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Until today, I don’t believe Penny has experienced anything other than sunny, warm days, moonlit nights, and occasionally, dew-covered grass in the early mornings.  She’s been happily going out anytime I knew, figured or suspected she might need to go.  Some dogs, if taken outside enough, will get to the point that outside is the only place they will do their business.   I don’t know if Penny will turn out to be that way…but I’m trying to do what I can to make potty training a stress-free process.

Despite having never had any luck with piddle pads, I bought them anyway the day I adopted Penny.  She and the piddle pads came home together and I put one down in the bathroom right away.  I thought that if I took her to the pad whenever she even looked like she was trying to figure out where she could pee (between trips outside), I would take her straight to the piddle pad and ask her if she had to pee-pee.   I was trying to associate the “pee-pee” with visiting that little square of paper printed with green leaves and blades of grass.  Though I celebrated a little too soon on a couple of occasions when Penny somehow accidentally peed on the pad, I think those two accidents might have paid off.

One day, I saw her come darting out of the bathroom.  She ran straight to me, and seemed, well…   excited.  It was like she wanted to tell me pitstopsomething.  No, she wanted to show me something.  I thought to myself, is it possible?  Did she intentionally go in the bathroom for a pit stop?

I got up and went to the bathroom door.  Sure enough, there lay a deposit on the pad.  I praised her and petted her, told her she was a good little girl, and that she did good job.  She seemed to really want to make sure that I saw what she had done.  She ran in the bathroom, surveyed her deed with a quick sniff, and ran back to me, tail just-a-waggin’!  I continued to heap loving praise on her.  I went back to sit down, hoping that this wasn’t another accident, and wondering was she really trying to show me what she had done.

The next evening, I had turned to check on Penny – she wasn’t in the room.  Oh crap, I thought, where is she and what could she be into?  Maybe she’s eating.  I quietly turned to get up just in time to see see Penny dart out of the bathroom and run straight for me.  Hmmmmm, I’ve seen this look before.  She was looking excited, her tail wagging, and again I got the impression she wanted me to come look at something.   As I stood up, Penny ran for the bathroom – I followed.

When I got to the door, I saw she had made another deposit on the pad, but she peed on the floor.   No matter… she tried.   I heaped on the love and praise.  Maybe Penny was getting it after all, and I was pretty sure that these latest trips to the bathroom were not accidents.  I wiped up the floor, packaged up the doggie-diamonds, disposed of everything and put down two pads.  I figured if I made the “to go” area a little bigger, she’d hit the pad, and this would further reinforce what she should do whenever she can‘t get outside.   Later, I could get her down to one pad.

That brings us back ‘round to today.   About 7am, I heard Penny stir in her carrier.  Okay, time to get up, stumble to the bathroom, throw on my sweats, t-shirt and sneakers and take her out.   It had rained on and off during the night and morning, and I knew it would be pretty cool.  The wind was also up which would no doubt make it feel even cooler.   I put a t-shirt on Penny and I grabbed a jacket.   Penny was all ready to fly out the door, the first visit to the great outdoors since right before bedtime the night before.  I opened the door, we stepped out and immediately, Penny balked.   The cold air hit her first.  Then there was this wet stuff coming down and the walkway was wet.  But after some serious cajoling, Penny reluctantly stepped into the grass and quickly went about the business of emptying her little bladder.   After that, she made it clear she was done, and we needed to go in the house.

We went back in the house, I wiped her feet off, took her leash and t-shirt off then set her down.   She took off for –  the bathroom.  Hmmmmm.  Could it be?   Is it so?  Did she say in so much doggie body language, “screw that, I’ll show you!”   I quietly started down the hall to my cave – that’s where the bathroom she goes in is located.   About the time I got in the room, Penny came running out of the bathroom with what was beginning to become that familiar, excited look, like, “come see what I did!“

Sure enough, I looked in, and Penny had made a deposit squarely in the middle of the piddle pad.  I swear, she could hardly contain herself.   I heaped on the love and praise, then she took off toward the bedroom and bounded up on the bed.   I came in and got out of my sweats and stuff, picked up the TV remote, laid down with her, and we watched TV for about an hour.  After that, I got up, got cleaned up, made some coffee and breakfast.

A few hours later, after Penny had eaten some, and had drank water, I figured I should not press my luck – after all, she is still just a puppy.  Problem is, it was raining again, had been for a while, and was doing more than just the sprinkle she encountered around 7 in the morning.  This was not gonna go well, but, I put her t-shirt on her, I grabbed my jacket and we went out.  This time however, there would be no amount of cajoling that would get her to even budge off the porch.   She turned around and stood up, her little paws pulling on my pants leg.  I told her she had to pee-pee.   She wasn’t having any of it.   She got down, turned around and shoved her nose into the corner created where the door meets the door frame.  It was like she was either going to push the door open under her own power, or she was going to go all cartoon on me and just squirt through.

“Come on, Penny, you have to make pee-pee, then we can go in.”  She sat on the doormat, shivering.  Then, she got up and turned toward the door again, and in case I didn’t understand her the first time, she stood up on her hind legs and planted her front paws on the door as if she was reaching for the door knob.  Whatta ya supposed to do?  I gave up and opened the door.  We came in, I took her t-shirt off, and she took off down the hall.  Penny had gone in my cave and flopped in her bed where she stayed for about half an hour (pouting?) before she got up and went into the bathroom.

I sat and waited for her – she seems to like a little privacy when she goes in the people bathroom.  After about a minute or so, Penny darted out of the bathroom and came running to me.  Yes, once again, she had “gone to the bathroom,” and once again, she wanted to make sure I knew it, and once again, I piled on the love and praise.

So what, if it’s raining.

November 2017
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