There are strict rules when it comes to a dog pooing in public - the owner must pick it up and dispose of it, or face a $300 fine. But it's more than that, picking up your dog's dump - sorry to be so crass, but it bugs me - is a social responsibility.

Not that you'd know it, judging by the state of the lawn outside our house. Every time we walk out the front gate to get into the car I have to say to the girls: "Watch out for the dog poo."

We don't have off street parking, so we have no choice but to walk across a grass verge to get to the car each morning, and brave the dog poo minefield. There are little ones, big ones, and downright obscene ones.

And I am a poo magnet. Always have been. Put it in front of me and I will walk in it. Just ask my wife. Back when we had just started going steady I turned up at her door step oblivious to the fact that I had trodden in some poop on my walk to her house and it had gradually squelched, rubbed and worked its way up the inside of my leg.
Kids are poo magnets too. They don't look where they're going, they just go - and though my little Mia hasn't trampled poo into the house, there have been some close calls. Also, kids are fascinated by these foreign dog logs and stop to study them intently.


It seemed, not that long ago, that carrying a plastic bag with you as you walked your dog was a proud and honourable thing to do - even though there was bound to be a slightly shameful moment when you had to pick up a steaming hot turd.

But these days, have dog owners regressed? Gotten lazy? Does the Auckland Council need to redeploy some of those bus lane camera guys and place them on doggy doo duty? I think so, and I reckon they could make a bit of revenue out of monitoring the lawn outside our house and around our Mt Albert neighbourhood.

We sometimes see the culprits from our kitchen window. Their dog has obviously stopped because the owner is yanking gently on the lead, trying to get it to hurry up. They look from side to side nervously to see if anyone is watching them. Then they shuffle off as if nothing has happened. We're not really the types to yell out the window and ask them to pick it up - but it's getting to that stage. And a home-made sign on the grass verge might be going a bit too far.

We are thinking about laying some paving stones so we can island hop through the poo field.

To be fair, we also see those lovely people who do take the time to bend down and bag the puppy (as in the poo). But you other lot that leave it lying on the ground, you stink.