Jul 12, 2006

Dog's leakin' again

Carmen is about 2-1/2 years old, we think, so in people years she's supposed to be at least 17. However, the 7-year multiplier concept really falls apart in many ways. The dog is so much like a small child, I think it's more like a 1-year multiplier, to wit:

1. The dog has limited English skills, therefore you can't use reasoning and logic on her
2. The dog cannot answer questions regarding whether she's physically hurting or just mentally deranged
3. The dog is very endearing and you love her even when she makes you furious
4. The dog knows when she's been bad
5. The dog has been nominally trained not to wet the bed at this point
6. The dog is not old enough to understand sarcasm

This has been a great learning experience so far, and we've been able to imagine what each of us would be like as a parent of a human child given the way we deal with the dog. So far, it's pretty clear that our future children will adore T.J. and vilify me, since T.J. will take them to the park twice a day and give them candy and let them do fun but dangerous things. I will be the one to deny them toys, hold them accountable for their behavior, hold a grudge when they wreck my stuff, and then lie around on the settee moaning, "My nerves, my nerves..." when they're making too much noise. It's clearly going to be awesome.

The past week has been a trial. To start, I have a very hard time going to bed before midnight and waking up before 8:30 as it is, which means I'm perpetually late for work and perpetually self-loathing about it. Three nights ago, right about time to go to bed, we noticed that the dog had peed. On the bed. Weird, right? I though we were already over that phase, but I dutifully stripped it down, febreezed the hell out of the mattress, and redressed it. Bedtime was postponed a little, but it wasn't too bad.

Next night, same story. This time, I'm angry and start glaring at Carmen, which usually makes her pee a little in submission, even on an average day. (That's why we usually don't discipline her until we've taken her outside to empty her bladder. Then, she comes back in and we let her have it with Christine-Miller-style gasps of disappointment and the ugly-eyed-stare-down.) So I repeat the sheets/febreeze/sheets scenario again.

Next night, it's already late - almost 1:00 am, and I've delayed going to bed because I'm playing some stupid retro video game on Homestar for no good reason. I hear T.J. in the bedroom, and he goes, "Uh, Dubin? The dog wet the bed again." I proceed to ignore him because I am starting to get irate at the dog. T.J. then does the bed routine, with what I am pretty sure is the last of the clean sheets. It's 1:30 am and we go to bed agitated. I am wondering if the doggie has a U.T.I. or some bladder problem.

3:51 am: I awake mysteriously and feel around near my knees. WET. Am furious. Am starting to direct this at T.J. for no good reason. Am tired. Dog is insane. No more sheets. Get up, find old 1970s sheets from camp. Put on bed. Febreeze self and bed and the dog. Make dog sleep on pile of peed-on sheets from previous nights. Demand that T.J. take dog to vet in morning. In these cases, it starts to become "his" dog again, as it never occurs to me that I should take on the vet duties.

At this point, I am really grossed out about the bed. How much pee can the bed hold before we throw it out altogether? I learned this from Megan's blog:

Vbed * Holding Capacitybed = Mattress Moisture Reservoir

...and it seems we have a long way to go. But the gross-out factor is still there! At this point, the dog has peed on everything we own, and only some of this is washable.


The pup is at the vet with T.J. as we speak, and my suspicion is that she does not actually have a bladder infection. I think she's just somehow retarded and likes to regress.

However, just like human children, these animals have something going for them. Extreme cuteness and loveability, plus an added dose of loyalty. My allergy doctor advised me not to live with a dog and a cat, but how could you put these guys out on the street?

They're so nice...


Anonymous AEW opined...

Flip the mattress so the pee side is down, then get a washable wool mattress pad like the kind they make for peeing babies and kids. Eliminate all pee smell if possible, because if she smells it there, she'll do it again. That might mean getting a new mattress. She is probably not regressing, but showing a peevish (ha!) bit of resentment about the fact that you've come between her and T.J. I know you've slept there a billion times, but now you LIVE there, which may make her anxious about her place in the pack. Either that, or something outside the room feels threatening to her and she's marking the bed to let you know she's protecting it. Insecure dogs mark their space, but yelling and punishing won't solve the problem; it only makes the dog more insecure. You have to somehow miraculously figure out a way to make her feel secure again. See? Piece of cake. (Obviously, I am the uptight, calibrating, endlessly researching parent; Josh prefers to blame bad behavior on inherent mental disfunction and has fun anyway. Our kid is going to be a mess.)

2:32 PM  
Blogger Megan opined...

You look amazingly like my cousin in that picture. Maybe we should compare family trees.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Lazlo Hollyfeld opined...

I think there is a use for 32oz. of pure mountain lion pee somewhere in here...

(aew is right about animals peeing where they smell it...there is this stuff that negates peesmell that you can buy at pet stores. Saturate matress, let dry, repeat. My condolences...we have the same problem with kittypee, but with Sam it really is a UT problem)

10:01 PM  
Blogger amanda bee opined...

Listen to Amber. She knows.

Also, you can try actually leaning the mattress against the wall. For a while I had a dog (which came with a boy, who moved in without quite asking, but that is another story) who had some issues of his own and we'd lift the mattress every day before we left. Lean it on the wall, so as to prevent the dog from desecrating it. Pain in the ass, but so is pee/fabreeze.

8:16 AM  
Blogger capella opined...

I hope she isn't sick, although the alternative is she is just feeling angry/insecure/territorial and she probably will not understand if you tell her everything is okay and peeing in the bed doesn't fix anything. But they do have doggie shrinks...

8:47 AM  

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