Going with the flow

NaturesremedyWhoever said buying things can’t make you happy?

This product makes me happy.

Aside from the barking, Benny had (and still has) another very bad habit. Benny pees anywhere he damn pleases. Mom always said Benny was a “Stealth Peer.” She said she could never catch him in the act, so he was never punished for doing his business in the house. It made me crazy to visit her and find dried pee puddles all over her house — clearly visible on her white tile floors.

It would make me even crazier at my house, where his pee dries exactly the same color as my bamboo floors. These floors, along with the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, were the other big selling point for my buying this house.

Now the floors were in collusion with Benny to make my life an olfactory hell.

When he moved in with me, I had a pet door installed so he could go outside whenever he wanted. The problem was, if given the choice, he’d just as soon NOT go outside.

I would return home from work in the evenings and smell the evidence of his spoiled upbringing. Every night I would walk through the house, sniffing around the legs of chairs to find the hidden pee, mad at MOM for making him this way, and for leaving me to take care of him. This routine was usually accompanied by Benny’s barking, as evenings are prime time for joggers and walkers. The combination pushed me to my emotional limit almost nightly.

I tried kenneling Benny. I tried keeping him tethered to me on a short leash when I was home. I took him for walks. But when I wasn’t looking, he peed. Even today, I came home from my yoga class to find not one, but four BIG pee puddles… it’s like he held it for days so he could mark his territory as soon as I left.

It vexed me. I could not prevent it. I could not control it.

On the barking front, I researched every behavioral solution and gadget on the market. I couldn’t bring myself to put him in a shock collar. There was another collar that squirted water when the dog barked, but I figured that would just become one more thing for me to clean up.  There was a machine that emitted a high pitched noise unpleasant to dogs when the dog barked, but I worried it would also affect the kitties. Their nerves were already on edge as it was, what with all the BARKING.

I was just going to have to adjust, accept the new circumstances of my life. If I couldn’t bear to give him to someone else, for my own sanity I was going to have to learn to let go. I let go of the simple expectation of a quiet home. I accepted that looking for pee puddles was just going to be a part of my everyday routine. I let go of my anger at Mom, too. What good was IT doing? And I was grateful for Nature’s Miracle, which (I think!) actually does make the pee smell go away… except on the most humid days… but, I am getting ok with that, too.

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