June 14, 2020

This morning, an odd thing happened. As I was opening my blinds downstairs, I noticed a fresh pile of poop sitting on top of the cedar chips near the back fence. The pile was big enough to have been left by a medium to large dog. It also had a bit of an oddly cylindrical shape to part of it, almost like a narrow toilet paper roll.

Now, this was weird for a couple of reasons beyond the shape.

First, I don’t own a dog and no dog is staying with me.

Second, my yard is fenced. The gate was closed. There were no dog-sized gaps in the fence and it’s too tall for a dog to leap over.

So. What had happened?

Now, I did not go out to further investigate. From where I stood, the poop seemed to glisten, marking it as fresh. Having experience picking up dog poop from my dog-sitting days, I decided to wait and let the sun and the heat dry it out a bit before I attempted to pick it up.

But all day I kept wondering who would have opened my gate and let their dog in just to poop in my yard. Or had someone dropped it over the back fence? But no. How would that cylindrical shape still be clear after it splatted onto the ground from such a height?

Another weird thing was that a section of the pile seemed flat, as if someone had stepped in it. 

I puzzled over this all day, feeling weirdly gaslighted.

Finally, after I’d finished my chores this evening, I prepared to pick up the poop. Considering that I might be wrong and it might be human (scary thought), I put on my coronavirus face mask. I got my phone ready to snap a photo for evidence. I gathered several baggies so I could put it in multiple layers of protection before carrying it through the house to the garage. And last, but not least, I got out my rubber gloves.

Photo of rubber gloves and plastic baggies

My poop-collecting gear.

Thus armed, I stepped into the backyard and walked over to the pile of…

Photo of a black gardening liner material

The poop that wasn't a poop, photographed on a piece of carpet after I'd brought it into the garage.


Yeah. The pile of poop turned out to be a ragged piece of black liner that looked as if it had been used in a planter or garden. Oy!

(I didn’t think to photograph it until I was already back in the house. That’s when the idea for this blog post hit me.)

So, lesson for today. Do a thorough investigation before jumping to conclusions. I should have gone out and taken a photo first thing and saved myself the hours of confusion and the sense of having my private space violated.

But honestly? It was the latest event in several days of bad luck, so given what else had been going on, I jumped to the worst conclusion. Thankfully, this time it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.

Too bad that wasn’t true of the flat tire I got yesterday.

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