When I was a kid back in the dark ages, it was not uncommon for dogs to roam free in the neighborhoods of New Bedford. If there was a "dog catcher" or Animal Control Officer back in the early '60s, I never saw one.

I can recall being perhaps three four years old, and there was a mean dog that would wander at will into my neighborhood. When the dog strolled in, mothers would scatter to grab up their kids and head indoors until the threat had passed. I don't recall ever seeing the dog attack anyone, but its reputation was a bad one.

Dogs ran everywhere back then. Most of the time, they didn't bother anyone – but they pooped everywhere. Stepping in dog poop was a pretty common occurrence in those days. It wasn't very sanitary, to say the least. And the stink! Whew!

Well, since those days, we have evolved and thank goodness our laws have as well. Dogs must be on a leash at all times when they are in public places, and their humans are required to clean up after them. At least, that is the way it is supposed to be. Not everyone follows the rules.

There are still knuckleheads out there who refuse to clean up after their dogs. As a result, there are doggie pies all over the area. This is disgusting. We have evolved, remember? Nothing like taking a walk on the new Harbor Walk and have to dodge dog poop. The same is true in the parks.

Most public places that permit dogs provide clean-up bags making it easier to pick up after Fido. Why don't more people do it? Do they enjoy seeing the mess? Perhaps they don't see it, and that's the problem. Places such as the Harbor Walk should have trash cans that are accessible to users. Perhaps that would encourage them to clean up after their pet.

Come on New Bedford, be responsible. If your dog makes a mess, clean it up.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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