When you get on a first name basis with your stain removal or carpet cleaning service, you know there is a serious problem with your pet(s). This was my wife and I. My story involves Samson, my stumpy-legged, 2-year old bunch of joy. He used to have some serious pet mess problems that my wife and I thought we would never be able to solve. It was only with some soul-searching and serious commitment that we were able to live through our horrible pet story experience and come out smelling like fresh lavender on the other side.
It starts out like any pet story. We went to the local animal shelter because we were ready for some responsibility as a couple but were not to the point of having a child. So we looked around the shelter with the idea of finding a cute addition to the family. Then we saw those eyes. He was the cutest little fella ever and we had to have him! We fell in love with Sammy at that minute and instantly committed ourselves to bringing him aboard the family. We had a lot to learn before Sammy was fully domesticated.
He was a timid little guy and I have a feeling he was physically abused by the previous owners. It took Sammy weeks for him to finally warm up to us, and he was particularly scared of males. For example, whenever my dad would come to visit, Sammy would run off and hide in the next room. He was only about a year old at that point, so I could easily pick him up and cuddle with him. But he just didn’t seem comfortable around me for the longest time. We knew it would take a bit for him to get acclimated to his new environment and family so it wasn’t such a big deal. Then, the messes started.
My wife would take Sammy on walks every single day, and for the most part Sammy loved it. He enjoyed waddling about the sidewalk and sniffing out the other dogs that passed by. He would urinate and defecate in the surrounding lawns and it would be promptly retrieved in a plastic bag by me or my wife. There wasn’t a problem there. But he’d do the same in our bedroom and it wasn’t with any predictability. We would always let him out in the morning, afternoon, and evening. If we ever received a hint that he wanted to go out we would quickly let him out the door. We even installed a doggy door so he could go out freely, but even that didn’t work.
The pet psychologist couldn’t give us any meaningful answers either. My brother-in-law told us to spray Samson down with the hose whenever a mess was made, but the idea of doing that to our one and only is just so vulgar and repulsive that I can’t believe PETA hasn’t infiltrated my BIL’s home yet. We would physically carry him to the pee spot and sometimes even tilt his head down so he would be sure to pick up the scent. But it kept happening. I even decided to call one of those infomercials on the television (extreme measure, I know) to see if one of those products would decipher our dilemma. Nope.
We ended up using a combination of ‘Apple Bitter’ to train him into associating the solution smell with his messes. It took a few months for him to kick the habit out of his system, but Sammy eventually learned how not to make a mess inside the house and has been problem free for about 6 months now, which is almost unheard of considering the problems he was having before. Just a note to future pet owners is that some shared commitment goes a long way! I could not have done it without the calmness of my wife, durable carpeting, and carpet cleaning service when a stain or two were too easy to spot. Wishing you the best of luck with your pets and have a blessed 2014.