As we were about to leave the house to go to Sacramento to review Chicago, I heard a cry of anguish from the living room. Walt had discovered a lake of dog urine under the dining room table.
Poor Lizzie (we assume it was Lizzie...Sheila will hold it untilshe explodes, though exploding in this instance could also have become a possibility). She really is very good about peeing where she is supposed to--outside--but she also is so damnably insistant about barking at the back fence that she spends more of her life inside than she does outside. Because of our long feud with Mr. McCoy (our Hatfield-McCoy relationship), we are very aware of the dogs barking, even though he has not lived in that house for about two years and we have had no complaints whatsoever from the current tennants, who have a big dog, who barks at our dogs.
I keep letting the dogs out when they get restless, Walt keeps bringing them in when they bark. I tend to let them bark longer than he does because most of the time they will stop after 5 minutes or so, and I figure they have to get along with that big dog sooner or later. There are times when they are sleeping in the house and the big dog comes out and barks. I really think the three of them (Lizzie, Polly and Big Dog) like each other and as soon as they are let out, they come to the back fence to bark and see if their friend(s) on the other side can come out and play. When Big Dog barks, Lizzie and Polly are like cartoon characters, their feet slipping on the Pergo as they try to race outside instantly.
Sheila is calmer. She barks occasionlly, but does not respond to Big Dog the way the other two do.
Also, I have been unable to housebreak Polly. I tried the first year she was here, but she was so scared of anything and everything, that whenever I took her outside she would stand there trembling and cowering, as if I was about to beat her. I would eventually give up, come back into the house and within seconds, she would pee on the floor.
Life changed when I found puppy puddle pads, designed to help housebreak puppies. Polly took to those like a duck to water and always peed on the pad, so we just use a couple of pads in the house and she's semi-housebroken, like a cat with a litter box.
When nature calls Lizzie, and I'm not able to read her need to pee, she will also head for the puddle pad. But Polly is a tiny thing and Lizzie is a 33 lb terrier and her bladder holds considerably more than Polly's does. I can only assume from how much she peed last night that she had been holding it in for hours.
The puddle ran from next to the puddle pad (her aim isn't very good) under the dining room table and halfway across the living room. It was a 4-towel job and Walt's pants got wet in the process, so he had to change them before we could leave for the theater.
While the natural reaction would be to get angry with Lizzie, I realize that the fault, dear Brutus, was not in Lizzie, but in my own failure to let her out when she had the need. I was more intent on keeping the dogs locked up while we were gone, so they wouldn't bark and couldn't be called back into the house, than realizing how long Lizzie had been locked up.
Of course when I let the dogs out for one last relief before we left, the first thing they did was to race to the back fence to bark. Sigh. Remind me again why I have dogs?
Maybe it's because their joy is so infectuous. I took Lizzie to the vet yesterday to get updated shots and a clean bill of health. She loved the car ride. I don't roll the window all the way down because I'm sure she'd leap out if she saw something she wanted to investigate, but rolling it down just enough that she can stick her face out delights her and she had a great time sniffing all those strange smells coming to her.
Jeri came with me to the sing-along at Atria yesterday afternoon. She and her grandmother had a good time singing to all of those songs from popular musicals.