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puppy accidents

23 May 2011

I’ve always stayed away from discussions of urine and fecal matter at parties. Just too personal, and I figured there wasn’t much to gain from participating in them, even when I was single.

But get a dog, and you’ll be closer to urine and fecal matter than at any time other than diaper changing.

Most of the time, the stuff is deposited safely outdoors. In our house, we call these moments “going potty.” When our great dane puppy Luna does the biz inside, she has had what MW euphemistically calls an “accident.”

Peeing and pooping inside are the most common accidents you’ll have with puppies. They’re also usually the hardest to clean up unless your young pup goes postal on a sofa or pumpkin. True, there will probably be the odd chewed slipper or Air Jordan to throw out but their clean-up is simple.

31 and Counting

We’ve had 31 accidents since Luna’s arrival in January. Including one very memorable day (“Nothing Says I Missed You Like a Bowel Movement Beside Your Bed“). Upstairs and downstairs. On the stone tiles on the main floor. The carpet upstairs. In the mornings. In the evenings. I could draw a map. There’d be a lot of “X marks the spot.’

An On-Going Urine Inventory

I’m not sure why I’ve tallied them and made a list. It’s like remembering all the dark nooks at your high school where you made out during dances. I can walk around the house and think, “hmm, Luna peed here in early-March. I’ll give it a few more months before I do sit ups on this spot.”

The best thing, though, about this succession of accidents is that we seemed to have weathered the storm. It’s been well over a month since the last one and—fingers crossed—she seems to understand the ill will she avoids by controlling her sphincter inside.

More Than Pee

Although puppies and accidents are a packaged experience, not all puppy accidents comprise bodily fluids. Shredded pillows, sofas, slippers and dismembered stuffed animals are other memories you’ll “cherish” after your puppy has long since entered adulthood.

what puppies can break when having fun

Sometimes the accidents happen outside.

The irises were an early casualty. The trumpet vine’s taken its share of impact, as has the wood fence and back wall of the house. The herbs are safe because Luna’s just too big to play around them now.

This past week, it was the turn of the water pipe to cede. Zoe, a fast-growing puppy that puts the mountain in Bernese Mountain Dog, visited for a doggie playdate in the back yard. When two puppies who are very close to 70 lbs each, play chase-me in a 40’ X 40’ garden at speed, accidents can and will happen.

With Luna chasing a tantalizingly close Zoe around OD’s old playhouse, Zoe caromed her side into an above-ground water pipe to which we attach a hose. Score that one 1-0 in favor of Dogs vs. Man. The pipe broke off, water quickly sprayed over half of the lawn, and the two puppies got happily soaked. As one corner of our lawn filled up, MW ran and turned off the water to the irrigation system.

$40 I Didn’t Need to Spend

puppy proofing the irrigation system

Our Sunday afternoon yesterday was spent repairing the damage. Two trips to the home center, $40 for pieces of plastic and some carcinogenic glue, a bit of shovel work, and the damage was repaired.

Not wishing to temp fate, we opted for a below-ground solution that neither dog will be able to inadvertently destroy.

Part of life with a puppy is puppy proofing. Sometimes you can foresee the future and avoid an apocalypse before it happens. Other “accidents,” like the water pipe repair, force you to be creative and deploy below-ground solutions to avoid reoccurrences.

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