We recently came to be parents of a new puppy. Briggs is an Old English Sheep Dog and is a little over 2 months old. When we went to look at the pups, he and his litter mates were graciously using the newspaper provided in the kennel for their bathroom needs. FABULOUS I thought! He’s half way potty trained!
Briggs came home with us and immediately forgot the purpose of the newspaper. It became a playground for playing and romping, a play thing to rip and shred. We soon abandoned hope and are still trying to get him to potty in the yard like a good boy instead of on the porch, patio, and sidewalks. He feels that his job is to lay on the front porch at all times to guard the door and forgets to walk three feet to the grass when the urge hits. So several times a day I have to make sure to take him for a stroll in the grass to remind him that THIS is where we (Briggs, not myself) pee and poop.
Briggs likes to run in the basement door with me when I go in and out. He has discovered during his exploration there, that we have basement stairs. And these stairs lead to a door at the top. He has also discovered that by pushing and pawing this door, he can pop it open and find himself in the kitchen, a magical place with rugs and a garbage can.
He is not allowed in the kitchen. This domain belongs to our cat, Fat Gladys, who rules her kingdom with an iron fist and a stony glare. Suffice it to say that their first introduction was less than satisfactory. Husband felt it necessary for them to meet. I thought that was a nice idea. (It was Brigg’s first day at our house and he was smaller and less mobile than he is now.) He was calmly laying in the living room (we were still deciding what to do with him for the night) and instead of letting Gladys find him on her own and deem him acceptable or unacceptable, Husband picked up Fat Gladys and plopped her down right in front of Briggs.
Briggs continued chewing his stuffed animal and ignored Gladys. Gladys morphed into Halloween Cat and poofed her tail out. She remained with arched back and big yellow eyes for an eternity of seconds while she tried to figure out in her feline mind how she should react to this unfortunate turn of events. In the end she ran hissing out of the room never to be seen on the first floor for the next few days. Having another furry animal in the house totally destroyed her life.
That was a few weeks ago. They have since drawn up a treaty that states that Briggs may be on the porch as much as he wants. He may even have the basement because Gladys is not allowed down there (that’s our rule, not hers. She notes every time the basement door opens and if she doesn’t hear it close again, she sneaks down. She knows this is bad and she’s not allowed and yet the element of danger is such that she can’t resist.) As long as Briggs stays out of the house, they can be civil.
Briggs does not always honor this treaty though. Maybe his lawyer did not explain the parameters of the agreement properly. I’ve found him in the house several times already. Perhaps we should have named him Harry Houdini. He’s usually calmly sleeping on the kitchen floor, having licked up all the crumbs beside the stove. Once he came up through the basement. Another time, we suspect, he waited till the wind blew the screen door open and came in. Husband tightened the spring on the screen door so that doesn’t happen anymore.
That brings us to the Case of the Mysterious Pee Spot. Yesterday I was quilting. Gladys came in to twirl around my legs and say hello, then flopped down unceremoniously on the floor. We continued amicably in silence for awhile, me quilting, Gladys lounging. Eventually I went downstairs.
The kitchen rugs were askew. Hmm, I thought, that’s different. I walked past the living room. Our big afghan was halfway across the living room floor. I didn’t remember tossing it there for any reason. Why would I? In the hallway I found one of my good flip flops upside down. I circled back to the kitchen to make sure Briggs wasn’t in there somewhere. He was laying outside on the porch sleeping.
How odd, I thought. Maybe I got up to answer the phone and DID fling the afghan on the floor. Maybe the breeze stirred up the kitchen rugs. Maybe I carelessly kicked off my flip flops, it happens all the time.
Later in the evening we sat down to watch the telly. As I sat there, I happened to notice a dark spot on the living room carpet. It looked yellowish. I went over. It was slightly damp. I pointed it out to Husband who claimed that it was NOT HIM that peed on the floor. I know it wasn’t me either. We both looked suspiciously at the cat. She blinked and looked away. She uses her litter box religiously, but could she have been trying to frame the dog? The dog was on the porch when I found him. And Gladys was with me most of the afternoon. (She’s also too small and does not have the dental capacity to drag that huge blanket off of the couch.) The only other being to suspect would be Jim, our sometimes ghost. He’s really picky about the house though and prefers it clean. I don’t think he would manifest to pee on the floor.
All evidence points to Briggs. But how did he get in? And how did he know to get back out? Is he really that clever and cunning or did he just Mr. Magoo his way in and out? The mystery remains. Perhaps we should have named him O.J.