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Photo Friday: Curb your dog signs from Paris sidewalks (and bonus scoop law signs)

I remember first photographing these Dachshund-shaped signs (cryptically instructing dog owners to make their dogs eliminate on the street instead of the sidewalk) with my trusty Instamatic, 35 years ago. Lady, our own Dachshund, was still alive then, so I was extra-charmed — and impressed by the suggestion that it was possible to get a Dachshund to do anything she didn’t choose to do.

A little worn, a little faded — the melancholy makes me want to reach for a cigarette and an absinthe

A little worn, a little faded — and oh, the melancholy of the fallen leaves. If this isn’t a moment for a cigarette and an absinthe, nothing is.

They’re few and far between now. Sometime in the past decade, they were joined by this, um, terrier, and now even he is looking a little decrepit.

He's lost his back end, for one thing — a take-home lesson that decals are not as long-lasting as paint

This one has lost his back end, for one thing — a take-home lesson that decals are not as long-lasting as paint

Much good they do — Paris is by no means carpeted with dog poop, as I’d feared when I trolled around the Web before this visit, but the poop you see is more often on the sidewalk than it is in the gutter. Between the traffic and the parked cars and the gutter sluicing (a frequent and, to a visitor, unpredictable occurrence), I don’t see a future for the curbing campaign.

Paris is certainly trying to get the notion of scooping across to its citizenry. We spotted a bus ad going by, too rapidly to photograph, but it featured a woman and dog walking away from a pile of poop, while a service worker magically appears from a street fountain with a hose (the text says “we can do our best, but not the impossible”). The street signs include the “Je ramasse” sign you’ve already seen, joined by at least a couple of others:

A severely practical sign from the district/municipality of Saint Mandé

A severely practical sign from the district/municipality of Saint-Mandé

A bit blurry, but you can tell that it clings to the notion that your pup will poop in the gutter

A bit blurry, but you can tell that it clings, endearingly, to the notion that your pup will poop in the gutter

This last sign is in the same series, clearly, as an extremely odd one sent to me months ago by Naomi, but the whimsy has been dialed back — no Eiffel Tower fascinator this time, and the text is a primer on How To Scoop: “Tous les sacs en papier ou en plastique peuvent être utilisés pour ramasser les déjections canines. Après ramassage de la déjection, il convient de fermer le sac et de le déposer dans une corbeille de rue.”

I’m adding this post to Dog Jaunt’s scoop law sign collection — to see others, click on the “scoop law” tag below this post, or type “scoop law” in the search bone.


  • Gigi

    Ahhh, so that’s what “curb your dog” means! I’ve been scratching my head over that one for a while and always forget to look it up by the time I get home. Merci!

  • Priscilla Davis

    What ever happened to the Chirac–that poop vacuum cleaner that made Jacque Chirac so popular when he was Mayor of Paris? I use to hear that thing early in the morning on its rounds in the Rue Cler.

  • Ha! I did not know that the Motocrottes were called “Chiracs”! Sadly, they were taken out of commission in an effort to save costs — Wikipedia says in 2002.

  • Priscilla Davis

    Maybe it was just American tourists who called them that. I can’t remember where I first heard/read about it, but they sure were useful when they were working. Parisians must have gotten used to them. Hard to go back to doing it the manual way when you are accustomed to a machine doing it for you!

  • Chandler

    I’m a fan of any sign that is set in Hobo. Though it does seem more appropriate for a Hawaiian Spam Truck or something… Oh, and in the last sign, is that person wearing a sandwich board shaped like a heart? Maybe he’s secretly a slab of organ meat with a head and limbs? I love that it wants you to curb your dog and THEN pick up the poop.

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