Stepping In It

We went for a short wilderness walk last week, enjoying the splashing of trout in the placid waters of tiny Loon Lake.  We only met one other group of hikers:  a family with a dog.

On the way back, Hubby pointed down at the trail.  “Don’t step in the dog shit.”

I eyed the flattened pile with a sneaker-print in the middle of it, and revolting certainty filled me.  I knew that sneaker-print.

Sure enough, I’d already stepped in it on our outbound trip.

Which begs the question:  What are the chances of being out back of beyond with virtually unlimited landing zones for my feet, and STILL stepping in the only pile of dog shit within ten square miles?

If you’re me, the chances are approximately 100%.

Maybe it’s because I’ve got big feet, so the odds are better than average.  If I wore teeny little size-sixes I might spend less time cleaning objectionable substances out of my treads. (Then again, if I wore teeny little size-sixes at my height, I’d probably topple over in a high wind.)

But in general I don’t think too much about my feet or where they’re landing.  They’re far away from the rest of me; and as long as they’re working fine, I let them do their thing.  They’re functional, not decorative.

Okay, definitely not decorative.  Some people are blessed with slim elegant feet and delicate toes or cute little chubby tootsies; but I inherited the Henders family’s knobby bunions and weird long prehensile toes.  I’m not sure how being able to pick up a pencil from the floor without bending over gives me an evolutionary advantage; but at least studies show that long toes make better sprinters.

I figure hooves would have been more practical.  How wonderful to never again smash my toes on a table leg.  Never to have my toes stepped on or crushed by falling objects.  No blisters from ill-fitting shoes.  And never having to shop for shoes at all – just an appointment with the farrier every now and then, and I’d be good to go.

But then again, the farrier would be like going for a pedicure, with the worrisome addition of red-hot metal. *shudders*

I had a pedicure… once.  The foot massage was nice; but having a stranger wield sharp objects near my feet was disturbing, and the toenail polish was wasted on me.  Nobody ever sees my toes – I hate having cold feet so I never wear sandals.  (Also:  Weird prehensile toes.  Nobody wants to see that.)

Or maybe my antipathy to sandals (and my unfortunate magnetism for merde) was born the year I marched in the 4-H parade as a kid.  Our uniforms dictated white sneakers for the boys and white sandals for the girls, and there was a prize for the club with the best synchronized marching.  We were determined to win it.

We marched behind the Beef Club.

Yep, you guessed it:  Right in my path was a fresh cow patty, and my precise marching step landed my foot in the middle of it.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had warm cow shit oozing up between your bare toes.  We didn’t even win the marching contest, dammit.

And that kicked off my lifetime of stepping in it.  Anybody know where I can buy some shoe diapers…?

43 thoughts on “Stepping In It

  1. We would go barefoot in the summer time when we were young. Mom had free range chickens before free range chickens were cool. Bare feet seemed to attract fresh chicken poop. I have stepped in all the other kinds on farms but only with boots on. Doggy doo on the other hand or foot, as the case usually is, happens when I am in a hurry to feed to dogs and don’t watch my step.


    • LOL! That’s awesome – I’m glad you feel at home! The comments are the best part of my blog – if not for my fabulous and funny visitors I’d have quit blogging long ago. It always gives me a smile to hear from everybody! 🙂


  2. If it makes you feel any better Diane here in Ireland my feet seem highly attracted to sheep droppings It has been suggested that if I didn’t insist in wandering into their pastures for photo opportunities it would never happen.


  3. You haven’t stepped in dog sh*t until you’ve done it barefoot! With two dogs in my yard there is always dog sh*t. I’ve walked in it when mowing, or just playing with the dogs. Even when you walk around scooping the stuff up you always miss some. I’ve learned to never go barefoot in my yard but sometimes it is unavoidable. We have an Alaskan Malmute named Sam who stands 34″ at the shoulder and weighs 100+. He is large for the breed.
    At first I thought he didn’t like us cuz he opens the doors and climbs the fence. But I’ve seen pictures of others of the breed that are escape artists.
    We try to be diligent in keeping the doors latched but it seems when it doesn’t get latched he Knows. One night when I was home alone with the dogs it happened! I walk by the sliding door and it was open. Horrors!
    I run out barefoot, in the dark yelling “Sam! Here boy!” I’m grateful it was dark because I’m a 65 year old grandmother a little over on the grand part, running around my yard frantically calling “Sam” when I step in it! Eeewww! I did manage to catch him before he went over the fence, that time. But it was a huge pile, I’ll never forget! Stuff of nightmares. Love your blogs!


    • Thanks, Sue! And thanks for the mental image of you dashing out and braving the minefield in bare feet – I’m still giggling! (And shuddering; eeeewww!) Not laughing AT you, but definitely WITH you.

      Sam sounds like a handful, in all senses of the word. Who knew that such a giant dog could be an escape artist? I always expect that of the smaller breeds, not the big guys. But I guess when he decides to go, he’s pretty hard to stop!


      • Yep, no possible doubt. You gotta be on somebody’s watch-list, Diane. Your internet search history alone would guarantee that, even if you did not write/publish.cutting-edge science-based fiction.

        I, on the other hand, have nothing at all to worry about. Nope, no worries at all. Machinist, engineer, high-power rocketry enthusiast, target shooter, carry license…I never have to worry about getting myself on *those* sorts of watch-lists.

        I’ve been on them for years. Why worry now? 🙂


  4. My long, boney, knobby, size 10 feet have also stepped in more than my share of sh*t. I always thought my foot size was to blame… though looking where I’m stepping might help.
    Speaking of body bags – my niece-in-law has a body bag in her basement. She claims that it’s the perfect thing wherein to keep her 6 foot tall Christmas tree. I’ve never had the courage to actually ASK where she got a body bag. But I could ask if you require a source for your hiking supplies!
    – Maggie J.
    ps – good luck with finding time for the next book – I look forward to continuing the saga!


    • Thanks, Maggie! That’s hilarious about your niece-in-law’s body bag. Now I really want to know the story behind how she got it! Hmmm… Christmas tree storage… sounds like the kind of excuse Aydan would use… 😉

      It’s nice to know mine aren’t the only knobby size-tens that keep stepping in it – if you ever figure out a solution, let me know!


  5. I’ve stepped in it more times than I can remember. Oh wait, you’re talking about the real kind! Been there too. Three big dogs, a kennel, and a yard. Yep, chances are good or bad depending on how you look at it. I’ve never figured out why even after you clean it off, the smell stays for days.


  6. NOBODY, especially little kids in white footwear, should have to march behind the beef club – or behind the horses. Just . . . NO.

    I stepped in doggy do once. That was one time too many. I feel for you.

    And I love your thoughts about having hooves instead of human feet. But, yeah, there’d be some second thoughts when the farrier came 🙂


    • If you’ve only stepped in it once, you’re luckier than I! This was just the most recent time. I’ll NEVER forget the time I walked through a heap wearing my hiking boots (with nice deep treads) and then unwittingly got in my car on a chilly day and started driving. The reek was eye-watering when the car heater started wafting it around the enclosed space. Blech!


  7. I was going to suggest that you wore crime scene booties or suites, but maybe that’s a bit ott.

    Are Canadian shoe the same as America sizes??? I know I’m a UK size 9or a 10 on a bad day.i have a limited choice if shops where I can actually buy shoes. And although I say in every shoe shop I’m dragged into that they should do bigger sizes they never do anything about it


    • My shoes say “USA: 10, EUR: 44, UK: 9, CM: 28”, but I sometimes have to go up a size if the shoe isn’t constructed to fit my orthotics. (In addition to the freakish toe and bunion combination, I also have flat feet. The Henders trifecta!)

      And it might be fun to watch the expressions on the other hikers if I wore crime scene booties. Maybe I could carry an empty body bag and a black instrument case, too, just for giggles!


      • Oh I have a great mental image of you all dressed up in the full csi kit body bag in tow, as long as you don’t also carry duct tape and rope I’m sure people wouldn’t run a mile and be calling the cops.

        Oooo we have the same size feet, I’m an extra wide fit. But like you if I had small feet I’d fall over everything else about me is big so I accept that my feet are too. At 6ft1 I don’t need heels so I’ve never developed a bunion I can only imagine how painful they are especially if you had them filed off (shudders at the thought)


        • Yeah, I haven’t had anything done with the bunions yet. If they get to the point where I can’t fit into running shoes anymore I’ll deal with it then. But right now they’re not bothering me so I won’t bother them. 😉


  8. I’m thinking painter’s booties, but that’s just me. But those don’t work. At all.

    I mean, what do people even wear those things for? If you step in a little drop of spilled paint, you’ll still track it all over the house, right? Oh, to keep paint off the shoes, you say? Yours maybe, but if I’m gonna drip paint, it’ll be right at the elastic edge of the top of the booty. (Don’t even go there. But, yeah, I thought it was funny, too, alright?) So the paint gets smeared all over the inside of the, er, auxilliary footwear, and I don’t notice it until it’s dried and glued the, er, extra thing to my shoe.

    I don’t use drop cloths when I paint. I don’t use masking tape. That way, I don’t make a mess. But dog poop, well, that’s a whole ‘nother issue.

    Solutions? Hm. Nope, I got nuthin’.


    • And we got DRAFT!! Well, I thought I saw a tiny little smidgen peeking out from behind the edge. I tried to wipe it off, and it wouldn’t, so it’s not a speck on the screen. So it’s official! You’ve at least sat down, fired up the box, and typed Chapter 1…

      I’m pumped! You got this, Sista. Crank it up. I can hardly wait!

      Liked by 1 person

    • “…the elastic edge at the top of the booty”. Uh-huh. Bad mental image there.

      I don’t use drop cloths when I paint, either – I agree that they’re only a more efficient way to smear paint everywhere; not to mention increasing the probability of me tripping over the drop cloth and planting my foot (or face) in the paint tray. And booties? (The shoe variety, mind…) They’re just an invitation for my feet to slip in opposite directions and drop me to the floor (likely in the paint tray). I doubt if they’d do much for my traction on a hiking trail, either.

      What I really need is some kind of sensor system that straps onto my ankle and detects warmth, moisture, and methane about six feet ahead of me. I must get Reggie Chow working on it. Surely there’s some kind of weaponized application for that… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’d make a great addition to one of those background conversations that protagonists (and others) hear when they walk into a room when the occupants are talking. Or maybe a really over-the-top euphemism for something else. Like Chow yelling at the other two…

        Reggie: Hey, you two! What are you doing back in the stockroom THIS time? Weaponizing a dog poo sniffer so I can avoid stepping in steaming piles and soiling my new crosstrainers when I’m out jogging in the dog park? Is that what you’re doing? AGAIN?? C’mon, that’s the third time today! Get your clothes back on and get out here!”

        Say, early on. Then let him grind on ’em another couple of times with some comment about whey they’re gonna get that poop sniffer ready for high-volume mass production. “You know, because every fourth-world cesspool is crying for those things!”

        But then I’m perilously close to speculation here, so forget I mentioned it. 🙂


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