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  • suzannenorquist

Dog Alarm – Who’s Training Who?

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

My dog is a geriatric German shepherd, mixed with who knows what. Sixteen years old. She moves and creaks like an old lady. Unsteady on her feet and mostly deaf. But she still loves walks and table scraps.

Since she’s mostly deaf and often stiff-legged, I make adaptations for her. To call her inside at night, I flash the porch light a couple of times and open and close the screen door so she can see it. The neighbor’s probably think it’s a secret code.

She enjoys barking at inconvenient times, but never to let us know she needs to go out or come in. Instead, she paces the house silently or pants when she wants out.

This week, her bladder hasn’t been big enough to make it through the night. She’s okay when my husband wakes up at five o’clock in the morning for work. But, on the weekends, we don’t wake up early enough. She doesn’t bark and she can no longer climb the stairs to our room, so she finds a spot on the carpet.

I’ve had to use SpotBot. The best invention ever for dog owners. (Sorry for the shameless product placement.) It scrubs the spot in the carpet and vacuums up the liquid. Great on a floor that is mostly clean. However, on dirty carpet, it makes clean circles in the middle of the floor.

I analyzed my problem:

A dog with a small bladder.

And I formulated a solution:

Get a motion sensor to tell us if she gets up at night.

I checked Amazon but didn’t order online. For this emergency, I went straight to the hardware store. The only motion sensor I could find was designed to let me know if anyone came into the driveway. It would sound a remote alarm.

Good enough.

The alarm was so loud that my deaf dog ran for the door. It had choices for low, medium, and high volume, but the three were nearly indistinguishable. I decided not to put it too close to the bed, but still in my room (like a baby monitor).

I hoped our dog didn’t have a secret nocturnal life, like a cat. If so, we would be up all night.

Thankfully, she slept until morning. It was Sunday, so we slept past five o’clock, but I kept waking up in anticipation of the alarm. At six o’clock it went off.

I shot out of bed and raced down the stairs, just in time to see her in the place where I had used SpotBot the day before. (It’s like potty training a puppy.) She seemed relieved to have me open the door.

But, seriously, why didn’t she bark?

Instead of us training her, she is training us.

Now, if only I can teach my husband to shut the alarm off before he heads downstairs for breakfast.

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