Back Porch Bathroom

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I have the laziest dogs on the planet. That’s impressive considering how low the bar is set. Even the hardest working German shepherd on the police force still naps 18 hours a day. I was born to the wrong species. Like most of my great revelations, this one came to me recently while I scrubbed a layer of encrusted urine off the floor on my enclosed back porch. My dogs couldn’t be bothered to walk the last few steps out the doggy door and into the yard. I blame both pets, but Spencer, the larger and more apathetic of the two, likely did the majority of the defilement. All the circumstantial evidence points to him, but I never caught him in the act. He’s like a furry ninja with poor bladder control. It’s possible the other dog, Niko, got in on the vandalism, but he was never around the wet spots. If they were both equally culpable, only Spence lacked sufficient motivation to flee the crime scene. Maybe he knows a good lawyer.

I can sympathize with my dogs to an extent. If I was expected to pee in snow over my head, I’d cut a few corners, too. But Niko and Spencer don’t actually mind running around on the glacier currently located where my backyard used to be. They don’t shed, and I haven’t taken them to the groomer’s since the last time it was warm outside. Based on how this winter has gone, I’m pretty sure that was 25 years ago. Their fur is now so long they’re not outwardly recognizable as dogs. People who have never seen them before have no idea what they are, but guesses include sheep, giant caterpillars, and shaggy footstools. I wish my dogs really were that last one. At least then they’d serve some purpose. Right now, their only function is to survive, which they do unfortunately well thanks to their impenetrable fur coats. It might be below freezing outside, but beneath their three inches of hair there’s a very real danger my dogs will burst into flames. That might be a slight exaggeration, but I keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case.

Maybe I don’t even have a dog. It’s possible for the last six years I’ve been yelling at a dirty mop.

Spencer definitely isn’t afraid of the frozen tundra because he plunges into it 100 percent of the time when he has to do number two. I wish it was the other way around. I hate to play favorites with the products of his digestive tract, but poop is way easier to clean up than pee. I can handle one with a single square of toilet paper and a quick flush, while the other takes half a roll of paper towels, a plastic bag, and ample swearing. The verbal component is required or the paper towels won’t work right. It’s science or something.

I have no idea why that dog can’t simply pee when he goes outside for his other regularly scheduled business. While its seems obvious to me, the thought has probably never even occurred to him. His simple brain is occupied by one objective at a time, and usually that mission is his insatiable lust for water. If he’s not asleep, he’s drinking, which is how a 17-pound dog manages to dump more liquid than a Category 5 hurricane. The only difference between Spencer and a major storm system is his destruction is much more precise. He manages to keep the backyard pee-free, which makes sense. He doesn’t want to mess up his playground. Instead, he holds it until he reenters the enclosed back porch, where he kindly irrigates the wood floors. I’ve seen pools that are dryer.

I have no idea why I even installed a doggy door. At least that rubber flap gives Spencer privacy while he pees inside.
It’s not like the porch offers any creature comforts over the backyard, either. The room isn’t heated or insulated, and the walls don’t so much stop the wind as they do slightly delay it. The real purpose of the chamber is to serve as a buffer between my office and the elements. There’s a door that leads directly from my computer room to the back porch, and I keep it closed all winter to seal out the cold air. That’s why my office feels like a sauna while the back porch could double as a frozen meat locker. That’s another of my brilliant schemes that my wife shot down. This marriage cost me easy access to slabs of beef.

Spencer can go from my office to the back porch through a second doggy door, so he’s free to ruin the latter at his convenience. He takes full advantage of it. Because there’s no such thing as a level surface in my old, creaking house, the gradual slope of that room whisks the urine away from his feet, keeping him clean and dry. For him, it’s better than flushing a toilet. I’m considerably less impressed with the sanitation of that arrangement. The pee pools on the low end of the room, where I keep my golf clubs. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t perform optimally after being pickled in dog urine. Now I have to find a new set for $15 at a garage sale. These dogs are going to bankrupt me.

I don’t go out on the back porch very often, so I didn’t notice for a while how bad the problem had gotten. It helped that what urine didn’t permanently soak into the floor froze to form the world’s grossest ice skating rink. Then the weather warmed just enough to thaw it and I realized I either had to deep clean the back porch or burn down my house. I pulled everything out of the room, scrubbed the floor with bleach, and laid down thick rubber mats impervious to all liquids. Spencer immediately peed on them. Now, though, every drop of urine sits on the surface until I soak it up. I’m officially out of ideas. Either he’ll give up peeing back there on his own or I’ll get tired of cleaning and he’ll drown in his own urine. I hope that dog knows how to swim.

Spencer would build an ark before he’d give up flooding my back porch.