Scoop the Dog 

is a welcome visitor to any event in the District of Columbia, but we are proud to say that he is one of us. He can be seen at various events reminding people to keep our sidewalks and parks clean by scooping the poop of our dogs! His infamous picture can be seen on SCOOP signs around the neighborhood, which are white, black and red baked enamel on heavy gauge aluminum measuring 10" wide by 13" high with 3/8" dia. mounting holes on 12" vertical centers. They are available over the counter in the Washington, DC area in limited quantities as a public service from:

  • True Value Hardware, 1623 - 17th Street, NW – (202) 462-3146
  • Logan Hardware,1416 P Street, NW – (202) 265-8900
  • Glover Park Hardware, 2251 Wisconsin Avenue, NW – (202) 333-6378

Invitations for Scoop’s participation in events should be sent to Scoop's scheduler, Phil Carney, at (202) 462-2776.

Why You Don't Have to Watch Where You Walk

Because of all the dog poop, it was a challenge to walk on Dupont sidewalks when I moved here 37 years ago.  Walking remained challenging for the next 15 or so years.  Then DCCA President Marilyn Groves met a neighbor on the sidewalk.  The neighbor had a new and very large puppy.  The woman joked about how big the puppy would become and how much poop he would produce when grown.  Then they talked about what a serious problem dog poop was.  Dog poop was a nuisance to avoid stepping in, but also as a public health hazard since rats eat dog poop and that spreads diseases.

Everyone complains about problems.  A community activist complains about a problem and then looks for a solution and then implements a solution.  Marilyn’s solution was to ask a local artist to design a sign.  The artist wanted to soften and lighten the “Scoop Your Pet’s Poop” message so she drew a white dog with a pooper scooper and a dog tag that reads, “Scoop.” Department of Public Works regulated public space signage then and they granted permission for the signs to be posted in public space.  DCCA produced the anodyne aluminum signs and sold them at cost. 

The original sign read, “$50. fine.”  DCCA was instrumental in making those signs out of date by successfully lobbying to raise the fine to $100.00.  The current signs read, “Be Considerate, It’s the Law.”  The signs made a significant difference in reducing dog poop and keeping our sidewalks clean.  

Phil Carney

How DCCA Really Cleaned Up Our Sidewalks

“Scoop Your Pet’s Poop” signs made improvements in cleaning up our neighborhood sidewalks, but dog poop on sidewalks remained a problem.  Several years after the signs went up, DCCA President Marge Young called to tell me she had a great idea, but was too embarrassed to tell anyone.  Even then she was reluctant to tell me.  Finally she did and after I stopped laughing…well the rest is history.    Marge wanted to get a people sized costume of Scoop.  And the large two legged Scoop did motivate dog owners, with very rare exceptions, to clean up after their pets.  Over the years most people will acknowledge Scoop with a smile and wave, some dog owners will wave their plastic baggies and some folks will simply refuse to see Scoop and ignore him. 

Our first problem was finding a costume.  DCCA was fortunate that a Bethesda costume shop had a dog costume that looked just like Scoop, but in brown and white.  We had them make another costume in all white.  The next problem was a pooper scooper.  Scoop was a big dog and needed a big pooper scooper.  The solution was Marge and David’s red snow shovel.  Scoop borrowed their shovel temporarily and still is using the red “pooper scooper” today.  I feel guilty that I never bought them a replacement shovel.  The last problem was a dog tag.  I cut a round piece of wood, painted it and added “SCOOP” in raised paint.  The last is critical because the dog tag rotates and feeling the paint allows Scoop to keep his name showing on the dog tag.  We added a red collar and Scoop was ready.

Scoop’s debut was at a DCCA membership meeting supporting the newly opened Studio Theater.  Backstage, helping me into the costume for the first time was a dignified retired engineer who managed Scoop sign sales.  It was a tossup as to which of us was more embarrassed by this costume nonsense.  With trepidation and wondering why I’d ever agreed to do something this crazy, the stage curtain parted and Scoop walked out on stage.  Had no idea what to do, so Scoop danced and waved.  Scoop was greeted with smiles, laughter and waves.  The embarrassment was gone.  I thought this is wonderful fun.  Thanks to the smiles and waves, I became Scoop the dog.

Phil Carney

Learning To Be a Better Dog, Scoop’s Role Model and Pride Parades!

Scoop’s first public appearance was for Earth Day at Meridian Hill Park.  Scoop has limited visibility so he needed an escort to manage all the park’s many steps.  Scoop met regular folks and dignitaries.  After the event in the park, there was a parade to the National Mall for the rest of Earth Day activities.  Since Scoop is an unventilated hot puppy, Marilyn Grove’s daughter was Scoop for the parade.  That turned out to be important for me, because I thought she was a much better dog.  We can always learn to improve ourselves, even as a dog.

Many public appearances followed: from Mayor Williams Rat Summit to St. Patrick’s Day Parade                   (4 hour- wait for a 30 minute parade).  Solid Waste Enforcement and Education Program (SWEEP) brought together multiple agencies to provide educational skits in elementary schools.  Before one skit, Scoop was mobbed by 3rd graders and had to be rescued by a MPD Commander.  McGruff the Crime Dog and Scoop would dance out to “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

My favorite event was a Keep America Beautiful/Keep DC Beautiful with dignitaries, Scoop and Smokey the Bear.  Could not figure out why I was so emotional meeting Smokey.  Felt like a little kid thrilled to meet his hero.  Doh, only later did I realize that Smokey is Scoop’s role model.

For many years, Scoop has participated in our neighborhood’s biggest event, our Pride Parade.  One year DPW provided a truck.  The next year DPW had planned to provide a truck but no one could find the keys and Scoop had to walk the parade route (hot, hot and hot).  Then for years, neighbor Bev Losch provided her convertible.  After years of dying in the heat, we started rigging flexible tubes from the car’s air conditioner up Scoop’s leg.  What a joy to finish the parade dry and not soaking wet and dying from the heat.  That worked great except for one year when Scoop’s driver couldn’t get the AC to work-he never turned it on.  Bev sold her car and now neighbor Renee Schwager provides her yellow convertible for Scoop.

For six years Scoop had the option of riding in the parade as a human elected public official or as a dog.  I continued our DCCA tradition of riding as Scoop the dog.  Join DCCA and Scoop for this year’s Parade.

Phil Carney

Scoop at the opening of the 17th & T Streets, NW, dog park

Founded in 1922 in a townhouse at 1767 P Street, to promote and protect the interests of the residents, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area.

DCCA brings neighbors, including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations, together to improve the quality of life in an active and diverse urban neighborhood. It holds membership meetings 9 times each year, which are open to the public, runs the Dupont Circle House Tour, resolves neighborhood issues through its committees, donates to local causes, and incubates innovative projects.

Dupont Circle Citizens Association | 9 Dupont Circle, NW | Washington, DC 20036

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