“The real problem is that the glove is too small,” said Dave. It was his third attempt to capture pee from the foster dog we are calling Fredo. It was 11:30 pm. We were on a late night walk and Django was on full bunny alert. Meanwhile, Fredo was peeing on various things but never quite long enough or in the right direction.
I wanted to say, “Just let me do it,” but Dave was the one wearing the plastic glove provided in the pee sample kit. You catch the pee with the tray provided, using the plastic glove provided, then you suck up the pee with the dropper provided, then you screw the dropper into the jar provided, then you seal the jar in the bag provided, then you put the bag in the fridge until you can get it to the vet. Easy.
But the first time Fredo peed, Dave hesitated. He said he didn’t but I saw him. I saw the pee coming out and I saw Dave wearing his glove and holding the tray and half-stooping down to try and catch it but hovering. Fredo was lifting his leg on a tree, away from Dave. “I couldn’t see exactly where to put the tray.”
“Under him,” I did not retort.
“It’s hard when they lift their leg,” he added. “Squatting is easier.”
“True,” I said, remembering when I used to have to catch dog pee in any old Tupperware, bare-handed. One time I made the mistake of using an old yogurt container that wasn’t as clean as I thought. The vet thought my dog had a mysterious strain of pink bacteria until we realized it was low-fat strawberry.
The next time, Fredo peed on a bush. “Get in there,” I hissed. Dave got in, but too far back. The stream arched over the tray and into the bush. When Dave pulled out the tray, one lone drop had been captured. “The glove makes the tray hard to manipulate,” he said.
“I don’t think that will be enough,” I replied curtly. I was already annoyed that we were up late again after not sleeping for two nights because of Fredo’s persistent cough and repeated attempts to get up on the bed and adorable but maddening way of sticking his face into yours when you were lying on your side, too close to the edge of the bed. We could have crated him, but he broke out the first time we tried, so it seemed pointless.
We gave up on the pee and walked toward home. Then, like a miracle, Fredo lifted his leg again. Like a champ, Dave swooped in and slid the tray into the perfect location. The sound of pee hitting the tray was joyous, constant, substantial. Success!
Then Fredo finished and set his back paw down, knocking the tray sideways, spilling all the pee.
The real problem,” said Dave, “is that the glove is too small.”