Are you limiting your pooper scooper service to just residential clients?

dog poop sign imageFor nearly two weeks each July, Scoop Masters Dog Poop Pick Up Service travels to whatever city the American Council of the Blind holds their national conference. Our main task is to build and maintain guide dog relief areas for 12 days and to clean up any poop (and urine) accidents that occur in the hotel. This year we were in good ‘ol Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s not exactly hell, but you can see it from there. Who’s idea it was to hold this conference in the hottest place on Earth? OK, I’m exaggerating a little. It really wasn’t too bad for the first week.

The American Council of the Blind,, strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life, for all blind and visually-impaired people. I didn’t count, but I think there were hundreds of workshops/meetings/activities that take place during the conference. There’s lots of job opportunities discussed and lots of meetings that take place, but my favorites are those that relate to technology.

“I am always amazed at how self reliant many visually impaired people are, yet I’m humbled by the simple things that I take for granted.”

We actually try to attend some of the workshops and one in particular related to using a mobile device. In mid 2013 we took the leap and dumped our moderately educated phones for smart phones. So far I can make and receive phone calls, send a text massage and take the occasional photo. All the stuff I could do with my old phone. I was hoping to learn so much more about the smart phone, but was too busy to attend the workshop.

Darn! I guess it’s phone, text and photos for another year. Back to work.

12 days at the American Council of the Blind National Conference.
Keeping the limited area available to us clean and poop free for 12 days was no easy task. It’s the equivalent of going to some outdoor event where there are hundreds of people and only 4 out houses. We did OK though, once we got a handle on a routine.

Keeping the hotel corridors poop free was a whole ‘nother challenge. It’s fairly easy to absorb urine out of carpeting or, fortunately, a tile floor. It’s pretty easy to clean up the solid waste too… as long as it’s solid. That wasn’t always the case. Traveling with a service dog can be very stressful on the dog and with that stress and a change in their routine, leads to accidents that aren’t always solid. Hey, I’m trying to be discreet here, but I’m talking diarrhea… on the carpet… in a main walkway… that has been stepped in and tracked for another 40 feet!

And to top it off, diverting traffic around the mess while trying to clean it up isn’t an easy chore either. No, not the visually impaired, they seem to maneuver pretty easily when there’s an obstacle in the way. We had more trouble with sighted people who were too busy talking on their cells or with each other that they would run right into the 3 foot tall yellow CAUTION sign and then step in the poop again.

It reminds me of an old Get Smart episode where Maxwell Smart is on a train and a blind hat salesman enters his cabin with a stack of hats in his hand. Max proceeds to help him put the hats on a shelf and as a result, he fumbles with the hats, dropping them all around him and into the hands of the blind person who calmly and casually catches the hats, re-stacks them and puts them on the shelf himself. Yeah, I know it’s in the script but it still cracks me up.

One might think that cleaning up after 150 to 200 guide dogs would be a never ending task, and it would be if the handlers didn’t pick up the poop themselves. Yes, guide dog users are trained to clean up after their own dog. They can tell when the dog is going #1 (urine) or #2 (poop). For extra points, who knows what #3 is? For special bonus points, who knows what #4 is?

Anyway, the dogs are trained to go poop and the owner is trained on how to locate it and pick it up. Most are pretty proficient at it. Others, not so much. That’s where we come in, to keep it clean by picking up what they leave behind. Hmm, sounds almost like a motto for a pooper scooper company.