Pets poop. They can't exactly help it, and although the when and where of their toilet habits can be controlled to an extent, it's not like they can put a cork in it for our convenience. Pet ownership is like working for a tabloid paper; regular contact with steaming feces just goes with the territory.
While disliking pet waste and wanting to have as little to do with it as humanly possible is understandable, the desire to let us off the poop hook is bad news to our pets' nerves and dignity. Many have a tendency to ignore the issue completely by just letting it lie (as evidenced by your left shoe last Tuesday), and those of us who do pick up our pets' droppings are keen to invent all sorts of poop-scoops and turd vacuums to minimize shit-to-finger contact.
Few things will make a pet poop faster than a large vacuum cleaner patiently hovering by their ass.
And if that was the end of it, I would have no beef with our natural aversion to fecal matter. But, naturally, the human tendency to go over-engineeringly apeshit on the tiniest problems has long since taken over -- and where our dainty little poop-fearing hands benefit, our pets lose.
Consider pet diapers. At heart, they're perfectly legitimate products for pets suffering from incontinence, but the previously mentioned confused segment of the pet-owning public has apparently taken the product to mean, "Holy shit, awesome! We will never have to even see poop again!" And that's how we now have things like diapers for birds and cats, and you can bet your ass that not every poor pet subjected to these things suffers from any ailment other than a criminally stupid owner that is keen to remove all non-doll-like elements from their pwetty, fuwwy pwecious.
Via Castle Paws
The "I've seen some shit" facial expression also applies when the exact opposite is occurring.
And then there's PooTrap, a harness system designed to tightly strap a bag against a dog's asshole. It's luckily unavailable these days, but you just know that somewhere, a very confused Pomeranian is spending its days as a social outcast at the local dog park, thanks to this doggie equivalent of a wedgie preventing anyone from sniffing its butt.
I'm not saying that these people are insane for not wanting to actively touch their pet's poop. In fact, I'd be far more suspicious if the opposite was true. It's just that, in the long run, literally none of the products mentioned above do jack shit to help the, uh, shit situation. As anyone who's ever changed a diaper can attest, they don't exactly magic the crap away, and I suspect the fact that the subject's butt is covered with fur/feathers doesn't exactly help with the "oh hell, it's literally everywhere" issue that pops up every once in a while. As for the "convenient" turd vacuums and pooper-scoopers, the former looks to be the size of a leaf blower, and using the latter leaves you holding a brown-stained ladle in public.
Look, no one expects you to enjoy dealing with your pet's poop, but no one will think less of you for taking care of it -- it's just a sign you're a good pet owner. So why over-complicate things? Just bag it and hope onlookers don't think you're going to save it as a snack for later.
Be the hero your pet thinks you are.
Pauli is a Cracked weekly columnist and freelance editor. Here he is on Facebook and Twitter
For more from Pauli, check out 5 Creepy Crimes From History No One Can Explain and 4 Pop Culture Icons Entertainment Industry Will Ruin Next.
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