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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Mystery solved for new Canadian!

We were very excited to move into our first home in Canada. Each evening, after my husband came back from work, we’d have chai on the porch. 

It was a nice way to acquaint ourselves with the new neighbour-hood as everyone who walked or cycled by would raise their hands in greeting. 

Neighbours slowed to say hello and chat for a few minutes. 

As we began to recognize more of them and put names to faces, we also noticed one odd thing.

A couple of our neighbours walked their dogs and they always carried a small plastic pouch with them.

“Looks like a plastic bag all rolled up,” said my husband one day, while peering closely at what a lady was carrying while trying at the same not to look like he was staring!

But why did she carry it every day? Why would she need one on a walk? And why did the others who walked their dogs also carry similar pouches?

“Maybe it’s a Canadian custom?” I ventured. “Should I ask Jane the next time I see her? Maybe it’s something we should learn about.”

My husband agreed that it might be a good idea to ask our neighbour and new friend.

So the next time Jane walked by with her golden labrador, I leapt off the porch to go talk to her.

After some small talk about the weather – that was another Canadian custom we had learned, discussing how cold it is, or how hot – I pointed to the bag.

“If you don’t mind my asking, what’s that bag for?”

“Oh, this? It’s to stoop and scoop!” she replied.

“Stoop and scoop what?” I had to ask.

“Poop!” she said, with a laugh.

It was beginning to sound like a nonsense rhyme competition, but having ventured thus far, I had to persevere.

“I’m sorry, I still don’t get it,” I confessed.

When Jane explained the whole pick up your dog’s poo concept to me, I couldn’t believe it at first. People actually picked up their dog’s poo? 

No wonder the streets were so clean. 

Mystery solved!                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                    – Rita Ahuja

Posted: Mar 5, 2014

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