I don't normally post about things outside of crafts on this blog (aside from my Monday Moments anyway), but the past 12 or so hours have just been...wow.
Let me start with last night. My step-daughter has been begging and begging to go shopping for a Halloween costume and we were in need of some diapers, so we told her we'd head out to Target.
The dog has outgrown her puppy cage, and her previous owner had told us, "I have a large dog cage waiting for her, when you need it, let me know." This was a free cage of course, because the previous owner was moving to a place where he couldn't have pets. In the month and a half that we have had her, she has grown much bigger. And of course, the free cage has not materialized. "It can't fit in my car." Well then tell us where it is, and we'll pick it up. "I'm storing it at a friend's house and I can't get ahold of him." We need a cage for this dog. This was part of the agreement for us taking her in. The previous owner even comes to visit from time to time and tells us how he cannot believe how huge she has gotten. To which we usually reply, "Yes, and she needs a cage."
Anyway, ever the frugal family we hate to go out and buy a cage when we know that there is a free one, just her size, perpetually around the corner. This has led to some pretty creative caging on our part. Yesterday, the caging method was shutting all of the doors upstairs and putting the baby gate up, leaving the dog free to roam the hallway. There was a load of laundry waiting to be taken to the basement and my husband said to me, "What are we going to do with that pile?" I told him that since the pile was some towels and a blanket that it wasn't a big deal, but that I guessed we could put it in the bedroom for the short time we'd be gone. He said, "I would prefer that. At least the stuff that isn't replaceable." (The dog has a chewing habit we have not been able to break, but she usually reserves this for clothing items.) So I moved the whole pile into the room and shut the door. Problem solved.
We came home an hour or so later and everything was fine.
We went to bed last night and of course, the load of laundry hadn't been taken care of, so, not even thinking I pushed it out into the hallway. My husband came to bed, brought the dog upstairs and gated the stairway off. I immediately fell asleep.
At midnight I was woke up by my husband scolding the dog. He came back to bed after letting her out and I asked him, "What did she do?" He told me that she was getting him up every few minutes to go outside and wouldn't go once she was out there. At 12:22 the dog started whining again. This time, my husband was sleeping hard. I climbed out of bed, took down the gate, and went downstairs to chain up the dog. She sat there.
I told her to go, repeatedly, but all she did was sit on the steps, like this was a completely normal thing to do in the middle of the night. She barked to be let in without ever doing her business. I was not happy.
I went back to bed and was just falling asleep when she started whimpering again, standing in the doorway, wagging her tail. I thought, "No way am I doing this every 20 minutes all night. I am going to fix her." I ushered her out into the hallway and shut the bedroom door so she couldn't wake me up.
2:49 AM, my son woke up. Just for a minute, but it was enough to wake me, particularly my bladder, up. I went out into the hallway, dreading the confrontation with the over excited dog. Only I wasn't greeted by the dog. I was greeted by the smell of poop. Nasty, army green, watery poop. Oh and where was this poop? Why, all over one of the two irreplaceable items in that laundry pile. All over the very first thing we ever bought my son, before we even knew he was a boy. All over his baby quilt...the quilt that I hand painted an entire dresser to match.
I was grossed out and completely upset, and praying, that since the dog had figured out how to knock down the baby gate (it doesn't latch properly on the stairs because of the hand rails), that this was the last of it I had to deal with.
Of course, as I took the laundry downstairs I realized that the gate we block the upstairs off with at night, is the gate that blocks my sewing room off during the day. Anyone who has a dog probably knows what was waiting for me in the sewing room.
See, dogs are wired to be outside. And outside, anywhere that you don't eat or sleep is a great place to go to the bathroom. Every dog training book we checked out of the library said, don't let the dog in the basement, don't let the dog in any "unused" rooms in the house. Since I am the only one who ever goes in my sewing room, of course there was another huge army green puddle waiting for me, along with a puddle of pee.
I started the washer and got out the cleaning supplies. For an hour I scrubbed carpets. As I was on my hands and knees in the hallway by my sewing room, nearing 4:00 AM, I found myself thinking of the movie Marley & Me, and that scene where Jennifer Aniston's character is obviously suffering from Postpartum Depression. Where she turns to Owen Wilson and says, "I want that dog out of here!"
I remember seeing that scene (and reading about it in the book) and thinking, "Gosh, she's such a witch! Why doesn't she realize the problem is with her not the dog?" At 3:49, I forgave Jennifer Aniston, and the woman she was playing. I went upstairs, nudged my husband awake and said, "Honey, I know what I want for my birthday..."