Please pick up after your orangutan

I'm not really a dog person. I consider myself to be a bigger fan of orangutans. I've done quite a bit of research on this. I'm around dogs almost daily, and while I'm OK with them, I really don't feel like I'd want to live with one. Orangutans, on the other hand, seem like the perfect pet. While I'm at work, the ape could destroy my house. And I make enough money that I can support a banana addiction or two.

The only problem I can see is that my house and yard are not big enough for a full-grown male orangutan (after all, why have a medium-sized female when something larger exists in the market?). That shouldn't be a problem, though, after all, isn't it my right as an American to be given a space in which to exercise my pet? I believe it's in the constitution, directly following the right to bear arms.

It's ridiculous to think that I should have to choose a pet based on my ability to provide the pet with the kind of environment it needs in order to exercise and play. I have a feeling that my orangutan would really like to play in Lithia Park's playground.

Why should anyone have a problem with this? Don't give me any sob stories about how your kids like to play in the park without a giant orange ape around. The number of children in Ashland is on the decline anyway. Why should I care about them? Maybe what we need to give parents the final hint to move themselves and their offspring to other towns is a monkey- and ape-infested playground, complete with my orangutan ready to battle for the last available swing.

I'll admit that even in my imagination my sweet colossal orangutan is not completely potty trained. By that I mean that he's not potty trained at all. He'll poop on your lawn, on the slide, and on that lovely field where you like to have picnics. He also likes to pee on the bushes. It's really not his fault, that's just the way orangutans are. Besides, better on those lovely city-owned flowers than my own. Hey, it's not a crime to want a nice yard.

I've heard it is a crime not to pick up dog poop. Fortunately, I've never heard orangutan feces being addressed at the City Council meetings. I'm not a bad pet owner; I just hate having to pick up the post-digestion treasures that are left scattered about. But, of course, I pick it up with an inside-out plastic bag. I pick it up every gosh darn time.

That's right. Every single time that I realize someone is watching me, I pick it up. In this way, orangutan owners are very similar to dog owners. Of course, there is one easy solution to the problem of pet owners leaving fecal evidence at city parks — the death penalty. I'm not usually a proponent of capital punishment, but poop is really the end of the tolerance line for me.

So, although I am not a dog person, I'm not a dog hater either. When it comes down to it, I prefer my orangutan, with my child as a close second. But I'm willing to put up with your dog. Dogs on leashes are great. Dogs in parks other than Lithia Park are tolerable. A second dog park on the other side of Ashland is fine, if you're one of those people who find Ashland to be such a huge metropolis that a trip across town is unbearable.

However, for dog owners who don't pick up after their pets, I banish you to the same place I have mentally sent people who bring 11 items into the express lane at the grocery store.

Zoe Abel is carefully buying her orangutan and nine other items at "Illegal Pets Express." You cancontact her at

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