Friday, September 3, 2010
We didn’t have a hard time housetraining Father. Something I noticed about dogs is that they tend to have their ‘spots’ and are reluctant to go anywhere other than their spots. Father was particularly rigid about going to the bathroom at his favorite place. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall ever seeing him doodoo. Maybe this, too, was a result of his living in the wild and his need for discretion. One of the few times I saw when Father had defecated in the house was when I left him alone in the house for over 24 hours. He rarely defecated in the house.
I have seen him urinate but that was to mark his territory. This I saw him do quite a bit. This was also a problem for us. When a male dog marks his territory, he won’t stop doing it. He needs to constantly refresh his mark so that other dogs will know that Father is there, and that place is his domain.
Unfortunately for us, Father chose to mark the carpet in the dining room by the front window facing the street we lived on. We don’t know when Father started marking that dining room but by the time we did find out, the cumulative effect was damaging and noxious. I was down in Raleigh for a visit one summer when my mom prompted me to take a look at where Father had been peeing.
It was nasty. The carpet had a damp feel and a musky odor. Clearly the carpet had to be removed. I took out a utility knife and started cutting up the carpet into pieces. Surprisingly, once the carpet had been torn into, I could easily shred the carpet and rip it up from the floor. I completely removed the carpet from the dining room and living room in about 2 hours, all by myself.
Now comes the moment of truth. How bad was the floor damaged from where Father had been peeing for a while? It was bad. There was mildew, and the floor was permanently stained. My mom had to have the floor sanded and resurfaced. Otherwise, the floor in the remaining parts was in surprisingly good shape. After 30 years or more of carpeting, the hardwood floor underneath was in good shape except where Father had left his mark.
After the floor was redone, Father didn’t mark the dining room floor again. Another thing I noticed about dogs is that they don’t like to urinate on hardwood floors. Maybe the splattering of the pee bothers them and they prefer to piss on a carpet or rug so it can soften the landing of the stream of urine and soak up the piss. Maybe this is why people will put a rug by the commode for guys who don’t aim so well when they pee.