One night I took my dog out to do her business.
While she was wandering around our apartments dog park, I too was wandering around, waiting for her to finish, or start.
I walked along the edge of the park and noticed a large pile of poop someone had not cleaned up.
Immediately, my head started in with a story:
“Who’s the a$$hole that didn’t clean up after their dog?”
“They’re going to ruin it for everybody if they don’t clean up after themselves.”
“I’m going to leave it there so they can pick it up later. Jerks. Don’t they respect their park?”
The story kept evolving.
“I should write a note on the building bulletin board and let them all know what has been done. Call the person out for not taking responsibility. People are such jerks.”
“But of course if I do that they won’t care. They left it for someone else to clean up. Jerks.”
The story in my head kept evolving and morphing into crazy making.
Then I checked myself.
Really? Was this story true? I didn’t know. I really didn’t know anything about the poop. I was just spinning a story in my head.
The story in my head wasn’t real, it was just a story I was making up.
So I picked up the poop and threw it in the can. Done.
Or so I thought.
A few nights later, as habit has it, I found myself out in the dog park again. Again, I wandered around waiting for my dog to do her business. Another lady came out and we started talking. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, my dog squatting. I took note of placement and when the conversation ended, I went to clean up after my dog.
The poop was gone. Well, maybe not gone but I couldn’t find it. It was dark, the grass is green and poop is brown. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be or maybe the poop fairy cleaned it up for me.
Whatever the reason, it wasn’t there.
Then I remembered the story in my head from a few nights ago.
Hmmmm. Look at the big picture. Might have been a mistake. Or an accident.
Who was I to judge when I too was guilty?
I started to laugh at myself.
Here I had made this story up about the jerk who left the poop in the park and here I was, doing the same thing. Maybe they couldn’t find their poop either! Who knew!
I had judged something I knew nothing about.
I gathered up my dog and hoped that whoever found her poop wouldn’t judge me the way I had judged the other lost pile or poop. I wasn’t a bad dog owner, I was just human.
Are you a judger? Who does judging really have an effect on?