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  • Last modified 1143 days ago (Aug. 6, 2015)

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Uh-oh, doggie doo alert

At least one downtown merchant is a bit distressed about dog droppings on the sidewalks in the business district. Linda Miles Martinez, owner of Manestreet Beautique, posted a complaint on a community social media site on Friday stating (all in caps), “Come on Peabody pet owners and downtown pet walkers! Pick up your pet &%#^@! It is disgusting and downright rude!”

Well, there is a topic for community discussion!

Martinez is absolutely right. The presence of doggie-do on sidewalks has ratcheted up in the past year or so. With a lack of rental property in Peabody, downtown building owners have made second-story apartments clean, upscale, and reasonable. Younger renters accustomed to living in downtown areas are willing to deal with steep stairways and limited parking for the privilege of having no lawn work.

Renters can also be enthusiastic pet owners. Even second-story renters can be enthusiastic pet owners. They do not mind following Fido down the stairs to the nearest grassy area for “doggie business.” It is part of being a second-story renter. They know that going in.

The problem, of course, is that pet owners do not know exactly what it is that inspires Fido to pick a given spot. Sometimes he makes it to the grassy area and sometimes he deposits it right on the sidewalk in front of a business expecting customer traffic that very day. Could be the dog could not wait or perhaps he just thought, “Alright, here we go!” It doesn’t matter. The doggie-do on the sidewalks of our business district where visitors and customers walk and is nasty and disgusting.

So yes, Linda Miles Martinez is correct. Downtown — or not — pet owners or pet walkers need to carry vinyl gloves or plastic bags as they walk their pets and pick up the treasures their dogs leave behind. I am singling out dog owners here because to date I have not seen anyone walking horses, cats, or other pets.

I have it on good authority the owner of the former auction building property is a dog lover and does not mind downtown pet owners walking their animals there. Just be aware of property boundaries and do not wander onto the neighbors’ lawn to the north. Both sides of the 100 block of Walnut St. have grassy areas behind buildings where apartment dwellers could walk their pets. Santa Fe Park is probably off limits — it is a park, after all.

So pet owners, your best bet to keep downtown business owners fond of Fido is to take responsibility for what he leaves on the sidewalks. Wear your vinyl gloves or carry a plastic bag and pick it up. You love your pet more than we do. Be responsible for what he leaves behind. Really, it is your job!

—SUSAN MARSHALL

Last modified Aug. 6, 2015

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