Pee Pad-emonium

I hate pee pads. For the past couple months, we have been attempting, 100% unsuccessfully, to get our dog, Finnegan, to use a pee pad.  The guilt-soaked motivation for this quixotic task is Finn’s upcoming flights to Boston and Tel Aviv.  The Boston flight is slightly less imperative, as flight time is only 6 hours, and since we are taking a red eye, it’s not during a time he typically is used to peeing.

The Tel Aviv flight, however, is a behemoth. We are required to arrive at the airport 4 hours early, then we have an 11 hour flight, followed by a few hours in the airport dealing with paperwork, health insurance, etc (also yes, I’m very excited to register for health insurance in an airport).  All of this adds up to a lot of time to ask Finn to not pee. Honestly, I’m less concerned about him peeing in the airport out of desperation (since I can immediately and easily clean that up), and more concerned about him just holding it for 17ish hours straight. As the most polite dog I’ve ever met, all attempts to get him to pee inside on a pee pad have been met with a respectfully horrified stare.

After binging on research, we began the pee pad training. Not too hardcore at first, just trying to familiarize Finnegan with the concept of peeing on a “pheromone scented” patch of gauze (so intuitive!).  After the initial getting-to-know-you where I chased him around shoving the pee pad under him while he peed and screaming “GOOD BOY! GOOD PEE! GOOD GO PEE, FINN!” we decided to take it up a notch.

While brewing our last batch of beer before moving (see you in several years, freshly bottled beer!), we set out a few pee pads, and kept Finnegan (and my grandmother’s dog, Ella, who was with us as well) in the pee pad/brewing zone.  And we played the waiting game.

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Clearly, Finn thought we had just provided him with a lovely, “pheromone scented” patch of gauze bed.

Serious attempt number two had similar shortcomings. We built a barricade on the porch, provided the dogs with copious amounts of water, and some jazzed up pee pads.

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This time, I collected tons of dog pee on the pee pads, and sprinkled grass and plant bits all over the pee pad. Then we played hours of gin rummy, and encouraged the dogs to pee on the titillating pads.  This was to be my masterpiece.

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Unfortunately, this also failed. The dogs held their pee for hours, and continued to regard us with very cordial, bemused expressions.

Today marks serious attempt number three. I barred Finn from going outside to pee this morning. Instead, I repeatedly asked him if he would like to “go pee??” and led him to an incredibly pungent “wee wee housebreaking spray” doused pad, in the shadow of a house plant.

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So far, we continue to fail. But I just heard him drinking some water, so hope remains for a gold(en yellow) star day for Finnegan and the pee pad.

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