Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's Not Easy Getting Old

Poor Timber.  Tomorrow is the visit to the vet to check up on why he is drinking and peeing so much.  In the meantime, we're all about ready to be done with the accidents.  When Timber has to pee I'm not sure he always knows or has control over it.  The good news is that because he drinks so much his accidents are practically just water.  But we did need a solution.

There's a great pet store on the north east side of town called Pets on Broadway.  When I went in to pick up dog food for the boys (they eat Fromm Gold and no one on our side of town carries it) I decided it was finally time to get Timber a belly band.  For those of you not in the know when it comes to belly bands, well... be happy about that.  It is a simple device that literally wraps around the belly of a male dog (similar products are available for females, but we won't go there today) to prevent him from peeing inside the house.  It's essentially a diaper for males who are problematic markers (which I think is really any male that marks inside instead of out!) or incontinent dogs.  I've also known of people using a belly band during house training, but please, if it comes to that, call a professional (like me)!

It's awkward enough buying a diaper for your male dog, but standing in the aisle reading the packaging to figure out what size you need and exactly how much liquid the thing will be capable of holding, you feel pretty strange.  Fortunately Pets on Broadway has great staff, and one of them (sorry I didn't get your name!) patiently helped me through the whole process.  The icing on the cake was one brief line on the instructions.  To quote the Simple Solution Washable Male Wrap, "Position the wrap so the microfiber pad covers your dog's masculinity."  Oh my goodness, is that what we call it?

Next it was time to try convincing Timber that this belly band was a good idea.  I mean, hey, he doesn't care if we are wearing out the mop. I affixed a pad to the proper place on the wrap, then proceeded to cover poor Timber's "masculinity."  Timber was indulging to a point, but would not be convinced that it was safe to lie down with such a dangerous piece of fabric attached to him.  So I did what any good dog trainer would do.  I got out the chicken and gave Timber the "down" command, thinking that if I directed him to lie down a few times he'd understand that it was okay.

Now, Timber's not a huge fan of obedience training, but fortunately for me, he is a huge fan of chicken. 

"Down," I said.  Thunk went Timber. 

I did it!  He smiled up to me.  Chicken now!  Timber was pleased with himself, but something was missing from the equation.  His back end.  Timber had happily performed the portion of the "down" exercise he was comfortable with, and maybe he thought I wouldn't notice the rest.  He was in a very nice play bow, front end down on the ground and butt (and belly band) up in the sky.

At least he got a laugh out of me, because that much effort didn't earn him the piece of chicken he had been hoping for.  We tried again.  And again.  We were finally successful, and Timber got lots of chicken for his tolerance and obedience.  Tonight we've had one near accident (fully caught by the belly band, hooray!); tomorrow will be our trip to the vet, and hopefully a solution that Timber is more accepting of.

Timber doing "down"

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