A few weeks ago Scott walked into the living room, wrinkled his nose, and said, "It's stanky in here!" He was right. I had been smelling something for a few days but I hadn't said anything. I though maybe it was my pregnancy hormones causing me to smell a non-existent smell, but I was wrong. After some searching we discovered the source of the stank: the rug. I was horrified because it didn't take us long to realize that our dogs had been relieving themselves on our rug. I was even more horrified to realize that since we keep the dogs outside when we aren't at home, it had to be happening while we were there!
At first we thought that maybe one of our two dogs might be sick. They both have been house-broken for years and it was very unusual for them to do something like this. So we took them to the vet for their check-ups and made sure we talked to her about our little problem that we had been having. She mentioned several reasons why a house-broken dog will suddenly begin using the bathroom inside...and the basic conclusion was that we need a doggie door.
The vet told us that often, when dogs change environments (which they have in the last year) or are too afraid to use the bathroom outside, they simply go where and when they can. After talking to the vet, it suddenly made a lot of sense. We've moved to a new house with a smaller yard in the last year. We live 10 minutes from an air force base and the sonic booms and planes terrify them. And our neighbors have some not-so-nice dogs next door. So added together, there were many times that they were too afraid to use the bathroom outside. The vet also mentioned that when dogs start using the bathroom in one place, they continue to do so as long as they can still smell their "mark," particularly on "grass like areas" like carpet and rugs.
So Scott and I discussed what to do. I wanted to get rid of the dogs (or the one that was making the mess...and we think we know which one it is). Scott reminded me that dogs are a commitment and it's not so easy to just "send them to the farm." I didn't want a doggie door for many reasons: I thought they would drag in lots of dirt, I was afraid it wouldn't look good, I was afraid we were going to cut a hole in the door and it still not solve our problem. So I said no to the doggie door. We started blocking the dogs in the kitchen and I went to work on the rug.
I steam cleaned the rug a total of 9 times. I used enzyme cleaner and everything else I could think of, but nothing worked. And I will be honest, I was furious at the dogs. It's amazing how I allowed two animals to bring out my sin nature. And it came flying out...I begged to get rid of the dogs. I cried. I got on my hands and knees and hand scrubbed the rug with carpet cleaner. (which was while I was still having the 1st trimester nausea....ugh.) The stank wasn't going to leave. I was losing the battle, so in a last-ditch effort we rolled the rug up and placed it bottom-side up on the driveway, hoping the sun would get rid of the smell. Two days later, it still smelled so we rolled the rug up, and put it in the shed. And that's where it's been ever since.
After a few days I finally admitted that maybe a doggie door would be best. The dogs had already ruined a rug...I didn't want them to have the rest of the house too. Scott graciously didn't mention how he had been right all along and his granddad helped us install a doggie door last weekend. And it's been wonderful. The dogs go out when they need to (and when they aren't scared) and they don't track in much dirt. It's not tacky like I was afraid it would be and it seems that we won't be having any more problems with the stank...and the added bonus is I realized that I don't have to have a rug. I kind of like the open look of the living room now.
On another note, we had a FREE 3-D ultrasound on Monday because of a promotion at my doctor's office. It was wonderful. It's amazing to see that tiny little life rolling and moving around. It made me so, so thankful. And it's nice to know that there's something in there and I'm not outgrowing my clothes for no reason. We weren't able to see the gender...the little thing was either rolling, showing us it's back, putting it's hand in between it's legs, or crossing it's little legs. While we do want to know if we're having a boy or girl, we were still so excited to see our little baby! We go back the 23rd for my 20 week ultrasound so we should find out then...if he or she isn't being stubborn!