08 August 2011

Of Paint and Pee

I am trapped in my house by painters. Remember how we remodeled two of our bathrooms right before my gallbladder surgery, One's graduation, and the RWA conference? Then we went on vacation, so now we're having the bathrooms painted. And my laundry room, which caught all the drips from the leaky bathroom above it. The painter and his helper are nice enough guys. But they're in my space, and it's weighing on me.

After our first painting estimate, I entertained the idea of doing the job myself. I always imagine I have more hours in my day than other human beings, with the possible exception of Martha Stewart, who only sleeps for four hours, with the lights on, to prevent excessive wasting of time. I told the Captain I was going to make Two help me with the painting, and he laughed and laughed. I don't know which he found more amusing-the notion that I have time to paint, or the idea that Two might wake up, in daylight, to help me. So when we got a reasonable estimate, I admitted that sleeping is important, along with keeping the children alive, and I hired the painter.

I've been hanging out in the kitchen with the dogs, so I'm desperately hoping the job gets finished today. They are recovering from their visit with the groomer, especially Cobie, who had to be shaved. Our dog-sitter thought she was doing the right thing by washing her after she peed in her crate, but she didn't get brushed out, so she was a matted mess. Now she looks like the cat from "Austin Powers."  Consequently, she's running around the kitchen in a panic, trying to bite her itchy, shaved parts. Leo just sleeps through his depression.

 You may recall that we adopted Cobie from a family whose son was allergic to her saliva. The family is friends with my sister-in-law, so when she heard they had to give her up, she called me. I had a wheaten-mix dog growing up, so I was a sucker for her sweet face. I asked the owner a few questions about her behavior, including her house-training, her barkiness, and her compatibility with children. Then I picked her up, and brought her home. And she's been peeing in my house ever since.

We tried several training methods, and things stayed pretty much the same. Finally, after direct questioning by my mother-in-law, who could single-handedly stop the spread of terrorism if allowed the chance to interrogate the inmates at Gitmo, the original owner revealed the details of Cobie's early life. She had not purchased Cobie from a breeder. She was the second owner, after Cobie had been rescued from a puppy mill. They didn't crate train her, because it  freaked her out, probably a result of spending hours locked up  at the mill. She spent most of her time outside, where she was allowed to use the facilities as she pleased, thus making it difficult to teach her to hold her urine when indoors.

And you know what, guys? I wouldn't have adopted her if I'd known. I've got enough special-needs kids; I don't need challenged pets. I certainly would have approached her training differently if I'd known. Now I'm playing catch-up, trying to give her one last chance before I  find a nice rescue person to place her somewhere they're willing to do all the rehabbing. Because she just peed on my floor in front of me.

And the painters will be back tomorrow.

I'm going to eat a Twizzler.


  1. Oh honey!

    As a woman who insisted on painting the nursery with Husband because it is OUR BABY and we should do it together--ALWAYS HIRE SOMEONE! You have saved lives with your wise outsourcing of labor here.

    As for the dog drama, I have the two poodles. The older one was actually my mom's but he was gotten from a very nice breeder whose husband happened to abuse the dogs while she wasn't home so First Poodle is absolutely hysterical and terrified of mom's husband (who btw hates animals that aren't on his plate w/ bbq sauce) so First Poodle came to live with me and dh when we got hitched. DH is the ONLY MAN FP can tolerate comfortably and that's due to DH's immense love and patience with him. First Poodle is a trial...I love him to pieces and wouldn't trade him for anything but nor would I bring him into a home full of kids if that had been my situation.
    YMMV, but you and Cobie might be happier living separately--she's le high maintenance doggie and you already have a high maintenance life. I think she might need to be an Only as in no kids or other pets...definitely contact Bethany (Betty Clawed) who is total genius with animal issues btw. She would have better views on this instead of assvice.

    Enjoy your twizzler.

  2. Good lord, have two Twizzlers. I have to admit, I'd have passed the dog along by now. I've tried to train animals like that and, either I'm no good at it, or they hate me. One way or the other, I've found I can't do it.

    As to the painting, well, my bank account is allergic to hiring people. We only do it at the utmost end of need, which may be why my half-bath has had bare spackle in it for the past four years. Perhaps I should start saving.

    Good luck with the dog.

  3. Anonymous8.8.11

    One, I agree with Lora and Dee about the dog. We miss our special guy very much (and he passed over nine months ago), but I would never take on another challenging one like that again.

    About the painting, if we could hire someone they'd already be here. Think how fab it's all going to look when yours gather up their shit and leave!

  4. Hate to say it, but I also agree about letting the dog go. If Cobie is an adult dog, and you've given her a reasonable shot, she is not going to change without someone who can sink some major time into working with her.

    Dh and I can paint together--though we don't often do it--because he likes to do the roller and I like to do the details. but we don't exactly do it together since he is done in a couple of hours and I'm still in there a couple of days later, carefully painting around all the trim. but wallpaper together? we did it ONCE. NEVER AGAIN. That is possibly the maddest I've ever been at him.

  5. 1. I'm very happy you had a lovely time at the Shore, but you were missed here. :)
    2. Oreo is snoring in my ear as he too sleeps off his depression brought on by abandonment at the kennel (10 days total which we all know is FOREVER in dog time). This is after he shed enough to make high pile carpet on the linoleum.
    3. I was cursing how "special" our family is as I schlepped Oreo down the deck stairs at 3 am when his back was out the last time. He got better and so it got better around here, but that's a medical issue not behavioral so I'm no help there.
    4. I always feel indignant at the estimates for painting. I mean I can put a damn brush on the wall for crying out loud, but for high ceilings and all that professionals are much better equipped. Painting a bathroom was the first home improvement Sean and I did as a married couple after he got home from Iraq. I'm fairly certain the bathroom was more dangerous than the deployment.
    Glad you're back even if you're trapped. Have all the Twizzlers you need.

  6. Sad about the dog but it sounds like it would be better off somewhere where it could spend most of it's time outdoors.
    I'm glad you're getting your painting done but I hate having strange people in the house!
    Twizzlers. Yum!

  7. Thanks, everyone, for the dog support. I haven't given up on her yet, but I do wonder if I'm just doing her a disservice by keeping her here. But I think we're stuck with eachother for now, because, good lordy, she looks ridiculous! No one will take her in this current shaved state.

    I think the Captain likes stimulating the economy, rather than taking our time to do projects. I did paint our kitchen cabinets, though, when we first moved in. Mom helped paint, after I puttied and sanded them. They were UGLY, and we are a long way off from a new kitchen, so it was a good use of my time.

    It's funny to hear your stories of "collaboration." I only want to kill the Captain when he tries to take over a job I am already doing (micromanaging), or persists in washing the last bits of laundry all in one load, in order to get it done. Seriously-towels, darks, whites, all mixed together!

    I am sure he could share some stories about me, too!

  8. The Captain9.8.11

    I would if I could.

  9. @The Captain: But look! You finally can! And I am certain they would all be glowing reviews. I don't know why your name isn't in color, though. Certainly you deserve color.

  10. You should be proud that all you are eating is a Twizzler!!! Doggone it.... painters gone and the Captain does deserve color.

  11. Anonymous10.8.11

    I have to agree with everyone else, and say that the dog may be happier somewhere with love and lots of outdoor living. Hope the painting is done and you have found a few moments of peace.


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