If  you have a lawn in your front yard, this could be a problem in your neighborhood.

It's not uncommon to see people walking their dog in the park carrying a plastic bag for clean up purposes if said dog has to do its business. It is possible, however, that some of these same conscientious dog-walking people have forgotten good doggie etiquette in their own neighborhoods.

I noticed this sign the other day in a neighborhood where someone is apparently trying to send a not-so-subtle message to nearby dog owners. It would seem that some mail-fetching canines are stopping along the way to the mailbox to do their job -- in someone else's yard -- then leaving their business on the lawn.

These dogs don't know any better. When you gotta go, you gotta go. But, shame on the dog owners who have apparently been unprepared or uncaring about the mess their dog left in another person's yard.

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This is a good time for some Golden Rule application. If we wouldn't appreciate somebody else's dog taking a dump in our yard, we should extend the same courtesy to all the neighbors we may be passing on our way to the mailbox with Fido.

The fact is, if you are prepared with a plastic bag conveniently tucked in a pocket, the clean up is quick and easy and it demonstrates some good citizenship and neighborly respect.

Remember, if you are inclined to walk your dog down the street, be a good neighbor and be ready to do your duty so somebody doesn't have to post a big sign with the message "CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG."