Friday, October 17, 2008

the poop has hit the fan

I'm at my wit's end.

Over the last few months, Murray has been peeing all over the house when we're not watching him. It started on the bathroom rugs, so I'd wash them, pour the pet smell removal stuff all over them, and put them back down. Less than a day would pass, he'd pee on them again. Rinse, repeat, pee again. So I went out and bought new bathroom rugs. Less than a day later, another pee on the rug. Some days it would be pee AND poop. The other day I realized that he'd been using one of our rugs repeatedly as his personal bathroom and the rug was drenched in urine and had been for weeks.

A couple of months ago, he started in on the kitchen mat and ruined it. I tried washing it and eventually threw it out and bought a new one. Today I walked in to the kitchen, started loading the dishwasher, and stepped on a very wet rug. A very wet rug that smells like urine.

Not only are we dealing with this, but he'll often start pooping on the pee pee pads where he is supposed to pee and poop, but start walking in the middle of pooping and deposit half of the poop in the middle of the kitchen or in the dining room. The other day Gabe brought me a piece of poop upstairs, and I had no idea where it had come from. I ended up finding more poop near Josh's side of the bed in our bedroom.

Our bedtime routine consists of us double and triple checking that all the upstairs doors are closed because Murray will pee in any of the bedrooms if they are made available to him. In the morning, Josh has to make sure to pick up the bathroom rug before he leaves the bathroom because Murray will definitely pee on it. He cannot be left unattended within reach of Gabe's rug or the guest room rugs because he will try to pee on them.

This. Has. To. Stop.

It's gross. It's unsanitary. I have one child and another on the way, and I simply do not have this kind of emotional time and energy to waste on Murray's behavior. I've spent the last 45 minutes crying alternately to Josh (who has no patience either and has reached the end of his rope), my mom (who is sympathetic but doesn't have answers), and finally the vet's office who put a behavioral consultant on the phone with me while I sobbed.

She was helpful, firm, and had good ideas. I kept offering up suggestions for why he was doing this, and her answer was that she just didn't care WHY he was doing what he was doing. It is simply unacceptable, and I cannot continue living like this. If Murray can't behave the way he is supposed to, then he doesn't get to be a functional member of this family. Our new plan of action is that Murray is confined in a crate when we can't watch him until he can be trusted not to pee. He is going to go back to sleeping in a crate at night (something we haven't done in years), and we are getting rid of the pee pee pads completely. Although it is more convenient for us to not have to take them outside in the winter, the existent of these rug-like products inside the house, where they are encouraged to pee, may be too confusing to him and the behavioral consultant thinks it may help.

And we're starting from square one. It'll be like having a puppy again, but I'm hoping this will resolve our problems. I never never never thought I would ever fathom giving away a dog, but crying every day and/or screaming at him is not working either. I feel frustrated and guilty and insanely furious multiple times during the day. I'm not being a good dog owner when I'm so angry I want to scream, and I hate showing that kind of behavior in front of Gabe, but I'm so ridiculously frustrated, I can't help it.

I love my dogs, Gabe loves our dogs, Josh loves the dogs. They love us too. We like having them around, they are sweet and good-natured and kind. I can't imagine life without them, but I also can't imagine living like this indefinitely. I can't imagine having to clean up pee and poop throughout my house for the next 10 years. I have enough of the peeing and pooping from the little person I live with, I don't need it from the dogs too.

Wish me luck over the next few weeks, I'm sure I'll need it.


KLee said...

HL, so sorry that Murray has lost his marbles! I know, because you love him, you want to find the root cause of why he's doing what he's doing, but I like the ideas that the consultant came up with.

I know this has to be frustrating for you, and even more so the more advanced the pregnancy becomes. You're absolutely right in trying anything you can to get this under control before the new baby arrives.

Beth said...

I have no good answers either but consider lots of luck being sent your way. And patience. I can't even begin to imagine how you can deal with this on top of everything else. Hang in there!

My Wombinations said...

I could not relate more.. No answers, though. Only lots and lots of sympathy. It is hard.

Nadine said...

That sounds pretty trying. It also sounds like the beginning of an episode of It's Me or the Dog before Victoria arrives to save the day. Ever watch that?

Anonymous said...

Do you all have any outdoor area in your living arrangements? It *is* very hard to walk the dogs in winter & w/two little guys. I wonder if you might be able to rig a place for Murray to go outside unaccompanied?

I know your guys are small, and you'd likely have to shovel the area, but still . . .

I'm sorry your facing this.