Dogs are predictable

The thing about living with a dog is, they tend to behave in a very predictable manner. So when bad things happen, you can usually trace it back to an error on your part, and/or follow the trajectory of all the future things that will arise from it.

Case in point: Koa has now realized that when she is left alone for more than two minutes, the best way to assuage her anxiety is to lock herself in the pantry and eat away her stress. This has happened three times in as many weeks.

It’s entirely my fault, for making the fatal error of forgetting to close the pantry door before departure. And the price is paid dearly.

So when I arrived home the night before last to find my husband stalking the house resembling nothing so much as Jack Torrance in the Shining (Jack Nicholson version, of course) I figured something was up.

I had pre-emptively removed anything chocolate or scary from the bottom levels, but it was still a scene, nonetheless. Apparently the dog likes fruit snacks, by the way. And flatbread.ย 

The next morning, as one might predict, Koa was beginning to feel the tingles of digestive upset. I sighed. Probability I might need to clean something up later: high.

Which leads to my nausea inducing arrival home with the kids to find the unsurprising pool of diarrhea on the area rug. Of course on the area rug, because if a dog is going to go, they are going to go on the only carpeting in the house.

The last time this happened (the infamous Jimmy Poo incident) I discovered to my great displeasure that we were out of paper towels. You NEVER want to be out of paper towels in a situation like this. At least this time, I was prepared. And there were no Italian shoes involved.

The Rug Doctor, which is fast becoming indispensable in the house, has been moved from the garage to the laundry room, because I am a pessimist and I know I will be using it often. Which I did.

Now when you empty out said Rug Doctor bucket of grossness, one might think a reasonable thing to do is dump it in the toilet, but I was not in my right state of mind, and I emptied it in the bathroom sink. I don’t know if you’ve seen a Rug Doctor in action, but that thing has more horsepower than a Boeing engine. So in addition to whatever “impurities” you are expunging, you also get about 50 pounds of dog hair that you had no idea were even there in the first place.

I realized this fatal error about two seconds after emptying the reservoir, and realizing I now had a stopped up sink comprised of effluvia of the worst possible kind.

Word to the wise: in the world of predictable needs, add Drano and rubber gloves to the list. They come in handy. Oh, and bleach. I mean, if anyone had a right to be skulking around the house muttering “Redrum”, it’s me- I’d take an overturned trash can over that any day. But I digress.

Now I was starting to wise up to the sad reality of my afternoon and decided, in the spirit of expecting the worst, to just leave the Rug Doctor in the living room as opposed to emptying it out and putting it away. After all, I know how long Flagyl takes to kick in, and we weren’t there yet.

See? I get statistics. Probability Koa was not yet done? 100%.

Sure enough, when I took the kids to gymnastics, she went back to the scene of the crime and added insult to injury, on the rug I had just cleaned. But I am a primate, one capable of learning from mistakes, so when we came back home to more mess, I was less annoyed than simply resigned to my fate. And this time I didn’t clog up the sink.

Now, I noticed in that scene of fruit snack carnage a disproportionate lack of wrappers. The wrappers were nowhere in that pile on the rug, either. Which leads me to the prediction for tomorrow: the pile of vomited wrappers that will greet me in the morning.

Rug Doctor is staying in the living room until further notice.

This is life with a dog, I suppose. Viva le chien!

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  • Deborah Mendez

    I’m hoping the wrappers will self-destruct and not make a return visit!

    • Yes, hope springs eternal, eh?

  • Vonny

    Yeah, what is it about dogs that makes them want to poop or puke on carpet rather than on tiles or lino? Maybe they need comfortable footing while they make known their opinions on being left alone?

    My dog did a couple of revenge pees on the carpet. The next few times I left her, I laid a cheap plastic tarp down the middle of the room, covering those (cleaned) spots and a lot more area. She has not transgressed since and the tarp has been retired.

    And emptying the Rug Doctor reservoir into the sink, I’m loath to make any comment on that! Heh.

    • A tarp is the next step.

  • Lisa W

    Poor Koa! Okay, yes, and poor Dr V! Good luck with those wrappers…

    • No appearances yet. We’ll see.

  • Sue W.


  • I don’t know who I feel worse for – you or Koa! I hope you both recover from this incident with good spirits ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Koa’s fine now, little stinker. I am still traumatized. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tricia-lynn

    house full of wood floors and ceramic — but no, it’s always the CARPET. always.

    • Always. Without fail.

  • Oh that’s bad news bears, big time. You should set up a motion activated camera to see how it all goes down, should it ever happen again. It would be interesting at least. But here’s to hoping, for everyone’s sake, that you never forget to shut the door again!

    • It would be fascinating to catch her in the act. I like that.

  • Jackiomy

    For some reason if anyone throws up in my house it is on my bed. Go figure.

    • On your bed? Oh no, that’s the WORST!

  • Wikith

    In the same boat as you today. Both my boys have something ferocious ripping through them, though I suspect it’s the new peanut butter treats as to the best of my knowledge there have been no shenanigans. Our younger boy left a mess that we CANNOT get out even with our steam cleaner and so far the smell is just as pervasive as the stain. Mucho sympathy here.

    • Oh no, when the smell remains, hope is lost.

  • Cathey

    Oh Deborah, (“I’m hoping the wrappers will self-destruct and not make a return visit!”) you must not have a dog!! The wrappers ALWAYS reappear; always in the worst possible place. I agree also with Tricia-lynn – we are also ceramic tile & hardwood, but the one nice area rug we have? It must look and feel like grass when Lizzie is in a crisis, because it is ALWAYS deposited there!! I actually think you should get a nice little cabinet for your Rug Doctor so it can be a permanent fixture in the living room!! Thanks for the laughter & tears, Dr. V!

    • A nice display cabinet. With a hose attachment.

  • Laura in KY

    I apologize for laughing at your expense, but that was a very funny post. Perhaps because I can relate– I only have cats, but I refer to your ‘area rug’ experience as “The Hairball Rule.”

    Nine times out of ten that’s where the hairball– usually immediately after a meal of canned food & water, thereby exponentially increasing the amount of mess– will be deposited.

    Time number ten is on the bed, preferably on or near a pillow.

    There is no escape.

    • Pillow. That is the worst, I think.

  • Anonymous

    With Blade I learned not only to have disposable gloves, Resolve and a two year supply of paper towels, tarps and old sheets were also high on my list. There were mornings I would cover all the carpet in the areas he could get to with them. After so many evenings of cleaning up, it was the easiest way to protect the carpet. Poor Koa, I hope she feels better soon. I have a feeling her and Cookie would be best friends. (Cookie locks herself in the half bath and shreds the tissue in the trash can. Only because she can’t open the pantry thankfully.)

    • Oh, Cookie. Koa has been picking up bad habits over the computer.

  • Hopeewon

    I laughed last night when you tweeted about cleaning products and now today with this post – it’s been a similar scene here at our house. Poor Gus got an impromptu booty hair cut early this morning because it seemed like the easiest way to get the diarrhea out of his fur.

    If anyone has suggestions for getting that awesomeness out of a long mutt’s crinkly coat, I’m open to suggestions.

    • I cut too. Brody’s feathers look like I took a weed whacker to them.

  • K9diabetes

    Oh… so very sorry. Been there more times than I care to count. Why is it that they ALWAYS go for the most difficult surface to clean when perfectly good linoleum is freely available?!?!

    Our senior kitty both throws up and sometimes has poop problems. The one smart thing we did, since she lives in only part of the house, is put an inexpensive washable quilt over the carpet in the hall where she most often does her dirty business and life has been a lot better since then.

    I just hate it when my day is %*&$ literally…

    • Yup. An entire house, and they only love the 8 foot rug. sigh.

  • Susi

    Gosh almighty, you and I had similar days, though mine smelled better, I suspect. My next house is going to be tiled up the walls and ceiling with a drain in the floor of every room. Just saying.

    • I like that plan. With an ensuite hose.

  • We are working through both Giardia and Coccidia here in the Cronin household, so I feel your pain. (Also, the other day Scout broke out of confinement and ate an entire roll of paper towels, including the plastic covering, poo’d it all out throughout the upstairs hallway, and then got every toy in the house and brought them downstairs, where he had a party. And he got the garage door opener off the counter, and chewed on it. My neighbor said the door was going up and down randomly for quite a while and she thought it had a short in it. Nope, just my pooey Great Pyr puppy playing with the opener.)

    • Oh, no. The garage door part killed me, though.

  • Anonymous

    Poor Koa (and poor you)! Kolchak and Felix have only thrown up a few times each, but every time, it has been in my lap. That’s the curse of having small gs, when they feel sick, the only place they want to be is in your lap. ew.