Lessons from my Pack – Lesson # 1 – Perseverence

As I have mentioned in my past post The Rescue Dog That Changed It All, my dog changed my life. I know, I know, it seems like a stretch, or something that everyone always says – but it is true. I can honestly say I was a different person before I had my dog.

When my dog joined us, I decided I needed to be the best pet parent that I can be. I also became more fascinated with dog behavior and communication between humans and pets. So I have been reading a variety of books about dogs. In this blog, I will be reviewing some – but those are for other posts.

The first one I decided to read since it was just released was Cesar Millan’s Lessons from the Pack. It is an amazing book because it is different from his past ones – it does not talk about how to train a dog, but rather all the different dogs in his past that has influenced his life. The book is a tribute to the dogs that have given him wisdom. You may not like Cesar Millan or his dog ideology, but this book is a must read for anyone that loves to hear how dogs can make a difference in someone’s life. 

This book inspired the new blog series I am beginning called “Lessons from My Pack”. Trust me – there are many.

The first lesson I learned is perseverance. Petie definitely is one that has tested me to keep fighting for things that I love. 

Mr. Petie had a pee problem. A pee problem meaning that whenever he had the chance, was nervous, or just did not feel like going outside, he would pee somewhere. Somewhere soft. Particularly the couch.

We went through our training regimen. Outside many times a day. Pee as much as he has in him. But still, when he was alone or when we weren’t looking, he would force some pee out of him. I have no idea how many urine remover sprays we went through on our couch. At first, my mother came up with the idea to put plastic on the couch so he wouldn’t pee (he seemed to have a preference for soft things – like pillows).

That worked for… about a day. He decided to start destroying it. We came home to the plastic destroyed in pieces on the couch. With pee on the part of the couch that was showing.

So we decided to crate him. 

I spent a lot of time trying to make his crate a comfortable haven with a blanket and toys so he would be comfortable.

We would get home and there would be pee not only on his blanket, but also on his toys. 

So we removed everything from the crate. An empty one was heartbreaking to us because there was absolutely no comfort. We didn’t know what to do at that point, and we thought it may only last at most a month like that. After a while we would let him out and see what would happen.

Fine for a day or two, then he would start again peeing on everything. 

So the empty crate stuck. For about 9 more months.

The turn seemed to come when my brother-in-law came to visit. And my dog peed all the time everywhere. This includes right beside my head when I went to bed one night! He had just gone out and forced it out of him! He peed about 3 times in the apartment that day – all by force. 

Over time I had realized that my dog likes to mark his territory. Kind of an obsession. During walks I now do not let him stop all the time to mark. But, I thought perhaps that is why he peed. Perhaps the other urine sprays did not work effectively and he could smell himself – causing him to think it was okay to pee in the house – or maybe triggered him to want to pee there.

I was so frustrated that the next day – even though all the roads surrounding us were closed for a marathon – I went to buy the Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer spray. Not the small one. The one that is huge and has a spray gun.

I sprayed everywhere. I soaked the couch. I put 2 cups of it in each laundry load with cold water where I washed all the blankets and sheets in the house. I washed the pillows the same way. I do not know what part worked – the urine destroying, or the fact that I put all the blankets in the washer with the spray – but it worked. 

He completely stopped peeing in the apartment.

It took 9 months to get our dog to stop peeing in the apartment, and we tried everything. It was just one little thing that caused Petie’s annoying behavior. We could have easily returned him to the shelter. We could have said it was too hard. Or that he was a bad dog. But, with hard work and perseverance, I finally solved the problem. It was some simple dumb thing that caused him to pee in the apartment. One little thing that could have ruined a relationship between human and dog.

Sometimes, we humans just have to never give up.



Has your dog shown you perseverance in some way? What other lessons have you learned from your own dogs? 


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