Our sweet Yellow Labrador may put the “ador” in adorable, but that doesn’t mean she can’t make stinky (as we call it) with the best of them. That’s something I know from first- and second-hand experience. When it comes to the back yard, she and her rescue mutt brother are quite capable of creating a doggy minefield. That’s nothing new to us, since we’ve had two large dogs almost constantly for over a decade.
During those years, we tried several solutions to the backyard “tootsie-roll” problem. The one that’s been most successful is the Flexrake Jumbo Jaws Pooper-Scooper, which we buy in the company’s large size (33P).
If you remember what we used to call steam shovels, then you have an idea of how a Jumbo Jaws works: a pair of spring-loaded jaws snap shut on the “problem,” which allows you to put the brown and smelly into a bucket or bag for the rubbish. You simply squeeze a handle on the top to open the jaws wide, position the open jaws over the deposit, and release the handle. The jaws close under the pile, letting you lift it off grass, gravel, or a smooth surface (the rescue boy likes to leave his gifts on the brick border of a flower bed).
The 33P has a 32” handle, which keeps delicate fingers (and noses) well away from the leavings. Better yet, you don’t even have to bend over to make the pickup. A Jumbo Jaws can grab fresh and sticky or old and dry equally well. It releases the stuff when you re-open the jaws, though you might have to shake the scooper a bit if the deposit is fresh. The jaws open about four inches wide, which is big enough for anything smaller than maybe a Shetland Pony. We also use it to pick up other unpleasant items like the occasional bird who didn’t recover from a window strike or disgusting trash blown over the fence from a nearby park . It’s not perfect, of course: it doesn’t work particularly well in tall grass, and it won’t pry frozen stuff loose in the winter; though you can always use a shovel or scraper to loosen the piles. It’s also too large to carry with you on a walk: that’s still tee domain of plastic bags. The Flexrake is all plastic, which makes it pretty much weatherproof and easy to clean – you just hose it down if you’re squeamish. We’re on our second – the first one lost a battle with a closing garage door – but this one has lasted several years.
Do you have a large dog? Then you need a Flexrake Jumbo Jaws Pooper Scooper!