I first suspected something was not right when I knelt down to clip Sophie's leash to her tiny puppy harness. Sophie jumped in my lap, turned her back towards me and then straight up began to pee all over me. I had a moment of intense anger - why would my dog do this to me? I also had a moment of crazy logic - Ok, I want to hit her, but then she'll just go and pee over everything and at least now all I have to do is wash my pants. It's like the mess is already cleaned up!
Already leased and standing next to us, Sherlock looked at me cautiously, as if gauging whether it was his turn next. I quickly brought Sophie to her kennel and put her in there so I could change my clothes and we went out a few minutes later with no more accidents.
"Sophie," I said. "Look. I understand that you probably did not mean to do that on purpose but boy am I mad."
Sophie looked at me and wagged her tail eagerly, because it turns out that no matter how mad I am at my dog, I still can't help but talk in a cutesy baby talk voice. I suspect Sophie will never know the truth.
I decided to call it confirmed when after work I went to let the dogs out and before I could unlock the back door, Sophie squatted on the rug in front of the door. I was unsurprised, but shocked. I had just started a new work schedule that allowed me to be home a half hour earlier to let the dogs out. She looked up at me with sad eyes, eyes that seemed to say "please don't hit me. I don't mean this."
Since she had been house trained some years back, I talked with my vet, who suggested catching a sample of Sophie's urine. I then had to ask questions I never thought would come up, like "How in the heck do I catch a dog's urine?"
My vet explained the process, assuring me that it wasn't too hard. "You just get a clean, sterile container - I guess at her size, maybe the lid of a container - and then follow behind her while you take your walk. When she goes to go pee, just kind of swoop it under." She demonstrated and the next morning, walking outside behind Sophie, I practiced the desperately half controlled motion of crouching down to near ground level whilst thrusting a container under my peeing dog.
Sophie was understandable weary. However, I did manage to catch some urine in a clean Publix sushi container. I tossed the lid on it and gave it to Smiley so that he could bring the sample in for testing.
To an extent, I was hoping that Sophie was in fact sick, because the alternative - that she was simply and willfully urinating wherever - seemed ridiculously not cool.
Indeed, the results returned with the news that Sophie had a UTI. The results also returned with a prescription for doggie antibiotics and within days of taking the medicine, Sophie became accident free. And with any luck, I'll be able to catch her retested urine sample with the finesse and ease of, uh, someone who's done it once before.