It just peed on my refrigerator. Yeah, that’s right. In the past two years since we sprang it from its cage at Small Pet Rescue, it has peed on my chaise, the sofa, any number of table legs, the living-room drapes, and, inexplicably, a bowl of Bartlett pears.
What does this have to do with menopause? I’m getting there.
The weird thing about this dog is he seems to know what he’s supposed to do. For months he will trot out the doggie door and return positively dancing with pride. “Lookit me, people! Look what I did! I peed outside!!!! Don’t you think I’m brilliant? Come on, give me some sugar. Get down here and hugmehugmehugme!!!!!!”
And we do. Oh, yes. The family standing outside in pouring rain or blistering sun, throwing a “potty party”, complete with dancing and our doggie’s favorite snacks? That’s us. We followed the trainer’s tips to the letter. I tethered the little dear to me for hours…days…weeks. We used a crate. We threw the ubiquitous potty parties. And everything works. For a few months. Until once again I see the tell-tale dribble of yellow on my Bartletts (which were on the kitchen table, in case you are wondering).
We have called Bichon Rescue…Poodle Rescue…the shelter advice line. We bought a “Belly Band”—which, the pundits proclaimed, was the only “solution” we had left.
Changing a dog’s diaper for the next 13 years (Bichons and Poodles live a long time…if you don’t kill them) did not sound like much of a “solution,” but I couldn’t find anyone else stupid enough to take a non-housebroken, 2-year-old, brain-addled Bichon-Poodle mix, so I bought the Belly Band.
“Dogs never pee in the Belly Band,” assured the lady at Bichon Rescue. “Unless…they’re incorrigible.”
“What do I do if he’s incorrigible?”
“You could put a sanitary pad in the Belly Band to catch the pee.”
“What?! I am all through with sanitary pads! It’s one of the perks of menopause,” I insisted to the poor woman who thought I’d just phoned to talk about the dog.
“Well…” she sounded nervous “…I’m sure it won’t come to that anyway. Almost no dog pees in the Belly Band.”
We now have three Belly Bands, so we can alternate when one has to be washed. I think the dog is brain-damaged (probably from my screaming, “STOP IT RIGHT NOW,” in its tiny little ear), though not as brain-damaged as I am for keeping him. But here’s the thing…
I think I am suffering from Menopause Symptom #37:
INCREASED COMPASSION FOR THE INCONTINENT
I mean, let’s face it: I am so close to incontinence myself, it would be bad karma to ditch the pup because he’s peeing where he shouldn’t. I don’t want to give my kids any ammunition. So, yes, nine years after I bid farewell to the feminine protection aisle, I am back.
Depends are probably just around the corner.