“Apparently you’re having a crappy day – that’s why you called us.”
This enthusiastic voice-mail recording is a message from Poo Worx, the Salmon Arm version of the nationwide company.
The voice belongs to Barbara Bernard who, with her spouse Bob Spracklin, opened the local business.
A sense of humour is a necessity with a business so-named, but it’s a label that describes the service well.
As well as providing pickup of dog poop, Poo Worx in Salmon Arm offers property disinfecting, smell removal, mosquito yard repellent and goose poop pickup.
Bernard explained that she worked for a bank for 40 years and retired early. She then needed a knee replacement and, while she was recovering from surgery, her husband was doing all the work inside and outside of the house.
She was feeling guilty about the dog poop in the backyard when she heard about Poo Worx.
“What, there are people who pick up poop?” she thought.
She hired Mary Bermudez, owner of Poo Worx in Kelowna, for two glorious years until a house across from Bernard’s daughter’s home in Canoe came up for sale.
Along with planning the move to Canoe, Bernard told Bermudez she and her husband were leaving.
Bernard asked her if she had anyone to do the work in Salmon Arm and Bermudez replied no, although she wished she did as so many people had been phoning.
That was when the idea of Poo Worx in Salmon Arm was born.
Both Bernard and Spracklin express their appreciation for Bermudez for all the help and guidance she’s provided them.
Bernard said the response has been great from Salmon Arm residents so far. People regularly take photos of the couple’s distinctive truck in order to record their phone number. To emphasize that point, a woman took a photo when they were posing with their truck for this article.
Bernard said some people have said it’s lazy not to pick up your own dog’s poop, but she doesn’t see it that way.
She said there are people like her who have had surgery, people with disabilities, people who have reached an age where they’re no longer able to do it.
She noted that some people are unable to have the companionship of an animal if they don’t have someone to provide the service. And some people are just plain busy.
At this stage, Bernard’s husband is doing all the poopy pickup, but they may hire someone else as things get busier.
“Bless his little cotton socks,” she said of her hard-working spouse. “He used to drive ambulance; he’s one of those people, nothing shocks him. And he has a strong stomach.”
She said when people phone about poop, they can be shy and embarrassed about it. She said the couple have no judgments.
“We say that’s great, we’ll look after that for you.”
Asked if they hear a lot of poop jokes, Bernard said not too many. Sometimes, “I bet that’s a sh—ty job.”
If you’d like to find out more about Poo Works, go to their ‘We scoop Fido’s poop in Salmon Arm’ website at www.pooworx.com/salmonarm