Seemingly every year, Wednesday Journal runs a kindly letter to the editor encouraging people to use pet-friendly ice melt (PFIM) when deicing their sidewalks. And yet after each snowfall, Nolan and I go for a walk and it’s a goddamn minefield out there. Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is to see this dinky donky dog debilitated by mineral shards lodged in his paw? Bambi’s mom dying is downright hilarious next to this devastating scene.


Cordial entreaties have failed and more drastic measures are required: Oak Park needs to ban the use of non-pet friendly ice melt in the village. And we might as well ban the sale of this dog-hostile salt too while we’re at it.

Look, I get that not everyone’s got a dog, but as a community we need to decide: Is this a pet-friendly place or not?

Sure, PFIM is a little more expensive. Perhaps the village could subsidize the cost for residents. But my indisputably comprehensive investigation concluded that the biggest users of dog-hostile salt are corporate-owned businesses and multi-unit residential properties, whose overlords typically are not residents themselves. Pet owners need to immediately demand their landlord/condo association and/or their designated sidewalk shovelers use pet-friendly ice melt. And we all need to insist the businesses we frequent do the same.

In exchange, dog owners will need to make some concessions themselves, like being more conscientious about picking up their dog’s business — for the less genteel among us, that’s a euphemism for dogs**t — especially in the snow, which does not, in fact, possess magical poop-disintegrating properties. Additionally, local dog owners should agree to stop throwing their poop bags in my recycling.

If you’re thinking, “Hey man, why don’t you go to a village board meeting and propose this?” Sorry, but that ain’t the way I operate. I like to agitate the masses first. But I will propose it at a future board meeting, which I may or may not ever get around to attending.

Either way, Oak Park should step up and ban dog-hostile salt in the village.

Dan Stark
Oak Park

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