We've tried everything from crate training, to rewards, to constant monitoring, to even doggie diapers and a combination of all of them. Just when it appears they are getting the hang of it, they pee -- and in the worst places they can. It's frustrating and maddening. The other morning after I got back from the gym, the dogs and I did our little "outside! go potty!" routine (making me feel like Abeline trying to get Miss May Mobley to go potty in the movie "The Help"..."cummon, go and I'll give you a treat..") We played fetch in the yard and had a nice time while I relaxed after working out. I came in and put them both in their diapers and got in the shower. After I got out and went into the bedroom to get dressed, I sat down on the bed, the dogs jumped up and as I was putting on my socks, one decided to pee in the middle of the bed while still in her diaper leaving a huge puddle on the bed, while the other decided to lift his leg on the dining room chair and pee through the diaper, and after having just gone not more than 15 mintues before outside! I exploded. I yelled, pulled the comforter off and ran it to the laundry room in a rage. Ever try to jam a king sized comforter into a washing machine? My anger scared the dogs pretty bad, and I rushed them outside and took a deep breath. All the frustration at them and everything else flooded me and the anger and rage took over. I needed to get out.
As everyone knows I love dogs, and I miss having them in my life -- which is one of the nice things about staying here. I've come to love these dogs, and they love me, but right now I was ready to drop kick them through a goal post. I hate being mad at them. To avoid doing that I got dressed, texted Danny that I was going for a ride to cool off, and to please put the comforter in the dryer and the sheets in the wash when he got home from work as I didn't know when I'd get home. I let the dogs in, and they knew I was still upset, and they ran into their kennel, confused no doubt as to why "nice" uncle Gary suddenly became a raging green Hulk character. I shut the door and headed for the bike.
I was low on gas so the first stop was a gas station, and by then Danny had texted me back asking if I was OK and where I was. I said "no, but I'll be OK, going for a ride, likely up to Morongo Basin." He said he'd take care of the laundry, but had a dinner function at work and would head back out and be late getting home. I headed up Indian Canyon Road to CA-62 and climbed up to the Morongo Basin and the string of towns up there -- Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. It's about 2000 feet higher than the Coachella Valley and so consequently it's cooler -- much cooler. I only had on a sleeveless t-shirt and started to feel the wind chill. It is still only April, and while it may be 90 in Palm Springs, it's 65 up there. I stopped for a drink at a Sonic drive in and put on my hoody. I was still mad -- even shaking -- from earlier, and knew I needed more time to cool off, so I decided to ride out on CA-62 and go around the mountains and back to Palm Springs. I'd never gone past Twentynine Palms on CA-62 and so it would be new road for me. Being a guy who reads maps like a book I remembered from the map in my head that it went East and then curved a bit Southeast, and met up with another CA state road which would head South and take me past Eagle Mountain and on to Desert Center where I could pick up I-10 and head back West to Palm Springs. What I didn't remember was exactly how far it was -- and on the map in my head it didn't look that far.
The road continued East into the desert, the sun started to get lower and lower, and I was soon chasing my shadow up the road. I was alone on the highway, just me and the bike and the noise from the engine. I started to relax and let go of the anger and the frustration that had been building up and that was triggered by the dogs. The vast emptiness of the Desert, with the moon rising in the East with the wind rushing at me as I roared down the highway blew my mind clear and I relaxed, the blood pressure dropped, the muscles unclenched, and I stopped the bike to just look around and listen to the quiet. The anger wafted away, and things became right again.
I came in and accepted an apology from Kiki and Sammy who jumped up and gave me some doggie kisses. Danny said I looked "relaxed" and I said I was better, but we still had to figure out how to deal with the dogs, but I didn't want to discuss it then. I showered off the road grime, poured a nice scotch and sat down on the patio. Kiki came up to sit with me and I scratched her head. I can't stay mad at them. Likewise I can't stay frustrated with myself. Things will work themselves out -- I'll figure out what I am now and what my road ahead will be like. And when things build up every now and then, I'll ride off and let things go.