By: Mary Fran Bontempo
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Casey in her diaper.
No, it’s not too tight; she’s just really fluffy.

Take a look at the photo to the left.

That would be my dog, Casey. And Casey is refusing to look at the camera because she’s humiliated.

The debate over just how much animals feel and know remains constant, with all sides touting extremes ranging from they’re “dumb animals” to they laugh, cry and get depressed, just like humans.

While I tend to be a “middle of the roader” on most subjects, recent events have convinced me that dogs, at least my dog, keenly experience the intricacies of human emotion. Especially embarrassment.

Casey is an old lady—fourteen in dog years, which translates into ninety-eight in people years. Like most ninety-eight year old ladies, Casey is having pee-pee problems, namely, she pee-pees whenever and wherever she wants.

Actually, this is not so much a problem for Casey as it is for her mommy—me, who has been relegated to crawling around sniffing sofa cushions, rugs, pillows, etc., in an effort to answer the increasingly frequent question, “Why does it smell like pee in here?” while Casey naps peacefully on the floor. (She’s on the floor simply because I’m in the room, otherwise, she’s on the sofa, where she’s not allowed to be but apparently goes, literally, when I’m not in sight.)

Despite a lifetime of dutifully “going” outside, Casey has either reached the age where her parts are refusing to hang onto her pee long enough to get outside, or she simply doesn’t care where she lets loose. Though I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt, I’m thinking it’s the latter, as evidenced by her look of total boredom when I drag her over to a marked spot admonishing, “Bad girl! Look what you did!” If she could roll her eyes, she would.

At least, that would have been her response before last week, when, tired of ever-multiplying episodes of rug-scrubbing, cushion cleaning and pillow washing, I did the unthinkable—I bought Casey a diaper.

My kids were horrified. “Mom, you CANNOT put that thing on her! It’s horrible!” they exclaimed.

“Fine. I won’t use it on her and you can clean up every time she goes in the house.”

Needless to say, their indignation was short-lived.

Not so Casey’s, however. No one was more horrified or appalled by my purchase than its recipient.

As I pulled her tail through the hole and fastened the diaper around her privates, my dog looked up at me with a baleful, shame-faced expression as if to say, “Seriously? Please don’t do this. I’ll do anything. Just don’t make me walk around looking like this. Have some mercy.”

The problem, of course, is that she would do anything, that she’d already proven, so the diaper stayed.

I don’t make her wear it all the time, just at night and if I’m out for long periods. Still, she’s constantly mortified and has taken to avoiding eye contact with me at all costs.

The kids aren’t appeased either. “You know, Mom, I hope someday I don’t have to put you in one of those things,” my son admonished.

Me, too. But should it come to that, I’ve already got the humiliated facial expression down pat.

Do you have any doggie tales of woe? Click “comments” below and share!