Here’s the scoop. Five pounds, to be exact.

When the flowers peek from their buds and birds erupt into their early morning choir, and when every last bit of snow melts from the grassy hills, I know the moment has finally arrived.

It’s time to scoop a winter’s worth of dog poop from the lawn.

So maybe it’s been a week or two (or ten) since the snow thawed out.  Dog poop has become a sore subject around our house after Doug stepped in it three times over the past three days.  The two of us have an unspoken agreement that, seeing how adopting a second dog was my idea, I am in charge of keeping our lawn deuce-free.  And by unspoken, I mean he reminds me every time a dog so much as glances at her dinner bowl.

As I trudged about the yard, shovel and five-pound bucket in hand, Doug paused from washing his car and shot me a most derisive smile.

“Good thing you talked me into that second dog, right?” he smirked.

If I had an ounce of immaturity in me, I might have plotted to paint him a fecal-flavored Charlie Chaplin mustache in his sleep.

And if he had a similar kind of immaturity, he might have assigned Tyler to follow me, peaked from inhaling a bucket of sun-baked dog excrement, around with a camera.  (“That way, when you see the pictures, you can think about what you’ve done,” he explained.)

While lugging around five pounds of excrement, even the cat seems to mock you.

While lugging around five pounds of excrement, even the cat seems to mock you.

“Actually, I don’t mind it,” was my delayed response.  My bucket was now brimming with white fossilized poop, most of it preserved beneath the snow since Christmas.  “At least it’s somewhat concentrated in one area.”

“Yeah,” he countered, smile wider than my shovel.  “Concentrated across all two acres.”

That remark wasn’t fair or accurate.  The half acre of woods bordering the lawn no doubt remained pristine as a sheet of newly fallen snow.

“The truth is, I like scooping poop,” I insisted, prodding a fresh turd mixed with—was it a squirrel’s tail?—onto my shovel with a stick.  “It gets me out of the kitchen and into the great outdoors.  It’s exercise.  I actually find it therapeutic.”

“Just don’t forget the pile in front of the shed,” he advised while tossing aside his sponge and flicking on the hose.  “I’ve got all kinds of free therapy for you on the bottom of my shoe.”

If you should feel so inclined, come on over and grab a shovel.  There’s plenty of room on this couch for everyone.

He makes me blush.

As I wrap up month #9 of unemployment, I decided that perhaps it’s time for a career change.

“What if I waitressed again?” I pitched to Doug.  “Better yet, I’ll go to bartender’s school.  I’ve always wanted to do that.  Considering the hours I put into teaching, it probably pays more anyway.  I could work nights, you could work days.  We wouldn’t even have to pay for childcare!”

“You’re not going to be a bartender,” was his flat-out response. “Everyone would hit on you.”

“Please,” I rolled my eyes.  “Today I found a zit and a wrinkle all at the same time.  Who’s going to hit on me?”

Crickets.  Clocks ticking.  The distant snore of some guy snoozing away in Tokyo.

“Here’s the part where you disagree,” I coached.

He paused for a moment and said, “It’s a bar.  Of course someone’s going to hit on you.”

I don’t know about you, but I stay married for the steady flux of adoring reassurance.