First off, there is an Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists. Last week this group had a trade group gathering in Nashville, and CityRoom reports that "while much of the talk at the seventh annual Pooper Scooper Convention, as usual, centered on business, it also featured the yearly tribute" to the death of the pooper scooper. That's right, the instrument in which the law is named after is nearly extinct.

New York was the first major city to adopt the pooper scooper law, requiring dog owners to pick up after their pups. And while that law is still in effect, the scoopers themselves have been replaced by plastic bags. The site has some interesting background on how the scooper was invented. The story goes like this:

Thirty-something years ago a man showed up at a cocktail party, furious, carrying in one hand a shoe covered in dog feces. After cleaning up, the man was introduced to another guest -- an inventor, the hostess noted -- and he could not help but snip: “Why don’t you invent something to pick up dog poop?”

Robert Veech, the inventor, did just that. He sketched out a design on a cocktail napkin on the spot. The device, called the Dogmatic, was not the first scooper, but it was among the most important. Within days Mr. Veech’s prototype had found its way to the hands of John V. Lindsay, then mayor of a city that had been ridiculed as a minefield of dog waste.

Perhaps they are due for a comeback — couldn't you just picture tiny puppy owners toting around designer scoopers?