a large city centre is fun, but it is much dirtier here than living in a small community. It makes sense – the more people, the more garbage. If you own a dog, it means another mouth to feed, and another mouth to feed means, well, another bowel to empty.

So here’s my thought for today:

Walk your dog.

It’s good exercise, too.

But don’t forget to bag

That doggy do.

Until next time, everyone.

Your friend,

Dale