It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it, and Eugene T. Hearl Jr. thinks he is just the guy. His business: cleaning up dog droppings in backyards. After 20 months in operation, his company -- Gene's Canine Waste Removal Co., based in Syracuse, N.Y. -- claims "well over a hundred" clients paying $5 a week to have their lawns de-pooped. Meanwhile, Hearl, a former plumber, keeps looking for new lawns to conquer. He dreams of operating in every city and town in America. "I want to be number one in the 'number two' business," he says.

-- Martha E. Mangelsdorf