Mammal Monday: Maid of the Mist

Sherman runs on a treadmill in addition to walking outside because we can’t walk him far enough or long enough–particularly in the winter–to really drain his batteries properly. Anyone who has owned a border collie or a border mix knows how important it is to keep these mutts exercised, lest they decide to create their own entertainment. Sherm loves his frequent “dog jogs,” and runs enthusiastically for as long as we’ll let him.

Just to refresh your memory:

Look at him go!

This Saturday, we had an invitation to a Christmas party we knew would go late, so we stuck Sherman on his treadmill and continued getting ready for the shindig, checking in on the mutt here and there. The Electrician was in the next room the entire time Sherman was running. Our boy is so thrilled to work out in his basement gym that we don’t need to leash him to the machine, although he could theoretically hop off at any time because we no longer need to barricade the open side to keep him focused.

Here’s where things get messy: really messy.

When he stopped the treadmill about half an hour after Sherman started jogging, The Electrician called me to investigate the situation in our spare basement bedroom. He was confused to find the floor and the treadmill sopping wet. Discovering a mystery liquid equals hollering for the wife in most men’s heads, I think. When I arrived on the scene, I was immediately hit by the smell of pee.

Apparently, much like the marathon runner who is too busy pushing for the finish to stop for a bathroom break, Sherman decided to let fly on the fly. Normally, a puddle in the house (an extremely rare event with him) isn’t a big deal. We have a bottle of enzymatic pet soil cleaner and don’t worry too much about a little pee if it happens with a foster dog. Typically, like all liquids, urine is captured by gravity and travels straight to the nearest flat surface. Flat surfaces are relatively easy to clean.

At the point Sherman decided he would rather just empty his reservoir than bail off the treadmill and ask to go outside, he was still running as fast as the treadmill can take him. The apparatus’ max speed puts him at about a four on his ten point scale for swiftness. He’s a leggy beast, so the fastest clip the treadmill can squeeze out of him is a moderate jog. Sadly, this speed, between the action of Sherman’s four fleet feet and the revolution of the treadmill belt, was enough to turn the liquid urine into a continuous spray: a spray that reached up two walls to thigh height and enveloped all parts of the treadmill. Because pee is a non-issue to a dog, Sherman just kept jogging away until we turned off the machine, spattering my spare bedroom with a fine micturition mist.

I am still checking, via my far less sensitive than Sherman’s nose, for areas of urine spray I’ve missed in my efforts to scrub the spare bedroom clean. I think we’ve resolved the stinky parts of the treadmill, or the parts we can reach at least. As I finish up the disinfection process, two thoughts cross my mind repeatedly.

I’m thankful he only had to pee.

I’m thankful this has never happened to me at the gym. (Very much so.) Thank you, bladder angels.

copyright 2012:


3 Comments Add yours

  1. OMG! I have never heard of this happening! This would make for perfect sitcom fodder! Sorry about the mess, though. Yuck! Do black lights work on dog pee like they work on cat pee? We got one really cheap on Amazon when our cat was peeing everywhere, and it worked amazingly well in helping us to locate all of the urine stains. Fortunately, dog pee is not as pungent as cat pee!

    1. I hadn’t even thought of using a black light! That’s a brilliant idea. I’ll see if I can borrow one to complete Operation Piss Disinfection. Sherman has run on the treadmill a zillion times, and he’s never had an incident. I’m just praying he isn’t starting a bad habit.

  2. liz4short says:

    I was saying ‘eww’ and chuckling until I got to the end. HAHAHAHA at you and the gym. Ah, blessed are the young. Just wait 20 years or so and you’ll really be thanking your pee angels.

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