When Pettigrew Put His Paw Down

IMG_1045Pettigrew is a loving dog, but he does have his limits. I found one Friday morning.

Some background: Pettigrew’s tummy, always a bit sensitive, took a decided nosedive this week necessitating an emergency visit to the vet.

She drew blood. Tested urine and stool. Did a physical.

The exam and stool were both fine, but his blood and urine suggested some problems. Do we watch and wait or do the ultrasound, which might lead to the liver biopsy, which might lead to….

Luckily, Pettigrew’s stomach seems to be righting itself so we have decided to watch and wait except, the vet still wanted to retest the urine. How hard could it be to collect a sample?

First there was the 12-hour fast. As far as I could tell, Pettigrew was happy to sleep through those 12 hours and didn’t miss his water bowl.

Heading out for our morning walk I brought a plastic container, labeled lid, bag to carry it in, and paper towel (just in case).

After a few minutes Pettigrew obligingly lifted his leg. I held the container and….rat a tat tat. Pettigrew’s pee hit the plastic disrupting the early morning quiet.

He dropped his leg and shot me a look.

What foolishness was I up to now?

He had reconciled himself to the fact that I bag up his poop, but now his pee too?! Enough was enough.

Unfortunately, my collection efforts had yielded approximately ¼ tsp. of fluid. Was this enough? What exactly did the vet mean when she said the first pee of the morning? Was the fluid still in his bladder any different than that first pee? Would it be OK to try to collect more or would I spoil everything? My thoughts racing I called my husband. He’s a doctor after all. After much discussion I told him that if he didn’t know the answer, he could just say so. He didn’t know.

Pettigrew had marked four more places by the time I got off the phone.

I called the vet. Yes, any pee collected on this post-fast walk would be fine.

While Pettigrew strained at the leash, I removed mittens and, with icy fingers, pried off the container’s lid. Pettigrew lifted the leg on his far side. I reached under his body to put the container in place.

He was incredulous. Could I be trying this stunt again?

The next time he marked he sidled as close to the tree trunk as he could and lifted his far side leg. I crouched. I reached. I tried to catch the pee. Down came his paw, into the collection cup.

Pettigrew had put his foot down, literally.

And I had to smile. He was right. This was verging on the ridiculous. Collecting pee? From my dog? Multiple times? I had been so worried about his health, but with this act of self-assertion, Pettigrew was telling me as clearly as he could to get a grip.

We continued the walk without further incident. Since the vet just wanted to check the concentration, I figured a little dirt wouldn’t hurt anything.

With one, well-placed furry paw Pettigrew kept me grounded.


The vet didn’t care about the dirt in the cup and the results came back fine. Kidney function looks normal!

11 thoughts on “When Pettigrew Put His Paw Down

  1. Poor guy, I hope he feels better soon. Still thanks for this post…it made me laugh. And believe me, I’ve been there too! It’s even harder to get a urine sample from a female dog. And the dogs really must wonder what in the world we are doing!


  2. Thanks for checking out my blog! Can’t imagine the gyrations for getting a sample from a female dog. He’s still on chicken and rice, but we’re hoping he turns the corner soon.


    1. Thanks Helena! I so appreciate that you follow my blog and you are so supportive of my writing. I need to figure out the mechanics of submitting–the where and when.


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