My puppy, Shadow, is a 6 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback. He’s a good dog even though it’s been somewhat of a challenge for me starting over with a new baby. Training is going very well. He walks great on the leash, he’s fine with people and other dogs, and he’s been potty trained for months. It sounds like it was easy but this dog has a stubborn streak like no other animal I’ve had in my life. Truly, at the age of 57, it’s been a very difficult road for me to train him.
Yesterday morning I took him for a nice long walk because he’s been stuck in the house for two days due to heavy rain. As a puppy, they get all this pent up energy and it has to be released. The preferred method for him to release it is through a walk rather than by chewing up the house. Even after an hour long walk in the neighborhood he still didn’t seem quite tired out, so we played in our back yard and he ran around like crazy with the wind in his hair. I have to mention that I ran around with him too so I get credit for releasing my energy, much to my dismay.
Feeling quite satisfied that I had fulfilled all his basic needs such as, food, water, potty time, exercise and play, I continued about my day. I was in the kitchen preparing baked apples in the crockpot and chatting with my step-daughter. Then the most unimaginable thing happened.
I felt something on my leg and I glanced down to realize with disbelief and horror that Shadow had lifted his leg and peed on me. I might mention that this dog has never lifted his leg to pee. He still squats like a girl. But, NO, he has decided to take a monumental step in his development and lift his leg to pee directly onto my leg. He chooses me, the alpha person in his life.
At first, it didn’t register in my mind what was happening. I have never witnessed such an outlandish act in my life. I’ve never even heard of anyone describing such a scene but there it was right in my kitchen, with no shame from him whatsoever. Going ballistic is the only way I can describe what happened next. I have new hardwood floors in my house so it was easy to grab him by the collar and drag his sorry ass out the door. As I am sliding him across the floor I am sure the neighbors could hear me shouting “What did you do?” , “Bad Dog, Bad Dog”. When my voice reaches high octaves there usually isn’t anybody that can be spared. The words flying out of my mouth as I cleaned up the floor, “I knew I shouldn’t have cancelled his neutering appointment. Never mind, I’ll do it myself.” were spewing forth. Fire was oozing out of my ears. My step-daughter was laughing at my reaction because I am sure she never witnessed this implausable act before either.
After I somewhat calmed down, I called my boyfriend to tell him what our precious puppy just did. He was not quite giving me the reaction that I thought was appropriate. He was surprised but didn’t get crazy like I did. I could only imagine how he would have felt if the dog peed on his leg. Once again I am screeching my dismay over the phone to him and here is what he had to say on the subject. “Well, you know what has to be done now don’t you?” I replied, “What do you mean?”. He proceeded to tell me that dogs are territorial and with his new found hormones it is natural for them to urinate as a way of claiming their territory. He went on to say, “The only option now is for me to get the dog when I come home and show him that you don’t belong to him rather, you belong to me, so I will have to pee on your leg too.” Then he began convulsing in laughter as I began to shriek to the heavens until there was nothing left to do but join in the laughter with him.
I was so upset with the dog that I had to google what this behavior meant. When my boyfriend got home, he told me that he and his co-worker were laughing so much that they had to google it. The result is that unaltered dogs will urinate to claim their territory and as a puppy his hormones are kicking in and I had the honor of being the first victim of Shadow lifting his leg to pee.
Honor or not, I stated clearly both to Shadow and to Bill that I am an independent woman and I belong to no one. Once again, though, I am reminded not to take life too seriously. When the day was done and the story recounted many times, there was nothing left to do but laugh. The memory created brought a smile to many people yesterday and I am sure it will continue on for some time. After my strong and appropriate reaction I was able to see the hilarity in it all. I am Blessed to be able to laugh at my own self once again.