Dear Aunty Social: A Doggone Question


When I take my dog for a walk, I always carry little doggy bags and pick up his business. I live in a residential neighborhood with alleys behind the houses. After my dog does his business, I pick it up and often throw the tied-up bag in a trash can along the alley. Is this rude? Is it illegal to put things in other people’s trash cans? My dog may make several stops along our long walks, and I don’t want to carry his waste with me the whole trip.

—Considerate Colleen


This is quite the conundrum on so many levels and certainly a “Post Pooper-scooper Predicament” of the precarious kind.  I am reminded of a stinky situation several years ago. While walking down the street with my precious fur baby, I ran into an acquaintance walking her large (read overweight) lab.   She basically blocked our path to strike up a conversation.  I could never remember her name and referred to her as Gesticulating Gina due to the incessant, overly grand and distracting hand gestures she dramatically made while communicating.  Gina could be telling you what she ate for breakfast and arms would be flailing in all directions as if she were one of those orange baton toting marshals directing a taxiing airplane. I would find my eyes darting all over the place as if she were some sort of demented optometrist instructing me in an absurd follow-my-finger vision test. I would end up dizzy and frankly, a little disoriented.  Therefore Dear, if I saw Gina from a distance, I would avoid her at all costs.  On this particular occasion, there was no escape. Gina and her obese lab blocked our path and almost instantaneously, those-wannabe-theatre bound thespian arms began flying around to coincide with her recount of some inconsequential story.  As Gina’s arms took on a life of their own, the fully loaded poop bag she was holding went right along swinging this way and that. Yes, my fearful eyes followed every movement of that flimsy green bag until I could make a clean getaway and dodging a rather nasty stink bomb.  From that day on, Gesticulating Gina became known around town as GeSTINKulating Gina.

The point of sharing this with you Dear, is you don’t want to be known as CaCa Colleen.  That being said, there are a few things to consider regarding the use of someone’s personal trash bin and they are as follows:

  1. Throwing the poop bag in someone else’s trash bin may be considered trespassing 
  2. Throwing the poop bag in someone else’s’ trash bin may not only breaking the rules of recycling due to the plastic bag but also potentially ruining this stranger’s reputation as a possible member of Greenpeace’s Social Council 
  3. Throwing the poop bad in someone else’s trash bin, especially if the bin is rather empty may result in something heavier potentially rupturing said bag allowing the contents to soil the entire bin necessitating some poor unsuspecting cat owner to clean your dog’s poop from his bin.  Considering this person scoops poop inside their own home using a 5-inch plastic shovel, not more than 2 feet from his nose you wouldn’t think it’s that big of a deal none-the-less…

So Crappy Colleen, I have a few suggestions for you:

  1. Didn’t your mother ever teach you anything? Never walk in the alley.  Dog poop may not be your only problem. 
  2. #2 rule for #2 – Carry a “Poopy Purse.” No one has to know it’s for poop.  Just don’t forget to empty it out when you get home and if it’s right after or the day after garbage pick-up proceed to #3
  3. When you take your pooch for a stroll, make sure you are carrying the following in your pocket and if you have a purse, refer back #2:

4” x 6” card or even a thank you card including your name and email address to leave along with the bag on the nearest post-poop porch with perhaps a little poem or just some sort of “thank you for disposing of this for me” type of sentiment.  This way your conscience will be clear and your hands will be free to gesticulate should you run into anyone.

I hope you begin to implement these suggestions as soon as possible, Colonic Colleen.


Aunty Social


Editor’s note: Dear Aunty Social is masterfully written by Shelley Brown, whose career as an advice columnist continues to blossom, as she offers comfort and a reality check with unparalleled candor. Her unique ability to read between the lines and respond with, wit, wisdom, and radical in-your-face honesty will continue to win her the loyalty of millions of fans worldwide.


Aunty Social
Aunty Social
Modern life can be hideously complicated which is why I, the sassy, irreverent Aunty Social is here to help. From heartbreaking relationship issues to table manners to nosey neighbors, I always do my very best to deliver brutally blunt, in your face, no-nonsense bad advice with the wit and wisdom of a lady thrice my (none of your business) age. I'm ready and willing to solve your problems without beating around the bush. Need some bad advice? – Just click on my email icon below to send me your problems and leave your cares behind! And then come back and visit me now and then because who knows? –I might actually get around to answering my emails. Please be patient, because what I lack in speed, I make up for in gibberish.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


    • Dearest Jeff, Aunty Social here dropping by to thank you for noticing my perspicacious humor. This shows your sagacious constitution.

  1. Dear Aunty Social where were you when I drove a black & white and needed your proper etiquette advice when:

    Cuffing folks on the right or left?

    Administrating an FST (field sobriety test) when the folks did not know how to count from one to nine or recite the alphabet in the proper order starting with the letter A?

    Nevertheless, I definitely love your sense of humor and your genuine “word-smithing”.

    Welcome aboard to address life’s faux pas in your advice column to your new loyal reader.

    • Oh Dear. Sounds like you encountered quite a few obstreperous and contumacious sorts! If you have any lingering questions for which I can help you create an even bigger blunder, please write to me. I will be certain to answer in the lifetime. Thank you for reading Dear.

  2. I have a friend who always says his advice is “guaranteed 100%, right or wrong”. For some reason, I suspect Aunty Social would say something similar. . .

    Hilarious, Shelley, oh, uh, ummm, I mean, Aunty Social. So happy to see your witty wisdom adorn the page again, my friend.

    • Well now Dear Aaron, it’s lovely to see you and thank you for your kind comment. Your friend was absolutely right and I certainly share the same sentiments with regards to advice. As long as my suggestions are pernicious and cause laughter, my work is done.

    • Oh Dear Connie, you must know Fabulous is my favorite word. I wouldn’t dare write something pernicious! Thank you and if you need your Aunty, you know where to find her Dear.

    • Thank you Paula! It’s me Dear, Aunty Social. They say, “Make em’ laugh” but I’m no clown! My bad advice is nothing to joke about 😂

  3. Oh, so hilarious, Shelley!! This reminds me of a former neighbor who lived in Columbus. She walked a lab and flung the poop bag all around as she was talking with her arms/hands/and mouth. She knew every neighbor’s business and proceeded to tell me all about what she knew about all my neighbors. Mind you, I hadn’t even met all my neighbors so she was telling me stories about complete strangers…not that I didn’t care, but I sort of felt like I had turned on “Days of Our Lives” inadvertently. It felt really uncomfortable and reminded me not to talk about other people in ways that are “gossipy and right on the edge of unkind.” And to definitely NOT swing a full poop bag around because I LOVE talking with my hands, arms, entire body, and vocal cords. 🙂 Maybe she could have created a People Magazine for our neighborhood “celebrities.” I think she meant well. I believe it was her way of feeling like she belonged. I tended to find other pathways or times of day to walk my own low-rider, fur baby dachshund. LOL!! Thank you so much for the comedic relief!

    Congratulations on becoming a Columnist with BizCatalyst360!! WaHOOOOO!!!! Love you, my friend!!

    • Dear Laura, It’s you Aunty Social. Yes, life can be quite the soap opera! I always say they may as well call People Magazine, “Person Magazine” because I typically only know one of the people featured in it anymore with those silly young posers! Katherine Hepburn is turning in her grave. As someone who is fascinated by hands, I can only imagine how your eyes filed Ms. Gossipy Poopy Bags!

      Thank you for the congrats! I love and adore you!

  4. Greetings Aunty Social,
    First of all, do you know my third cousin, twice removed Pearl Mesta? I think you two should meet, I can just imagine the raucous conversation.
    Secondly, Is it Aunty, as in the tiny bug that trespasses my kitchen floor, and rhymes with panty, or Aunty that rhymes with Monty, as in Python?
    I need to know because I never like to offend.
    Now down to the main reason for my note. When ever I visit the local coffee shop, well when I used to visit the local coffee shop prior to this whole social distance behavior, I always arrive with a a lap top, my iPad, several spiral notebooks, my valise and of course my iPhone. You can well imagine I need a lot of space on the table and of course a second chair for my jacket. It never fails that once I am well situated and very busy at looking important, I always seem to get interrupted by someone who wants to sit in the chair reserved for my jacket and take over some of my table space. Nine times out of ten it is the same man, now albeit he is tall, handsome and has the most luxurious wavy gray hair, and any gay man, did I mention that I am Gay, would love to chat him up and welcome the chance to sit next to him, but I am not that gay man. I want to be left alone and uninterrupted.
    My question is, Once this distancing policy has been lifted, How do I politely tell him to bugger off?
    Stay Safe, and keep your distance,
    Always Preferred Being Socially Distant
    In Jesus name Amen!

    • Aunty Social is currently occupied in her private chakra healing Zoom session with a world-famous famous Shaman whose name shall remain anonymous. She told me tell you how much she appreciates your important yet terribly non-urgent question and will be happy to feature it in one of her upcoming columns. Her set schedule with her publisher Dennis Pitocco, is “Whenever I damn well please” however; I will be sure you are tagged when the column featuring your question is published.

    • Vicki, Aunty Social is so thrilled by her comment. I read it to her as she was pruning her award winning rose bushes. She just thinks you are lovely and would love for you to use your beautfully artisitc photography talents to capture her training her Arabian Horses.

  5. Shelley,

    First of all, again, congratulations! Just as importantly, not only are you a gifted writer, but were you a comedian in another life? I was reading this and laughed out loud throughout. Gesticulating Gina, CacCa Colleen, Crappy Colleen, all making me laugh even more as I write this. You are beyond creative with a touch of humor and much class. Thank you for making me laugh so heartily this morning.💖

    With a smile and a laugh,


    PS Grammarly tried to correct CaCa Colleen.

    • Darlene, Thank you so much for your wonderfully generous sentiments. I am very delighted this brought a release of happy endorphins! This is the intended purpose.

      No, I was not a comedian in another life and Aunty Social’s humor comes from a deeply painful childhood where she was forced to wear off-the-rack clothing and personally shop at the grocery store alongside all of the rest of the peasants as well as her middle-class mother whose misfortune resulted in her having to do her own hair. ❤️😂