I don't know why I was thinking about this today - fortunately none of our crew is having any gastrointestinal issues - but a common issue with dogs is some variety of loose stools. This can be caused by stress, a change in routine, or a change in diet as well as by parasites or illness.
For mild cases, sometimes the best remedy is to skip a meal. Let the GI tract rest and recuperate. Don't do this with puppies under 6 months, elderly dogs, dogs with chronic severe illness, or pregnant/lactating bitches.
Adding plain canned pumpkin to the dog's food (not pumpkin pie filling which contains spices and sugar) can help - the fiber tends to "clean out" the digestive tract and may help sweep away irritants. A plain baked or boiled potato often works to settle an upset system. The latest and greatest remedy is Activia yogurt - you can find this plain, in large tubs.
If the diarrhea is severe, if it persists more than a day or two despite the above remedies, or if the dog seems to not feel well - take him/her to your vet! Something serious may be going on. Diarrhea in puppies and elderly dogs is always a cause for immediate action - they can become dehydrated quickly and this can be life threatening situation.
As for clean up in your yard when Fido has the cow pattie poops, try sprinkling some clumping cat litter on the mess. After a few minutes you should be able to pick most of it up. While just using the hose and washing it into the ground is tempting, make sure your dog doesn't have any parasites before you do this. You don't want to infest your yard!!
Speaking of poop pick up, Dr. Khuly at Dolittler has an interesting article today. She's always interesting, and has one of my favorite pet blogs.