Friday, April 24, 2009

Bad, bad hair days!

I woke up as sick as a dog. I could hardly lift my head from the pillow. I just managed to stagger to the kitchen, feed the pups and take them outside to do their business. Then I would crash back into my bed.

Later that evening I had to face what I had been avoiding all day. A kitchen floor and passage full of dirty newspaper and dog's business. Just the thought of getting down on my hands and knees to clean it up, made me feel really, really sick.

In desperation I thought "I have to do some damage limitation!" So I decided that I would limit the territory that the pups had access to at night time. This required inspired thinking when it came to setting up road blocks. I rummaged through my garage and attic.

First I dragged a bench into the kitchen which restricted access. I then set up barriers in the passage so that they only had two metres of floor space instead of 15 metres.

All of this, as you can imagine took quite a bit of energy. Then I cleaned the floor, put down fresh newspaper, fed and watered the pups and took them outside for their ritual pee/poop/play time.
Sometime during the mayhem, Jemma slipped inside the kitchen. I returned to find a fresh puddle of urine right next to the up-ended bench. If I did not know better, I feel this was a protest action. Muttering and cursing under my breath, I grabbed my cleaning kit and once again cleaned, disinfected and sprayed the floor with vinegar (neutralises the smell of urine).

I was ready to snap. I was going to bite some body's head off. But then the words of my puppy trainer kept my temper on a leash.

  • Never raise your hand in anger against your dog. It must always be seen as a symbol of love and caring. Dogs that are beaten and obey out of fear often become dogs that are aggressive, unpredictable and anti-social.
  • If you are in a bad mood ( stressed, angry, frustrated ) rather leave your dogs in case your emotions spill over causing a negative interaction with them.

So I decided the wise thing to do that night was to walk away. The next day I felt better especially when I saw that my damage limitation barriers had worked. I only had to clean two metres of floor instead of the entire kitchen and passage way. Now the pups had less choice and the garden was becoming their inevitable destination.

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