Tangerine Floor and Lemonade Tiles

Hello hello, hope you’re well, long time no read… and zap!, I am back.

It’s 5:30 in the morning in India, dawn hasn’t broken over Bombay yet, but the first promising drops of the monsoon falls outside as I sit cuddling the dogs.

The dogs, now. Well. They’ve have had their second round of vaccines and boosters, the little brats, and we’re under strict orders not to let them go outdoors. Especially since monsoon is tick, flea, snake and poisonous-plant season, and especially since last time, one of them went through three weeks of near-disability after because of a little post-vaccine playtime in the garden. The poor thing was so weak it would lie in its own excreta, filthy and parched, unable to move or reach the water bowl two feet away.

The homestay, however, means that despite toys and extended playtime with us, both pups are terribly restive and barky. It also means their potty-training is shot to hell. Over the last week, our floor had become a chequer of pee and poop, and no amount of repeat-training could make both dogs use the bathroom. If one could be coaxed there, the other would ‘go’ all over the drawing room floor.

I suppose it’s a territory thing, but wet patches and brown pellets all over the place was driving even lax folk like us up the wall. So this afternoon, the partner and I went to war, reclaiming the flat. You want territorial, puppiekins? We’ll give you territorial!

Finding out from the ever-helpful internet that residual smell leads dogs to believe it’s OK to keep peeing and pooping in places humans consider a damned nuisance, we first wiped all traces of puppy-refuse from the floor, and cleaned it with a disinfectant. Then we went all over it a third time, perfuming it with a solution of water, bottled lemon juice, and essence of orange. Hopefully, now, the doggies will think our floor-space has been claimed by the Citrus United, and point their anuses elsewhere.

And now, in the bargain, we have a home that smells like a tropical dream. A light fragrance of tangerine mixes with the sharp scent of lemon. There’s probably a moral lesson about labour and its fruits in this tale, but the smells and weather has put me in a distinctly immoral mood. I want to step inside a fancy bath filled with sandalwood-water, and not come out till the monsoons are well and truly here.



  1. Can understand your predicament, having four of them at home, but we never had potty training problem, as we don’t live in flats and have a small courtyard and my dogs being pure and mixed Indie breeds, are not interested in doing any thing indoors πŸ™‚

    • Hello Deekay πŸ™‚ I’d love to see pictures of your dogs.

      My dogs are also local, by the way. Picked up from the streets after the neighbourhood people started killing their siblings. They would wake us up every morning and go down to the garden in front of our building, but right now the vet has vetoed all outdoors activity.


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