Friday, September 28, 2007

Wakey, Wakey, Eggs and...wait that's no bacon!

Nothing says "Rise and Shine" like...poop.

The last three nights Max the infamous beagle has woke my husband and I up with the sound of his pee hitting our carpet (in our semi brand-new home). Three o'clock a.m. on the dot pretty much...the last three nights. The first night it was poop and pee. The second night two pee puddles. And last night, just pee. Before he had the chance to poop, we put him outside...followed by some woeful beagle howling. We let him back in so as to not wake Adrien or the neighbors. That was followed by incessant licking. We put the e-collar on.

I was never able to really ever get back to sleep successfully any of the three nights. I generally go to bed at 11pm or later, so that means like four hours of sleep. Not fun. Well this morning was particularly great. Around 4:30am or so, Adrien woke up. His diaper had leaked. His thighs have thinned quite considerably due to the recent stomach illness and general growth, that his size 4 diapers are a little gappy around the leg area...but size 3s just do not do the trick. They really need diaper half-sizes. Anyway, poor Pookie was wet and not happy. After a diaper change, I rocked him but to no avail. About 20 minutes into the rocking session I asked him if he wanted to go watch cartoons. He immediately crawled from the glider and went to his door as if to say "Come on, Mom. Cartoons!" I generally don't do such things in the middle of the night. But what the heck, he was awake, I was awake. I've become so accustomed now to waking up at 3am. It's pathetic.

So in we went to the living room and we watched something on Animal Planet for a little while and then switched it over to JoJo's Circus. He fell asleep laying with me on the couch. Although I hate that I was awake that early, I love that I got to cuddle with him. Such a sweet baby...and he's fast becoming less and less of a baby each day. I think that's why I'm lingering with the binky. It's really the only thing that keeps him from being a full blown toddler. And it's a tether I'm willing to deal with.

So he went back to bed around 6:15 or so and as did I. I got to sleep until almost 9am this morning. Despite the middle of the night waking session, that's the most I've gotten to sleep all week I think. Now if I could just get the 11pm-9am sleep sans dog and toddler pee break, I'd be golden. But let's be serious here, I'm not holding my breath.

9am: I hear Adrien in his crib making his usual "eh, eh, eh" noises. I dragged myself out of bed and popped cheerfully in his room. I was greeted by the harsh aroma of poop. Nothing out of the ordinary -- he generally poos in the morning. But it was unusually pungent. Just before I picked Adrien up I noticed little brown blotches all over his crib. They were on his poom (pillow), on the sheets, on his blanket, on the bumper. Everywhere. Oh. My. Gosh. His diaper had exploded into a cacophony of stench and stank. It looked like Mr. Hankey had come to visit.

I'm sure Adrien was wondering why he got his bath before breakfast today.

I can handle cleaning up the feces of my toddler. He's my offspring. Plus, Adrien generally tries not to go directly on my carpeting. But the dog? Suffice it to say, I'm not happy about his new found love of peeing in my bedroom at any time, let alone 3am. I called the SPCA yesterday morning and they asked if I would like to speak with the behavioral specialist. Sure, I say. I mean, I guess so. Do I have a choice? So I'm on the phone with the behavioral specialist -- who I've already been in contact with via email once about Max's disdain for food. Okay, I explain to her that he's refusing to go to the bathroom outside. And for the most part, he is. He doesn't potty in the house during the day..randomly just at night. That leads me to believe that he's fully aware that he's supposed to do it outside, yet just doesn't for whatever reason in the evening. We had been letting him run free in the back yard, but he's already gotten out of our fence. So Andi went and bought a tether type thing. He still has full range of the back yard, he just can't get out. So the hippy-dippy touchy feely behavioral lady suggests that he's not wanting to potty in the back yard now because it's a "negative experience". Okay, so I can see that. But, when I take him for walks on the leash, if he potties at all, it's just pee (and pee when I'm lucky) -- he refuses to poop on the leash. He's always pooped in the back yard, but since he's an escape artist, he must be on the tether -- negative experience or not. He's gotta get over it. It's not like it's being cruel. The line is quite long...he can roam the back yard completely. Oh, she says, they just outlawed the tethers a few days ago. It's not like I have him on a 3 foot rope. There's a shaded area he can lay in. He can roll in the grass. He can even run around. But, no...she says it's a negative experience. Yes, I'm sure it's not fun. But I don't see it being dangerous -- not in this case. I know that there are horrible people who leave their dogs tied up for days at a time, etc with little to no food or water or shade, but that's not our family. I see the dog chaining ban to be very effective at lowering the level of animal neglect and cruelty cases...but blah! In my opinion, it's vital that he's tethered, because if not he'll dig out of the back yard. I cannot keep using my garage as a kennel for him...and I think crate training (which she suggests as a great alternative) to be even more cruel than having him tied up in my back yard. He's already proven that I can't leave him alone in the house. I'd come home to animal poop and pee everywhere, not to mention what all would be chewed up. The animal can get on top of my kitchen table for goodness sake! And if he whines just being left outside at night, imagine what he'd do if he were left in a tiny crate all night! That sounds very exciting and positive indeed. Her other solution was an electric fence in the back yard. Once again, how is shocking a dog more human than just having him tethered outside while he pees and poops. I mean, isn't he technically tethered while he's on a leash?

In all actuality, I was calling to say that this was a behavioral problem that was most likely not able to be corrected. After all, he's 2 years old. If he's not potty trained by now (which, I've spoken to the previous owner he tried to potty train him as well to no avail), I doubt he ever will train. He's obviously a smart dog. He's just defiant. And in my experience, that's something that no crate or tether can ever change. I was calling to ask if we could bring him back and get our voucher for another dog (which you have the option of doing if there is a behavioral problem within the first 14 days of adoption). But apparently every behavioral problem has a solution. If I told her he'd snapped at Adrien (which he did for the first time last night) she'd probably say that Adrien was just being a negative experience.

So anyway, walk him outside, she says. Give him treats when he pees, she says (which I was doing). Get him to potty on command, she says. The latter two are great ideas. I've tried the treats. Obviously not working. And as for taking him for walks? That's great...and I can do it every once in a while. But I simply cannot take him for walks every few hours. Can you just imagine Adrien and I in the stroller out and about every 2 hours for 30 minutes at a time, waiting for a dog to pee? If I had no child, it may not be a problem. But I do have a child. It's not forever, she says. Just until he learns, she says. Will he learn? Andi took him for a walk before bedtime last night. He was outside with him for a good 20 minutes. He refused to pee. Yet he'll pee in my bedroom at 3am.

She suggests that it's possible that he heard a loud noise or something that startled him while he was doing his business outside...and for that reason he is now negatively impacted by doing his business outside. Hippy dippy touchy feely gaga. He's a dog. Accuse me of being cruel -- whatever. He knows he should pee outside -- he just doesn't. Exhibit A: No pee or poo on the carpet all day long. I guess peeing at 3am is just better?

And as for the beast getting on top of my kitchen table? Her solution is to put either foil or double sided tape on my dining room chairs. She's obviously never had children. And what am I supposed to do with the tape while I'm using said chairs (multiple times a day)? She launched into some anecdote about her dogs, in which she refered them as "my first" and "my third". Obviously has no children. She's one of those my dogs are my kids people. That's great.

But I don't want piss all over my effin' carpet, lady. My carpet is not his personal toilet. Negative experience or not, he has to use the back yard. Since when did pets becomes mini humans? She probably wants me to give him lullabyes at night as well.

Can I just have one night's sleep where I'm not awakened by anyone's pee or poo?


Kelly said...

When I saw the episode featuring Mr. Hanky Poo..I thought I would die laughing..funniest thing I seen in a long time.."Howdy ho kids!" lol
How was the rocking roast? hope you all liked it as much as we did!
Pet drama..sigh..I hear ya..but I am done..after spending $100 to get Zelda back..she got adopted last night. I had her for about a week..hoping to give her to a nice family..I just didn't want her sitting in a cage at Petco anymore.

Momof3 said...

Crate training is not cruel. It is much kinder than the teether though I see your reason for the teether.
A propoerly sized crate would eliminate the night time elimination and also give your dog a nice place for when you are not home.

Missy said...

Oh man, I feel you pain. Our cat is having some unsolved stomach problems and I have been cleaning up teh evidence all around the house for weeks. This morning she left a reminder on my purse. We have a nother vet appointment this week, and of course she loves the vet.

I know nothing of dogs, but I have 3 coworkers with new puppies and 1 was very hesitant to try the crate training, but the others insisted on it. He tried it and it worked like a charm. One of them said if she coverd the crate with a blanket her pup did better still (less whinning, more sleeping.

And diaper sizing, I wish I had some influence on that.

Hang in there, super Mom!