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What I Learned This Week – 10/23/16

This week I learned that for all those odors that just won’t come out of your laundry, you need baking soda.

Arm  & Hammer Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

I know, you are confused. Yes, we wash our clothes and blankets. Yes, we use detergent. But some odors are more resistant to soap than others. And for those, you need baking soda.

My son is potty-trained in the daytime. But, well, not so much at night. I was having him sleep in Pull-Ups (the nighttime kind with extra absorbency, because he doesn’t just have a little leak…). But then I was afraid that maybe he couldn’t feel that he was wet or that maybe it was hampering his development in this area. We tried for a while with no Pull-Ups. And we were greeted with about a 40% success rate. That means a lot of sheets got washed. And pajamas.

We use Unscented Tide, I’m not sure why, and so there is no perfume to drown out any residual smells. We haven’t had fabric softener or dryer sheets in the house lately either. So the sheets would still smell a bit like pee, even after the washer and the dryer.

An even longer existing problem is the scent of our comforter on our bed. I wash it at the end of the year, but it still smells like the dog(s) who lay on it. I started drying it with dryer sheets. Still smells like dog. I packed it away in a garbage bag for the winter with two dryer sheets. As soon as I bust it open in the fall—yup, you guessed it, DOG. I LOVE my dog, but really desired my comforter to not smell like them after I had spent $5 at the laundromat to remove it.

Dave sleeping on the freshly-laundered comforter...with a gun to her head.

Dave sleeping on the freshly-laundered comforter…with a gun to her head.

Then I realized there was a big box of Arm &  Hammer baking soda on the shelf in my laundry room above my dryer. I faintly remembered that my husband used it when he washed his work clothes. I had only ever really used it for baking, but baking soda is always touted for removing odors, so what could it hurt?

I put the recommended cup of baking soda into my washer with the sheets and the liquid detergent.

And you will never guess what happened…

The sheets smelled like…

Absolutely nothing.

It was great!

So, then I tried my usual routine with the comforter, except with about a cup and a half of baking soda.

And you will never guess what happened…

The comforter smelled like…

Dryer sheets! Because I dried it with two of them. But absolutely no dog odor!

That is, until I brought it home and the dog laid on it again.

So, this is my Public Service Announcement for the year. Hope you found it helpful and appreciated it.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

Reincarnation Is For The Dogs

I didn’t think I believed in reincarnation until I got my two dogs. Now I am pretty sure it does exist.

Hear me out.

Dave's knowing eyes.  And wanting me to scratch her butt.

Dave’s knowing eyes. And wanting me to scratch her butt.

I feel very certain that Dave, my Lab/Chow has a lot more going on behind those eyes and in that brain of her’s than just normal doggy thoughts. Dave is planning, studying, and memorizing our constantly changing schedules. When the German Shorthair Pointer Parker has to go outside, Dave might say, “Oh no, I don’t have to go out.”* Which she usually, in good weather, will always go outside when Parker does, just to be nosy. When I come back inside with Parker, it is then very clear why Dave wanted to stay indoors–usually a food-related opportunity. She will have consumed food left on the coffee table (at perfect muzzle height) by my toddler, or found the dog food bag erroneously left open by a human distracted by the toddler.

Dave is an incredibly smart dog. For some reason, she always pees (multiple times!) when I take her to the pet store, but she has never peed indoors while visiting my mom’s apartment building, even though I know that the double sliding doors and elevator make her tuck her tail in fright.

Mommy's favorite

Mommy’s favorite

She knows just how to sneak up on the bed so that you never realize she is there (until you try to roll over). She can be very stealth for a 60 pound dog.

For all these reasons and more, I truly believe that Dave has been a dog many times over. I believe her next go around, she will be a human. A very naughty human, but a human all the same.

Parker is a whole different story. He is a cat trapped in a dog’s body. I believe that he used to be a cat, and this is his first go-around as a dog. So he is still learning the ropes.

Parker and Dave don’t like each other. They tolerate each other, but they are not buddies. If they both didn’t have tails that wag and the ability to bark, I wouldn’t even think they they are the same species. Maybe that is why they are not friends, because Dave is more human than dog, and Parker is more cat than dog.

Parker is very demanding. If he doesn’t get his way, he uses his urine as his revenge, much like a cat would. He had even peed on my bed before.** (He almost lost his cushy, warm home over that one.)

He likes to escape and patrol the neighborhood like a feline would. When he gets tired, he stops at the nearest house and begs to go in, like a cat would. Except that he is not a cute, fuzzy kitten. He is a 55 pound hyper monster of muscle and legs. So, of course, we are soon called to go and pick him up. Some people are nice enough to even deliver. (Bless those people.) Parker has run away many, many times. He has taken a swim in the nearby lake and crossed the busiest road in the county by the dark of night. He came millimeters from ripping open the main artery in his leg on a metal fence post. I am sure he had nine lives, and is on his last one now.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

He rubs himself on the corners of my bed, and on the edges of the carpeted stairs, just as a cat would. Oh sure, he does it under the guise of scratching his doggy ears, but I know the truth. He also gets VERY excited when he encounters a cat. He barks at them incessantly, as if to say, “Hey, it’s me! I’m a fellow cat. Let’s play!” The cats are not happy about that. A cat a block away once tried to attack him and scratched his nose. All Parker was doing was walking by ON A LEASH!

Parker wearing my son's pajamas, so that he will be "nice and comfy"

Parker wearing my son’s pajamas, so that he will be “nice and comfy”

He is a good snuggler. That may be his only redeeming quality. He is very warm, and can curl himself up into a very tight circle on the bed or the couch, despite his long, gangly legs. But, beware. Just like a cat, I have seen him sit on my husband’s head in the morning when he wants to get fed.

If we had trained him to be the bird dog he was bred for, I believe he would have been very good at it. Not because he is a GSP, but because his feline side would have taken over.

Dave and Parker are nothing like my asbestos friend’s dog, Joe. He is just a big dumb dog. He is friendly, loyal, and only has to go outside like twice a day. Joe is a dog you would see in a cartoon. Dave bosses Joe around like a human would. Parker bosses him around like a cat would. Poor Joe, canine through and through, probably wonders what the hell is wrong with those animals that look like dogs and smell like dogs, but sure do not act like dogs.

I wonder if I had them DNA tested, if it would detect any anomalies. Or a TSA scanner.

Dave already loves beer, and has very definitive tastes (not that she ever gets very much). Maybe I should just quit fighting it and treat them like their inner souls. Maybe I need to pick up some catnip for Parker at the store 😉

For more stories about Dave and Parker, please visit my People of Interest page.

* DAVE DOES NOT ACTUALLY TALK. Trust me, if she did, you would know about it. I would have her muzzle on every newscast and talk show across Northern America. (Hey Canadians! Love you and your hockey!)

** For a great recipe on how to get dog pee out of your matress, please visit:

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