Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Sting Operation

Ever since Sprout has been back in New York after her luxurious extended holiday in California, she has been particularly anxiety-ridden. Perhaps it's the drastic weather change, or simply that she misses the beach, but these days, every time Jordan leaves the house, Sprout promptly pees in the center of the living room floor out of spite. Despite the fact that she pees in the middle of the room, the slant of the floor sends the dreaded puddle sliding across the wood, making a bigger mess than it otherwise would. Which is gross. Jordan has tried a number of ingenious tactics to dissuade her, but to no avail.

I'm currently taking a Cultural Theory class, which is sometimes interesting, sometimes surprising, and sometimes borderline intolerable. A high point has included reading Georges Bataille, which prompted a lengthly class discussion about poop and farts (which I obviously loved). Another high point has, of course, been the work of Michel Foucault. After having read Foucault's thoughts on surveillance and discipline, I concocted a marvelous plan to break Sprout of her habit of peeing when left unsupervised. Jordan set up her computer with her camera trained on the spot where Sprout typically does the deed and started a video chat with me, so I could keep an eye on Sprout. My theory was that when Sprout started to pee, I'd scold her from across the continent, and she would be so profoundly startled and unsettled by this ghostly disciplinary voice that she would never do it again.

So the camera was rolling, so to speak, and Jordan left. I watched as Sprout nervously darted back and forth across the apartment a few times, and took her Kong Kone (the only toy that she is not terrified of, and she's only not afraid of it because it's usually filled with peanut butter) to her lair on the futon. Within about three minutes, though, she was at her pee spot, preparing to squat. It was then that I sprang into action, screaming and hollering and clapping my hands at her. When Sprout heard me, she merely perked up her ears with interest, but the stream of urine continued uninterrupted. Experiment: failed.

Despite the fact that we did not get the results I desired, I snapped a few pictures of Sprout's fleeting cow-like form galloping across the apartment so that we could learn more about her solo behavior. Unfortunately, the only thing these blurry snapshots reveal is 1) that I don't use my time very productively, and 2) that I was picking my nose in one of the pictures. I guess a nose-picker and a dog that pees in the house deserve one another. Foucault is rolling in his grave.

(Detail from above still):


Holly said...

this is so funny that you made me ALMOST pee myself in the middle of MY living room!!!!

Jill said...

Geez Meredith, you're learning some really valuable things at the college of yours. You know what the dog whisperer always says? "If your dog has a problem, it's always a problem with the owner, never the dog." I'm not sure I agree with this because frankly, some dogs are just neurotic! :-)

Loved this post. Good luck with peeing dog!

w. leavitt said...

maybe if you could set up some kind of dog zapper with the controls on your keyboard...