Dog vs Stroller

Here is the lake path I have mentioned in a previous post. With summer upon us, it is even busier than usual (though you can’t really tell by this photo.)

You see all types on this path: young, old, big, small, athletes sprinting and elderly hobbling. There are tons of dogs, and tons of strollers, and a good smattering of dogs in strollers. Cyclists like this path too, and I’ve seen such strange sights as unicycles, tandem bikes, and rowing bicycles.

I don’t know what these things are here on the right, and the woman wearing them was walking like she was in ski boots which didn’t seem particularly comfortable at all, but she was there too.

My point is, this place is busy, and with so many people moving in various capacities at speeds ranging from stroll to sprint, it helps to have some traffic flow rules. And they do: stay to the right, and pass to the left. Easy, right?

Most everyone follows this, with one big exception: the Stroller Gangs.

The Stroller Gangs do not care about the rules of the road. They are too mighty a force to be bothered with such mundane things. They roam in packs of 3-5, always walking abreast so as to take up the entire path, leaving passing cyclists no option but to veer across the line into oncoming foot traffic, which is normally not a problem except when it is taken up by a Stroller Gang coming in the opposite direction, and then it can get ugly.

(I do not include in this those lone wolves out on their own with their strollers, or those people who actually share the road. The Stroller Gang designation is specifically limited to those packs of three or more who exhibit road hoarding behavior.)

Should a cyclist, or a runner, or a person with a dog get a little too close to a stroller in an effort to stay on their side of the road, they are often chastised for their risky behavior. The gang members will all huff in indignant unison, straighten their omnipresent visors, throw some goldfish down on the stroller tray, and lumber on down the path unapologetically.

So here’s the scene: Brody and I, out for a jog, passing a trio by veering into the oncoming lane. A bicycle whizzes by, which freaks Brody out a little. With all that adrenaline pumping, he decides he needs to poop RIGHT THAT SECOND. And when Brody stops, nothing will budge him until his business is done.

So we stop there in the lane, and I start unfurling a poop bag. I am standing over the poop while I wrestle with getting the bag open, because it’s one of those thin flat bags where you need to rub the edges together for a few seconds so you can actually get it open.

And then I hear, “EXCUSE ME.” The Stroller Gang, similar to the one you see above, has caught up. But it’s not a polite “excuse me,” it’s a “GET OUT OF MY WAY” excuse me. Barreling towards me is a large 100 pound double stroller, flanked by a couple of singletons. Were she to actually look at what I was doing, I would think it’s pretty obvious- I’m standing over a pile of poop with a plastic bag in my hand and a dog by my side, and I’d love to move but I do have one thing I am legally obligated to do first.

It would have been an exceedingly simple matter to simply break formation and go in a single file line for all of 10 feet, thus bypassing me and my dog, but her gait made it clear that she had no intention of doing that. The “excuse me” was really more of a warning than anything.

So I did what any reasonable person would do in that situation. I moved to the side and let her walk right through the pile of poop. It was that or be run over.

It made it a bit more of a hassle to pick up at this point, now that it was all squished into the pavement with a neat ShapeUps logo pressed into the ground, but it was well worth it. I heard a good bit of chuckling from the benches on the side of the path.

I imagine she went home and told everyone some awful person with a vicious muzzled dog let it poop all over the place and left it for her to step in/roll through, but I promise I was ever vigilant in my cleanup efforts. I try to be sympathetic to moms, being one myself and all, but sometimes you just gotta let someone step in it if they’re to learn.

Filed: Blog, Daily Life, Mother of the Year Tagged: ,
  • Good for you! Unfortunately I meet a fair amount of extremely entitled mothers out on walks with their strollers. I’ve been hit in the back of the leg for “not moving fast enough” and I’ve been told to get my “mutt out of her way” on more than on occasion. As if they have more right to the sidewalk than we do! I’m glad you let her step in it!

    • I’ve been hit in the back of the leg for “not moving fast enough”

      Been there. Also people parking their strollers behind me if I’m (for example) at a market stall, looking at something and almost making me trip and fall atop of the child in the stroller when I try to step back and leave. People need to understand that “behind a person at or below calf-height” is not a safe place to put your children.

  • And such a guilty look on Brody’d face in that last photo! (NOT)

    • Tonya

      My thoughts exactly! 🙂

  • Cathey

    All I can say is GOOD DOG, BRODY!! And I hope you get the opportunity soon to do it again!

  • JaneK

    seriously! what is up with these stroller gang moms???? great title…. then they turn into SUV bullies in the carpool line…..

  • Ooooh! GOOD JOB!!!!!! Just what I would have done.

    (Hating the whole ENTITLEMENT attitude so many people have. We would all be so much better off if we each gave a little thought to what’s good for others. Ok, so it takes us two seconds longer if we hold the door for someone. Let a pedestrian cross the street before we turn right on red. Don’t ride bikes (or stroll stollers) abreast. Somehow, I think we can survive. And probably feel better, knowing we bothered to be courteous. Sheesh.)

  • Tamara

    Ugh…I run into those ‘entitled’ types a lot too, at the mall, in the park…as if raising a child gives someone special rights over everyone else. I agree, though, that it may have more to do with those individuals’ attitudes in general than with motherly entitlement. They act the same way in the grocery store when aiming for the vegetable aisle 🙁 People just don’t have enough respect for others anymore. I hope Brody’s ‘gift’ stains her shoes for a while to come.

  • Look at Brody’s face.. he’s saying.. I did good Mom, huh!! LOL

  • Jamie

    haha, love it!!!! Love Brody’s face too! My husband and myself are just starting to get in to running, and I can’t believe some of the rudeness that shows up at the park on the paths! We even run one behind the other, because we don’t want to run side by side, due to taking up room. (and we are pretty petite people!) I was going to get the dogs running with us…(only one at a time)…but now I am worried we may take up too much space on the paths and encounter rude folks!

  • This is hilarious! I see these kinds of stroller ladies everywhere. Especially while on my bike, but there’s also the teenagers that walk 5 kids wide, and not let bicyclists pass, EVEN IN THE SNOW. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to ride through a foot of snow on a bike, but lets just say, you don’t go anywhere real fast. I’m the other kind of stroller lady, I’m the one that everyone seems to run into, step on, and knock over. Then I get a dirty look for it, like I was the one not paying attention! Argh.. I would laugh forever if I ran over dog poop with my stroller, though.

  • Jane

    Awesome! I would have done the same thing! The “stroller gangs” don’t get out of your way – ever!

  • Kellee

    Good for you! Such rudeness from stroller ladies is ridiculous.

  • Holly

    These are the same types that think they should get special allowance when it comes to sick days, coming in late, and generally making excuses for dumb behavior in my workplace. Example: “I can’t believe you’re giving me an attendance point, my little Donald was sick and I had to take him to the doctor and the line was just so long, they made me wait on purpose, ME! can you imagine? I got stuck I just couldn’t get here on time, this is crap I’m going to HR…” etc.

  • I think the worst stroller offenders if at disneywold or disneyland. I understand it is a place for kids..but they don’t stop for anything and don’t care to hit you with the stroller either. I also end up with bruises on my legs from them when we go.

    • Oh, and they have those big cement rental strollers there too. (Not really but you know what I mean, those huge ones that weight a ton!)

  • Karen

    Nice Job!!! There was nothing you could do!! And i can not imagine being that rude/selfish of a person!!

  • Roseofskye

    Dealing with people who feel “entitled” to everything is bad enough, but with moms, imagine what kind of an example they’re setting for their own children! A little bit of manners, respect and a slice of humble pie goes a long way is a nice thing to have.

  • Lindsay


  • Hopefully they learned their stinky lesson!

  • Good Dog!

  • Hi Y’all,

    Just had to tell you that your post made my Human laugh!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  • Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! That is a fantastic story – hooray for karma! 🙂

  • I’ve been trying to read this story aloud to my friend, who doesn’t seem to appreciate stories involving poop. (Which, sadly, a fair amount of my stories involving animals do.)

    Love it. Good for Brody!

  • Lisa W

    Love that story — exactly what I would have done!

  • hollykate

    I left this as a comment on facebook too, but figured that people who may only read your blog would appreciate it too. Do a youtube search for Excuse me – Vickie Guerrero‏ and you’ll see/hear what I pictured while reading this. 😉