Written by: Deb C
I live in the middle of a tropical jungle in paradise. And not just a cutesy, Rudyard Kipling-type place – it is a real jungle. There are critters. Some of them freak me the hell out. I knew that it would be like this when I moved here, and so I’m dealing with it the best that I can. In my previous life in the states, I opened the door, let the dog go pee while I stood on the nice HUGE patio (with no creepy crawlies threatening to invade my space), and all was well in the world. That being said…
I have a new family member – a 4 legged dog type of family member. Meet Miss Lola:
She is 3 months old and impossible to house break. I’m living in the middle of the jungle with a puppy I have to take outside constantly, and I’m losing it.
We also have two other 55lb boy dogs, both Pot Lickers or Coconut Retrievers or whatever you want to call them; they are island dogs and they LOVE us. Both “Highway” and “Lucky” are totally house broken.
Miss Lola, (who is the most unloving rescue puppy ever, it should be noted) refuses to acknowledge the basic fundamentals of where to pee and where NOT to pee. She pees on the porch and looks over her shoulder at me as though she’s saying, So freaking there. I peed. I yell no!, she runs and hides behind Highway, I pick her up, take her down 2 flights of stairs into the backyard that is encircled/encompassed/surrounded by lush green JUNGLE to repeatedly point out that this is the pee spot, not the porch.
I have to take my dog to potty in the freaking jungle. It’s not such a big deal taking her down during the day, but at night, it’s a different story. There are critters and shit down there that I really don’t like, but if I don’t take her to potty in the proper spot, she will never be housebroken, and I’ll be cleaning up dog pee until I die. It’s with that thought burned into my brain that I stealthily descend the last 10 steps into the yard night after night. And while it is fenced in with chain link, when it comes to the creepers, that doesn’t matter. It’s not like the creepy crawly shit says, “Whoa, there’s a chain link fence, we better NOT enter.” Fence or no fence, it’s still a jungle out there.
It’s not so much the big things that have me skittish, it’s the small ones that you have to watch out for. I mean, it’s pretty damn easy to SEE a 5 foot boa constrictor or a 14 inch coral snake; but it’s not that easy to spot the small creepy crawlies that are just that – creepy. I don’t like them, especially because I am in flip flops 24/7. My toes are just hanging out there for all the world to sting or bite or slither over. And my dogs, well, they don’t even have flip flops.
Do you know what it’s like taking a puppy out to pee after dark in the center of the jungle(y) woods? Take it from me: you see things you really do NOT want to ever see, but you HAVE to see these things for your own safety and sanity, be that what it may. They are there, like it or not. You are living in their ‘hood.
The other night, while doing some potty training in the jungle, just as Lola and I stepped off the porch onto the grass, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I turned around and damn – it was a scorpion. A big one. I yelled for my husband to come kill it. I actually cornered the little 3 inch bastard to keep him from scurrying away before he could be stomped to death. It took 2 good stomps from Bill’s size 11’s.
My husband later showed me that they are easy to spot using a blacklight flashlight. They freaking glow in the dark. Nice feature.
As if the scorpions aren’t bad enough, last Friday night I had Lola out to pee again and I had the big spotlight with me to protect us from the things that hide in the dark. Just about the time I turned around, holding the spotlight in my hand, chest level, I heard this insane flurry and saw something FLYING RIGHT TOWARDS MY HEAD. I had no time to react. It landed on my face and sat there.
It was a rhinoceros beetle. I DIED. Then I screamed, loud. I somehow managed to:
a) not pass out
b) knock the f*%$@r off my face and stomp its brains out its ass
c) wake my husband from a nap. I don’t think he believed me.
That pretty much did me in for the night. I have come to more than hate the late evening pee breaks.
From now on, I’ll be making a few additions to my nighttime “taking Lola out to pee” gig: a pair of knee-high boots, a spotlight (which I will never aim towards a rhinoceros beetle in flight, lesson learned), and a black flashlight to make the scorpions a little more scary and a tad more psychedelic. Oh yeah, and one other fashion accessory that my husband inadvertently thought he bought for himself:
Now I just need to find a pair of custom flip flops to protect Miss Lola…
If anyone ever says house breaking a puppy in the jungle is easy, they are probably drunk.