I was wrong. I freely admit it. I thought the wet carpet was Dawg’s fault, and it wasn’t. We had a leaky water heater. But I believe I should be forgiven for making that leap of judgment. You see, Dawg’s been abusing his “outdoor” privileges lately.
When we got first Dawg, we discovered that he was a “silent signaler” and had several episodes of wet carpet syndrome before we figured out that him walking by the door and glancing at it was his way of saying “I need to go out”. So I slept in my chair by the door for the first month. Eventually he learned to come get/wake me (by poking me with his nose) when he needed to go out. If that didn’t get me out of bed, he’d start to whine, saying (in dog talk), “I really need to go — now!”
That was fine until he discovered that wanting to go out to see if there was a cat in the yard (or wanting to go out to bark at the mailman), and wanting to go out to save the carpet were two different things. So he’d poke me to go out and smell the yard, but also whine if he had a full bladder. Naturally, I stopped listening when he’d just poke me — so he started to whine every time, no matter what the reason. He knew that would always get my attention, and it worked — for awhile.
The “morning of the wet carpet”, he’d gone out at 2am (poke), and then again at 6am (his “after meal” walkies). So when he came to my bed at 9am and whined, I ignored him. Why? Because (a) I’d only been in bed for two hours (I sleep in the daytime), and (b) it’d only been three hours since his after breakfast walkies, and (c) he’s been known to refuse to got outdoors for a couple of days if it’s raining (he hates to “go” in the rain). So (d) I figured he was faking it again. But when he did it again at 11am, I got up, mad at him because I was certain he was faking it, but feeling guilty in case he wasn’t and I’d made him wait for two hours after he told me he needed to go out. Then I stepped through my bedroom door into the living room, and my foot got wet. What I said then, I sure wouldn’t want anyone to write down as the last thing I’d said in this world, so I’m glad I didn’t have a stroke or heart attack or anything. But I darn near blew a fuse, I was so ticked off.
First I walked him (it was the cat again, not the bladder), then glared at him, then proceeded to clean up the carpet, glaring at him every chance I got. One towel soaked through; two towels…three. When I hit five towels and each one was holding a good quart of liquid, I started feeling very guilty. Man, he’d really had to go!
My wife got up to go to work at noon and I was on my tenth towel. I explained the situation to her, and she eventually convinced me that no dog’s bladder holds “gallons” of liquid. Now, I’m not an idiot (well, not all the time). One of the first things I’d done was to check the floor of the closet that holds the water heater right beside the door from my bedroom, and the carpet under the heater was dry. So that left either the dog or the plumbing. Since the plumbing runs through the concrete foundation, I was praying it wasn’t the plumbing. Naturally my wife had to check under the heater as well, since she disagrees with my previous statement (about being an idiot), but, the carpet was still dry. But she checked other places around the living room and found that there was another, completely separate puddle under Dawg’s bed, and still another by the stairs.
I called the maintenance people who sent out a worker. He opened the closet door, felt around, and said, “It’s the heater.” It turned out to be a pipe that led to the heater, so I managed to save some face, but he was right — the problem was at the water heater. It was simply a foot off to one side. I hadn’t felt the carpet there. At least, neither had my wife. The other puddles were low spots in the subflooring where the water had settled after running under the carpet padding.
So the final outcome of all this was that they replaced a piece of pipe by the water heater, a lot of the carpet padding in the living room, and Dawg’s running me ragged taking him outside every time he whines. I’m not certain how long this guilt will last, but for now at least, the dog’s one happy camper.
Maybe I should just apologize and be done with it.