[nagdu] Weewee Pad
emrene at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 30 21:34:19 UTC 2010
I learned a few years ago, with my last guide dog, that one can get
"training pads" from pet stores to put down for in-door relieving by dogs on
long flights with no relieving area at hand. These, apparently, are used
also by show-dog handlers for their contestants, and by puppy owners who
want to prevent indoor accidents while house-training their pets. I'd
think too, that they'd be great for sick dogs too ill to get outside.
These pads, about the thickness of a feminine napkin, are about 18" square
and scented with pheromones to attract dogs to their use. The idea is that
one puts enough of these pads down to make a comfortable relieving area and
trains the dog to relieve upon them. Then solid waste can be removed from
them as from an outdoor surface, and the pads can be trashed as one would a
That way, an urgently needy dog on a short overlay could "go" in the
privacy of a large bathroom stall and not be forced to endure the trek
outside and back through security.
So far, so good.
Then I tried it for real, with my 10-year-old guide, a coast-to-coast
flight, and an aging canine bladder. I bought a package of training pads
from Petco, did a couple of test runs at home, where Wilson said,
essentially, "Who do you think you're kidding?", then concluded that the
call of nature would override his squeamishness once the eleventh hour
The flight took place, from Seattle to Atlanta with a 20-minute stop in
D.C., Wilson was about to burst, he balked at the pads altogether, and I had
to hand him to Security to take to the tarmac off the jetway and race him
back inside so we could get onto the plane and finish our flight.
That was the only time in 30 years that I've ever let anyone at the airport
take my dog to relieve. The demands of mercy forced my hand. I should have
been persistent and methodical in getting Wilson ready to use pads before my
I think the pad idea is a good one in theory. But I'd want my dog to be
trained to use them from puppyhood, if possible, and to understand that it's
OK to go indoors in special cases. Maybe the giant bathroom stalls for
wheelchairs at church, say, at some quiet time, might be a good place to
train a young working guide to get used to such pads. Then the bathroom
stall at the airport and ready pads for urgent need could be a welcome boon
for the traveler-in-harness.
Then men and women could use these at the airport, and not have to pull out
something intimate in a public place.
What do you think?
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