OK, folks. This one’s crude. I’m not catering to my legions of fraternity readers with potty humor. It’s straight-up facts.
Maddie is walking and running. She seems unperturbed when her hips occasionally slip and slam on the ground. She just keeps going.
The only thing I desperately hope for, by this point, is control of her bladder and bowels.
Dear doggy lord: my Maddie is running adequately. I’ll trade further progress in the leg region for any control in her nether regions.
We’ve had to “express” her bladder since the beginning of her FCE ordeal. She grows a 3-inch balloon in her gut. We put our fingers behind her ribs and squeeze back and in. Something triggers and her back legs shoot straight out while urine sprays out of her with the force of a super-soaker. Not difficult, merely annoying.
But nothing’s as bad as the poop.
Before walking returned, the poor dog soiled herself. Bowels emptied onto her tail and legs and she’d try to drag her paralyzed hind-end away. Daily baths were the norm. (Difficult with a dog who couldn’t stand.) We were all miserable.
Since walking, Maddie still lacks “function” control. Sometimes (usually at about 4AM) it seems she feels something and thinks, “Oh, crap. Oh, no. Oh crap, I think I’m gonna…”
She stands, takes two steps, and then: plop. Another step, another plop. We’ve surrounded her bed with wee-wee pads, so her scat is caught before she scats.
Then she shamefully hides from us in a corner.
The commotion wakes us, but over the past few weeks, we’re resigned to it. “Oh, well. The dog lost it, again.” So we clean doggy-doo by the light of cell phones.
For a month I lined up Ellison’s rubber alphabet tiles down our hallway for Maddie to walk without slipping. Because she stuck to that path, a few times she left presents along the tiles.
One night before turning in, I went to check on the sleeping boys, and I stepped in a pile. I was barefoot.
I slipped, smearing ordure along the P, Q, and R letters, at which point the tiles separated, and my foot further smeared feces on the wood floor.
I semi-sighed/semi-laughed. I wretched as I cleaned.
This wasn’t the first bare foot nastiness. I’m always the one who steps in it.
Recently, I started “expressing” her bowels.
Imagine, if you will, a grown man squatting behind his dog, squeezing her haunches until her tail pops up and her anus starts to pucker.
At this point, I’m (sadly) happy for action. It means less mess in the apartment.
I watch her anus six inches from my face, and I hope I’ll see a “turtle” emerge. Unfortunately, she lacks the strength to squat. If I let go, she falls back into her soon-to-be-steaming stool, or she stumbles forward and retracts her…turtle. So I remain squatting to see full turtle-emergence.
Since it’s now sub-zero in the Northeast, and I squat mere inches away from her, I actually see steam escaping her butt.
The height of indignity is when I force my dog to fart in my face. It happens almost daily.
We hardly react to this, anymore. It’s become de rigueur for the boys.
“Did Maddie go poopy again, Daddy?”
“Yes Ellison. Don’t touch it, please. I’ll clean it after I make your toast.”
One time, a babysitter sat on the couch reading to Ellison when Colton delivered something. It was a log of Maddie’s.
To this point (knock on wood) she has had no diarrhea. So clearing the crud is quick and easy. Sometimes we scrub with chemicals, sometimes we just wipe with a paper towel. We’re so resigned to it now, we just shrug and keep on keeping on.
I haven’t cleaned with bare hands. That’s probably next.
We ask every visitor if the apartment smells like dog droppings.
They all say “No, not at all.”
I hope they’re not shitting us.