When putting a diaper on a dog, it is important to first pull its tail through the hole. Otherwise, you will find yourself in the position of jamming two fingers through a tiny opening in the diaper and then grasping the tail in bemusement. After all, a dog’s tail is an extension of its spine, full of bones and muscles and nerve endings, and how on earth can you force a spine to curl and fit through a hole? You cannot.
Once the tail is through the hole, you have approximately two seconds to reach between the dog’s legs and pull each of the tabs up and around the belly to secure the Velcro. The dog can easily wriggle out of the diaper if it is not fitted properly, so get those tabs in place as soon as possible. Dogs are quick, even the old ones with bum legs. They don’t want to wear diapers. Who can blame them.
The dog diaper must be tight, otherwise the urine will seep out the sides. If you have taken care of a person in diapers, you know tighter is better. If you ask yourself, is the diaper tight enough, it is not, and you will discover this later, after a day at work or a night of sleep. Only when you say to yourself, perhaps this diaper is too tight, then you know it is tight enough.
Dog diapers look just like human diapers, except for the tail hole. They come in bright colors and have names like Simple Solution and Paw Legend. They can be tossed in the wash, and air-dry quickly.
If you can help it, try not to get sad when you see a dog wearing a diaper. Of course you cannot control your feelings, but if you are the kind of person who can coax your feelings into a general category, I suggest storing them under Humor (“How funny! A dog in a diaper!”), or, Miracles of Human Invention (“How lucky we are that someone invented a doggie diaper!”).
First thing in the morning, check the diaper. Do this outside if possible. Rip away the Velcro tabs and hold the diaper in one hand, away from your face. The weight of the diaper will suggest the level of activity. Although you might be tempted, do not smell the diaper to check for urine. There is no reason to do this.
If the diaper is dry, say something encouraging to the dog like, “Good job! I knew you could do it!” If the diaper is heavy with pee, it is best not to say anything at all. This is not the time for humiliation.
Stay outside with the dog for a while to air out the bottom, and to encourage outside pee time. Feel the cool morning breeze. Listen for birds. Try and imagine what the dog is thinking. If you are fostering this dog, think about its many days leading up to this one. Its mysterious life that you will never know. Briefly entertain the notion that you and this dog were meant to find each other, and then remember you think that about everyone. Look up at the sky. Sometimes calling out, “Good morning world!” can help put a smile on your face, and you forget for a split second that you are holding a diaper made for a dog. A dog that is doing the best it can.