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One final canine moan: the hand-washing.

When we got a dog, I imagined it was all dog walks in meadows and fireside snuggles. I had no idea how much dogs poo.

Forgive the graphic content (we’re used to that here anyway), but my word there’s a lot of it. She’s like a factory. In the past, I’d seen it on the ground or in parks thanks to careless owners. I’m aware of their need, but our cockapoo... well the clue’s in the name I suppose.

Of course, we’re the good ones – we pick it up (in bags, I should add – oh and don’t skimp on getting cheap value versions. Pay the extra for ones without holes in, trust me). But it does mean hand-washing galore. I always wash hands before cath-using – but now I really do it, no pretending. I’d rather not gain a dog but lose hygiene.

So, my knuckles are red-raw. I now wash my hands before and after the day’s many toilet visits, after dog walks, before eating – heck, sometimes I just wash them for the sake of it because it seems like I haven’t for a while. A dog in the house just makes a clean freak like me crave an eternal bath.

I suppose us catheterizers are special. We MUST put ourselves first – whether that means hygiene or nipping to the bathroom before the dog gets to go out. I don’t want to risk hospitalization – if I’m stuck there, letting the dog out becomes even trickier.

I’d recommend getting a pet, by all means – they’re great companions – but don’t forget who’s the master, whose needs should come first. So, my advice? Put the dog second. If you need the toilet, go to the toilet – and “sit!”

The opinions expressed here are of a personal and anecdotal nature, and are in no way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Adjusting to cathing can be tough but you don’t have to figure it out alone. Talk to a member of the me+ support team today at 1-800-422-8811 (M-F, 8:30 AM-7:00 PM ET).