Russ Kent: P is for pets, puddles, patience


It’s 7:15 on Friday morning as I write this.

I’ve been up since 5:15, but feel like nothing productive has been accomplished, yet.

I’m at my desk, hoping to change that feeling.

But I can’t come up witha column idea.

I’m sick of politics. A team from Cleveland is on the verge of winning another championship. Ho hum.What else is new?

It will come to me. I know it. Just start typing.

Eureka! An idea.

It’s wet out. That’s the theme for this column.

It’s been raining since about 2 a.m. Thursday. I know, because the thunder woke up me and my rescue puppy Beatrix, which turned on her bladder-needed-emptying alarm. That means she is in my face whimpering and time is quickly running out on her not soiling the carpet, or kitchen rug, or bathroom rug.

It was still pretty warm outside, so I put on a pair of shorts and a hoodie, grabbed my umbrella and opened the back door. Beatrix and I stood in the rain for 45 seconds looking at each other like we were both stupid, but she eventually did her business. Back inside, I took off my wet clothes and crawled back into bed.

Beatrix had nothing to shed, except the rain water, which didn’t all come off as she shook herself furiously in the kitchen, just beneath the dishes I had washed the previous night.

So she jumped on the bed with me and rolled around on my sheets and a blanket until she was dry.

Yes, I’m doing laundry early this week.

At 5 a.m., Beatrix woke me again. It’s funny how you can sense— even in your sleep — that someone, or something, is staring at your face from just a few inches away.

So we got up, I threw on my boots and grabbed my umbrella and out we went.

By now it’s raining pretty hard.

I was determined to make certain Beatrix voided whatever was holed up inside her. We walked to the park, up and down her favorite fence row, and that is where the stare-down took place. Beatrix was looking at me like I was the biggest fool in the world for dragging her out in the rain when clearly she had better and dryer things to occupy her time. And I was bound and determined to make sure this second trek into the rain in three hours was not going to be wasted.

So we stayed out there, walking that fence row, in the rain … me in my hoodie, a pair of shorts, my camouflage boots and a big golf umbrella. And Beatrix in all her glory. After 20 minutes, she apparently finished reading that newspaper in her mind, and did her business. I don’t know who was more glad to be out of the rain.

So, I’m wide awake by now. It’s about 5:30. I fed Miss Beatrix, cleaned the cat box, fixed a sausage, cheese, mushroom, onion and hot pepper omelet and sat down in front of the TV in the living room to eat and watch the morning news.

Ten minutes earlier, Beatrix had apparently had the same thought.

My usual spot on my sofa was soaking wet and smelled oddly of wet dog, which meant that I did, too.

Well, I stayed there and ate anyway. Then I pulled the cover off that sofa, chucked it into the pile with the wet sheets and headed for the shower.

That’s when I stepped on the wet bathroom rug.

Beatrix apparently wasn’t able to awaken me during the night at least once. I guess she figured a plush bathroom rug would soak up the evidence of her overfilled bladder.

And it did, until I stepped on it.

So I chucked that rug into the dirty pile atop the cover from the sofa and the wet sheets.

But all was well. I decided to get to the office early to get some work done.

I like to sit at my desk and I’ll usually open the door that looks out onto Harding Way East and listen to the cars, the people, the dog-walkers and the hundreds of thousands of trucks that drive through Galion each morning.

I got dressed, as always, saving my shoes for last. I walked to the kitchen to fix my lunch and saw a kitchen rug oddly bunched in the corner. So I tried to slide that rug into place, with my sock-covered feet, only to find that Miss B had apparently tried one other time in the night to awaken me, with no success.

The kitchen rug was soaking wet, too.

So I rolled it up and chucked it into the laundry basket atop the bathroom rug, the wet sofa cover and my sheets, that were getting funkier by the hour.

Beatrix looked embarrassed and sad that she had had two accidents in the middle of the night

I didn’t think much about it.

So I took Miss B for one more quick walk and put her in her kennel.

When I got to work that day, I remembered my trip to the vet last weekend. Beatrix went on some meds and Dr. Parr at Galion Veterinary Hospital cautioned me to be on the lookout for a possible Urinary Tract Infection.

The symptoms of a UTI?

Thirst, hence a lot of water being lapped up, a lot of voiding of the bladder and possibly a few wet spots around the house.

That could be it.

Dr. Parr told me if these symptoms did occur, I should get a urine sample and bring it in to be tested so we can get Miss B back to her old self again.

I never had to get a urine sample from an animal before. But it was a lot easier than I thought

You know those plastic containers that are shaped like a slice of bread? You put a sandwich in them to keep it fresh for a packed lunch.

They have many purposes.

Here’s the secret. Take your favorite puppy outside, on a really short leash. When she squats, just slide that sandwich container beneath her and voila, you have a perfectly good sample.

I don’t have to worry about collecting a sample in the morning. I’ll sleep well.

Piece of cake!

So now it is 8:15 on a Friday morning. I’m going to leave the office for a few minutes and take our sample to Dr. Parr. Then I’ll stop by the homestead and take Miss Beatrix out for a quick squirt-and-go before I head back to the office.

I should have checked my Facebook page first, as there was a message on their from my friend Tabitha, who works with Dr. Parr, reminding me that urine samples should be tested within about four hours of being collected.

So Tabitha told me when I talked into the office.

So back home I went. Put the short leash on Beatrix …now, where was that sandwich container?

Oh, I remember. Before I left for work two hours early, I made two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, put them in a plastic sandwich holder and tossed them in my lunch bag.

Yep, that sandwich holder. I wondered why it was already on the the counter waiting for me this morning.

So I grabbed another piece of plasticware, retrieved my fresh sample, poured it into a plastic bag and headed back to Galion Veterinary Hospital.

Now, I’m back at work.

But I’m not hungry anymore for some reason.

Anyone want a couple PB&J sandwiches?

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Russ Kent

Inquirer Editor