Citizen of The Year

His dog was wearing a heavy red blanket on its back and was squatting midway between two sidewalks as he, also carrying a baby in a front-facing carrier, attempted to walk it southbound across a four-way intersection. I pulled up to northbound stop sign and watched with amusement as he took stock of what his dog was doing and then looked up, panicked, at the waiting traffic. I posed no risk, but a car waiting to proceed east has cautiously started to advance, its front wheels clearing the crosswalk, and now its back wheels. The dog straightened up, and the man scampered the remaining ten stops to the opposing sidewalk, leaving the mess, but making a display of retrieving a bag from the dispenser attached to the end of the leash.

The eastbound car rolled right over it. Before the dog-walker could finish opening the bag, the mess was rendered a poo pancake. He looked around, trying to decide if he was required now to clean up, to scrape flattened excrement off the pavement. I didn’t think he was. I rolled down my passenger side window and cheerfully shouted, “You gotta just let that go, man.” He looked up and laughed, and then shrugged his shoulders like he agreed. But as I drove away I checked my rearview mirror and saw him bending down with his bag, trying to do right.

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