Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In dog years

I thought my diapering days were over until my 15 year-old pug started peeing and pooping in the house at night. The old man, er dog, has been relegated to the backyard during the day and the laundry room at night. Thank God winters in Austin are mild.
Never had the house smelled like Pine Sol than ever before. The first day of mopping the floors and washing the pug was an act of love. My first baby needs me. As I mopped the floor, scrubbed the stuff off him, then off my bathtub, I swore the mother of all motherhood promises that if I had to, I will do this daily. Yes, I swore like a sailor too. By the third day, that sappy feeling wore off and the chore warranted a rant on Facebook. The outpouring of empathy and suggestions from friends was comforting. So, I broke down and bought doggie diapers. They worked so well, I bought in bulk the second time around. It's now a part of our bedtime routine. Shorty: potty, jammies, brush teeth. Chubbs: laundry room, baby gate, diapers. Neither one fights it.
The pug, whose name is Chubbs, has been given many endearments through the years: Puglet, Chublet, Chubby, Chubbster, Chubbywubby, Chubbyloopee, Chubbyroo, all coined by friends and family. Really, he didn't seem to mind. Shorty came up with the most recent one due to Chubb's new accessory. 'Huggie Puggy.' That has to be my favorite, so far; I'm sure it's not the pug's.
The now near-blind, half-deaf, greying pug in diapers walking into corners and standing there because he can't back up has been a usual sight in our household. And that's ok. It's not funny, just normal, and it's comforting to me to still have my pug around even if he sleeps all day. Well, he's always done that.
I know this blog is about motherhood, but after all, I was a pet-mom first. I think caring for Chubbs, although nowhere near taking care of my Shorty, has taught me about nurturing, caring, and patience -- and poop. All very important things in mothering. Especially the last two. There's also one more lesson I have learned and it's the least glamorous of all. Across species, we all start out and end in diapers. Or not, but that's just awkward and very, very messy.