Keeping it Clean and Green

Written by Teddy Burch in the October 2008 Issue

Growing up in my house, it was always considered punishment to have to go out in the yard and clean up after the dogs. Even now, whether the motivation stem from chastisement or sheer necessity, I can’t stand breaking out the Pooper Scooper. But Rick Guy of Pet Waste Scooper Service has learned to transform undesirable duties (no pun intended) into cold hard cash.

Q: How did you get into such a unique business?
A: We got our kids a puppy for Christmas in 1998 and after a couple of weeks, my wife told me that somebody was going to have to do something about the mess in the backyard. Then she told me that since I had always wanted to be somebody, now was my opportunity. I’ve been shoveling ever since.

Q: So you took a natural liking to it?
A: Not really. I just figured since no one else liked doing it, maybe there was a way to form a business out of it. And it worked.

Q: Do you hate encountering the mess left behind in the yards of customers with big dogs?
A: No! It’s just the opposite; I prefer the big dogs. Their mess is easier to see and easier to clean up. It’s the small dogs that require you to transform into a hunter to really do your job.

Q: What about when it snows?
A: Naturally, when snow forms a covering over the ground and over leftover messes, I can’t clean them. I just get them on the next scheduled visit. What’s really bad is when it’s below freezing outside and all the piles are frozen to the ground. Then you have to get creative on getting them loose.

Q: And when it rains?
A: I get wet. And when the sun shines, I get burnt. I am somewhat like the postman: Outside the threat of snow, nothing will keep me from your yard.

Q: Anything you would recommend to dog owners?
A: Yes, call and become a customer. Also, feed your dogs the best food you can afford. It’s better for them, they live longer, healthier lives and cost you less money at the veterinarian. Also get your dog spayed or neutered and have a microchip ID inserted under their skin so in case they get lost you have a better chance of getting them back.

Q: Any special clothing you wear while working?
A: No, but I would recommend waterproof boots since you’re in grass most of the day. Oh, and I don’t wear shorts. There is a lot of scooping and raking going on, and naturally you’re not always perfect with the rake. That stuff flies and it has to land somewhere.

Q: Least favorite type of dog?
A: The kind that bites.

Q: One last thing: What about the smell?
A: Smells like money to me.

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