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It’s been about 6 years since the map and mile marker systems I designed for the Town Lake Trail Foundation were constructed and installed. Since then I’ve noticed an interesting trend; every time I walk my dog on the trail, he pees on the mile marker signs. I can’t say I didn’t think of that when designing– I did choose “weather proof” materials that would hold up to any number of moisture-related situations. But thinking of it and seeing it in action are two different things. My first reaction was “oh… stop! don’t pee there…” and then I quickly thought of the thousands of other dogs who have already done so. After the moment of acceptance came, I thought it would be better to think of it in different terms.

WebMD says: “Dogs urine mark when they become highly aroused and overstimulated in social situations. These dogs often mark nearby objects, people or other dogs.” The mile markers, vertical and prominent, are objects about as irresistible as a fire hydrant to dogs. So, my dog and the many others out there are simply saying “Hey I’m excited and I’m going to pee about it!” My mile markers just get to be the target.

Hey, it’s a different way of saying you’re excited than I’m used to, but I’m happy to have provided the ideal target. A message to the pooches: Stop, sniff, pee, share your excitement!

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