That’s exactly what Charlie had this morning.
Matt made the discovery, deep in the bowels of the basement. At first his voice was muffled, then loud and desperate.
“Jill! Can you come down here????”
The smell hit me before I got to the bottom of the stairs.
“There’s a pile here, and here, and over there, and by the furnace, too,” Matt said, his arms flailing around him. We found a fifth pile on top of a folding camp chair. Seriously. This dog has good aim.
Charlie also peed on a box of my brother’s books, on a cloth toolbag, an old can of paint and a pile of dirty sheets.
The sheer enormity of the situation stunned us into silence.
Matt and I avoided talking about who left the baby gate down at the top of the stairs. At this point it was beyond assigning blame. Instead, we both grabbed paper towels, plastic bags and a cleaning solution boasting its cleaning powers against “pet elimination.”
Other than keeping the gate up, I have to say I’m at a loss at how to prevent this from happening again. We have a dog door, giving Charlie unfettered access to a yard-sized outdoor toilet. That he chooses instead to squat in the darkened basement absolutely baffles me.
Could positive reinforcement be the answer? We used that when we first got him, and for a while it seemed to work. Awwe, Charlie! Did you just do a poopie? Let me rub you behind the ears! Was that a pee-pee you just did? Good boy!!!
As I was pondering this out back, I lost my balance. To be more accurate, I fell. Into a hole the size of Texas.
Charlie again! Drats!
The hole was about a foot-and-a-half wide, and several inches deep. Curiously, his beloved smoke-treated cow femur sat nearby.
I think this is the part in the story that I throw my arms up to the sky, and ask for mercy! What could have I done in my life to deserve a dog that poops his brains out, then digs a hole to China? Certainly, this has to be par for the course. Other puppy owners must wake up to find themselves waist-deep in excrement, right?
Desperate for guidance, I turned to the elder in the house. The one with probably the most experience and success with housebreaking. Lexie lifted her head from her nap, shook her ears in amazement, then snuggled in to continue her slumber. Thanks a lot Lex. I’ll remember that.
Not knowing where to go, I turned to the Internet. I typed in something like “I have a dog door and my puppy still poops in the house.” I couldn’t believe the results. I’m glad to report I’m not the only person who has experienced this seemingly nonsensical problem.
A common theme in the self-help threads was separation anxiety. We’ve already established Charlie is a solid candidate for that disorder. Some people suggested going out in the yard with the dog in the morning and evening, and hanging out until the pup “produces.” Also, I guess increased exercise is in order.
I’m sure an answer is in there somewhere. In the meantime, the basement is clean, and I need to fill a hole in the yard.
And Charlie, you’re still in deep doo-doo.