Thursday, March 4, 2010

Doggie sickness: The aftermath

I was going to write about the latest issue of Everyday Food today, but I haven't finished reading it and, frankly, so far it is not too inspiring.

Instead, let me give you the conclusion to the week of dog sickness: Today I came home to a big mess. I will spare you the details, but it came in several piles, and it was not pretty.

And then there was blood too.

So apparently Doc got the end of his sickness out of him, and Max is the one with a bloody nose. How did that happen? I have no idea. But when I got home there was lots of tail wagging and too much barking from Doc.

Ugh, the barking.

Ninety-nine percent of the time you would not know we had dogs, at least by sound. They make hardly any noise. Occasionally Max lets out a deep guttural growl at a passing dog outside our bay window, but most of the time our dogs look like this:

Or they're just so cute, like this:
I want to hug them and have them put their heads on my lap when we're hanging out on the sofa watching Lost (did not enjoy this week's episode, by the way), but I HATE it when Doc barks. So today I said to Matt that we have to figure out how to get him to stop barking. He barks twice a day: once at 5 a.m. (only on weekdays, but nevertheless awesome) and when I get home from work. To remedy the latter I have tried taking him outside the second I put down my bag, but even then it's not over.

Which leads me to my next question: How do you deal with a screaming baby? A barking dog has put me near my wit's end. And I need to nip this habit in the bud asap.

And then there's the mess part. So I grabbed the Spot Shot (the new non-toxic kind that doesn't come in an aerosol can and it works just as well, so three pluses). I got the mess up almost immediately, though I will probably reapply another layer of Spot Shot when I finish writing. As you no doubt know if you've read this blog for more than a day, I am pretty particular about my home, cleanliness and general organization. When my friend Sam, owner of large and fury dogs, found out we were adopting one dog and then another, asked, "How are you going to handle that? Dogs can mess up your house." Yes, yes they can.

How do I deal with it? I get sad for a minute, and then I try really hard to clean it up immediately and not think about it again until the next incident. When we came home to some destroyed pillows, a destroyed blind and some destroyed base boards after a trip in November, I cried for a solid 30 minutes. It's one of the few times I think I've cried in over a year. And then I bought new pillows.

I care about my house because I put time (a lot) and money (not as much) into it, and I take pride in how it looks. I grew up in a house where we were rarely allowed to have guests over because it was always "too messy." So I never want to live that way again. This is why my heart breaks a little every time my dogs do something to mess it all up a little.

OK, your turn: How do you deal with having animals in the house and the messes you made? Do I just need to suck it up and chill out? And, if you have successfully broken a dog's barking habit, I would love to hear your tips. I am ready to call in the big guns (metaphoric, of course. Don't worry.)


  1. I thought this month's EDF sucked too! So disappointing...

    I don't have an recommendations about the barking because my dogs growing up barked ALL THE TIME so this two times a day things doesn't seem so bad in comparison. Hope Doc is feeling better!

  2. Hey Steph-
    I do have an idea for you: I looked into something called the Ultimate Dog Silencer Collar to stop the dogs from barking. Its a humane method where they wear a collar that emits a high pitched sound when the dogs bark, and they don't like it, and supposedly it makes them stop barking. There's also a floor unit you can get if you don't want the collar. We never actually used it because our dogs only bark when someone comes to the door, and this is considered protective barking, based on instinct, so the saleslady told me that it probably wouldn't stop them from doing that. But if yours are barking just out of excitement, it might work! Its a little expensive, but other people swear by it. The spray bottle of water and shaking cans of rocks never worked for us, so we just gave up. We put a white noise machine in Luke's room instead so he doesn't wake up from the barking. :)

  3. Aw, Steph I'm sorry! I love spot shot, it works so well and it is sold at costco! We also have a SpotBot that we bought at your favorite store(BBB). I found out after the fact. that they sell a smaller probably just as efficient version at costco for much less. Bailey and Autumn decided to start getting sick only after we installed brand new carpet; this investment which came after a few tears has been a lifesaver(carpet saver).

    I didn't realize that they tore up a baseboard in November. I'm sorry =( If you want to feel better about the doggies you can always come by and check out Bailey's destruction on various surfaces during his teething phase.

  4. Thanks for the tip, Kate! I remember your spray bottle. I think I will pick one up at the store today and try that first. I don't know if Doc needs a special collar (yet) because he doesn't bark that often, just at really inopportune times (like again at 6:15 a.m. this Saturday morning, hence why I am awake!). I will let you know what works!