Sand in the Hour Glass

A friend at work is having a typical puppy experience – adorable photos, punctuated by stories of chewed up socks, and of course, the inevitable waking up in the middle of the night to take the pup out to pee. Although *I* never had to deal with the waking up in the middle of the night part, I say to myself smugly.

Bing, surveying

After all, Bing was the smartest (and best/cutest/most adorable/insert your own superlative here) puppy and he’s still the BDE (best dog ever). He figured out potty training in a snap. We would take him on his last walk around 11:30 or midnight and then at 6 or 6:30 am, when I sat up in bed, I would see that he was already awake, sitting nicely – and quietly – at the door of his crate, just waiting for me to take him out. Big smile on his face.

There was the time we gave him his first bath … and he ran, dripping wet onto the new rug, stared up at us and peed emphatically. Pissed off.

Other than that, for about 16 years, we could count on one hand the number of accidents in the house. That just didn’t happen. And proud dog mom that I was, I secretly lorded it over my friends who had puppies who weren’t as quick to potty train. I even secretly lorded it over the new dog(s) that came along to join our pack. Bing was simply superior in every way.

Lately however, my elderly gentleman, about to turn 17 at the end of May, has started yet another new medication. This one makes him pee. He’s already taking one that makes him thirsty. You see where this is going.

He’s come full circle and as an old dog, has to be watched and taken out on a puppy’s schedule. So while I never had to wake up in the middle of the night to take him out when he was a puffy puppy, now that his blonde hair has turned white and soft, we take him out a few times a week in the middle of the night. If he’s awake, he has to go. Although isn’t that true for everyone?

Now, I take him out one more time just before I leave for work in the morning. I take him out after he eats. I pretty much take him out whenever I think of it, or pass by his napping form. The good news is he always goes. He understands why we’re outside.

And when I think about taking him out, but don’t, invariably he makes a small puddle. I’m annoyed for a fraction of a second. 1 – he can’t help himself and 2 – that’s what Nature’s Miracle is for. I have jugs of it – advanced formula, of course – and spray bottles of the hard floor formula. That and paper towels. Just keep buying them in bulk.

Mostly though, I’m sad. Sad for my sweet, smart, fastidious, super neat puppy …

The other day, I had this flash of insight. No matter what, each dog is destined to pee a certain amount in the house in their lifetime. Whether it’s a tough housebreaking in puppyhood, routine backsliding from a dog who never really gets it or a senior dog where age finally catches up … each dog is destined to pee a certain amount on your floors. And when that pre-ordained quantity is gone? Is it like the Fates in Greek mythology or the Norse Norns spinning then cutting the thread? {gulp}

… sand in an hour glass, dribbling away a little at a time. And there’s less left every time I look. As Uhtred says: Fate is inexorable.


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