Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Best Laid Plan

Just an ordinary summer morning. I prepared all the paperwork I needed for the day. Checks, payment stubs, envelopes, stamps. I got the empty returnables ready for a trip to the grocery store. I picked up Nicky’s now-empty water bottle to ready it for refill/refreeze. Even in upstate New York, August is hot. Pups need attentive helpers to get through it unscathed. A frozen water bottle on a gravity drip can be heaven on a hot day.

But today’s not a hot one. It’s within the 40/70 parameters for safety for dogs in cars. Nicki loves to go with me. I’m not so sure she loves car trips – but she does always love to go with me.

So. I load up my arms and hands with all the various objects that need to be moved/shifted/dealt with, and head downstairs. At the kitchen door, Nicki, full of anticipation of a forthcoming trip, decides it’s the perfect time to stop dead under my feet. In trying to not step on her, or to step over her, I can’t actually see her and can’t be sure of what I’m doing. I eventually HAVE to put a foot down somewhere, and – as luck would have it - I step on Nicki. Drat! I’m loud. Not at Nicki – but it doesn’t matter. Loud human voices mean bad things to her. Still, when faced with such a situation, I’m given to loud expressions of stress.

When I regain my footing, I see the cowering. I know what this means. I head for the paper towels, knowing that a urine clean-up lies ahead. Yup – right on cue. The trail follows her cowering movements. Dang.

I get out the Nature’s Miracle and start the process. I call Nicki to let her outside for the rest. She’s cowering at the junction of the bathroom door off the kitchen. I never said a word to her, nor did I direct any energy at all in her direction. Nonetheless, loud voices meant bad things for Nicki – in the past – and there’s not enough “new” past to change that yet.

I let her out, spray the enzymes around, and head down to the basement to put something else away. When I come back up the stairs, the change in light angles allows me to see clearly that she was not merely cowering in this spot: she peed. A lot. There is a righteous pool of urine sitting at the joint of two pieces of my brand new flooring. New kitchen flooring for which I have waited over 20 years. And dog urine is seeping into the seem…..

I mop it up, as I have done with all the rest of it. How can such a small dog have such a huge bladder?? And, again without scolding, I let Nicki back in.

Eventually, I realize that, in her fear, she peed – not only on my floor – but on herself. I have a no-rinse cleaner that I recently got from a hospital visit. I use the cleanser on Nicki and towel her off. She actually seems to appreciate it.

So – The enzymes are at work trying to save my floors. The no-rinse cleaners are at work trying to de-scent my pup. The urine is mopped up – and I hope my floors are ok. At no time did Nicki receive a harsh word or harsh treatment – but the shadows remain.

I almost tripped over my dog – and some @$$hole made it much worse than just a misstep. Poor Nicki expected something far worse than me being momentarily loud and unhappy. And in sheer terror, she urinated on everything, including herself.

Thanks, @$$hole. From both of us. Footnote: you’re not going to win. It’s only coming up on one year with us for Nicki. Eventually, this will stop. I’m going to prove to her that stuff like this doesn’t get her a beat down. Doesn’t get her tied out in a yard and ignored forever. Doesn’t get her abandoned. Doesn’t get her betrayed. I’m going to prove to her that events like this don’t have to happen at all. That humans can sound loud and unhappy without hurting her. That we all figure it out before the end of the day – and that we all get to cuddle in the bed together at nightfall. And all WILL be forgiven.

Because love wins, @$$hole. It just does.