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waking upMost dogs want to go to the bathroom first thing in the morning – no different than their humans.  Penny, however, will stay in bed as long as you let her.

 


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.


Iknew before getting Penny that if I got a dog small enough, I would also get a carrier.  And so, after I adopted her, she and I went straight to one of the pet stores I had been “inventorying” in advance.  I found her a little carrier that I felt would suit her and my pocket.  And it definitely made the trip home a lot easier than the box she was in before stopping at the store.

The first night at bedtime, I put her in her carrier.  I figured what better way to insure she won’t potty in the house during the night.  Another benefit, she would be right next to the bed and wouldn’t feel alone.  The carrier was also to keep yet another little furry child from making my bed her bed too.  She fussed quite a bit, but finally settled down and went to sleep.  She woke up twice during the night, but after a few seconds of crying, she went back to sleep.  The next night, when it was time to go to bed, she waltzed right into her carrier like she had been doing it for years.  Whew.  This was gonna be better than I thought.

A couple days later, Little Miss Penny Layne had been rampaging all through the house, playing and horsing around in a most unladylike  manner.  Even after she wore herself, she just didn’t wanna give it up.   She flew into the room, and flopped into her bed.   But setting next to her bed was her carrier.

Ohhhhhh, that carrier.   It had things like straps and handles and belts (oh, my!) hanging off it.  These things were too tempting for a little puppy to ignore no matter how tired she was. After all, they were right there – why should she get up and cross the room to retrieve one of her toys, exhausted as she was?

She began chewing on one of the handles.  I caught her, and chastised her, and draped the handle over the top of the carrier.  Next thing I knew, she was chewing on the zipper tab – the zipper that secures the flap.  I got up again, chastised her again and set the carrier on the sofa.

I left the room for a while, and when I returned, the carrier was up-side-down.   Hmmmm.  Only one in this house that could possibly be guilty on sofa wag tailof that was Penny Layne.   Of course, I couldn’t do much more than set the carrier up-right, as I didn’t catch her in the act, but I did ask her if she had done it.   A little later, I did catch her chewing on the flap.  I chastised her again, and turned the carrier around so that the flap was against the back of the sofa.  I went in the kitchen to make me a snack.  When I returned, Penny was on the sofa, standing there watching me coming down the hall, and wagging her tail.  The carrier was on the edge of the sofa, and she had discovered the end of a plastic bag poking out through the front of a pocket on the back side of the carrier.  The carrier was designed to hold a small roll of plastic bags, accessible by just pulling them through a little opening in the face of the pocket like you would pluck a tissue from a kleenex box.  The bags are for cleaning up doggy droppings.  She had pulled out a string of about a half a dozen bags.  I rolled the bags back up, put them back in the pocket and set the carrier in a corner.

That night, bedtime rolled around.  I brought her carrier to the side of the bed and told her it was time to go “night-night.”  She went inside and I grabbed the zipper tab to zip the flap closed for the night, but just as the zipper started to round the first curve, it hung.  Dagnabbit.  The zipper sometimes catches on the fabric in that first curve – it was getting annoying because even though Penny would go in the carrier without argument, if I didn’t get it zipped closed within a few seconds, she would either start playing with my fingers, hindering the zipping of the flap, or she would try to come out – I guess in her little world, if the carrier didn’t get closed in a reasonable amount of time, she didn’t have to stay in it.

I backed the zipper up some and went at it again.  The zipper hung again.  And again.   And again.  Okay… I was starting to get irritated, but just about then my finger ran across something.  Hmmm, what the heck was that?  I turned the flap up to look at the edge.

THE TEETH WERE MANGLED!  A good 3/4s of an inch of zipper teeth had been chewed up.  When in the world did she do this?  It wasn’t carrierwhen I caught her chewing on the flap – she had been in her carrier at least once since that incident.   ~Sigh!~  I zipped the flap as far as it would go, then got a safety pin, found the mid-point of the remaining open area and pinned it closed.   I took a decorative pillow and leaned it against the flap believing this would be enough to keep her from realizing the opening to her carrier was not really all that secure.  I turned the light out and went to bed.

In the wee hours of the morning, I felt something hit the bed.  Next thing I knew, something was walking across my chest and then over my shoulder.  Then there was a gentle, muffled thud.  It was Penny flopping down on my pillow just above my head.  She got comfortable like she had been sleeping with me all her life…and there she stayed until we got up that morning.


The day started out fairly well – took Penny out when we woke up about 7am.   She did her business like a veteran.  She’s even getting to the point that she has preferences for where she goes.

After we came back in, I fixed myself some breakfast while Penny romped around and snatched little morsels from her dish on occasion.  I sat down to eat and because she’s learning that what I eat smells a little different than what she eats, she comes over and jumps up and down to get my attention.  But after I tell her to get down a couple times, and tell her “no,” she heads for her little bed and takes a break.

After breakfast, she acted like she was trying to let me know that she had to go out.  So out we went.  Sure enough, within minutes, she peed.  Ofredpoloshirt course, when she goes outside, I always praise her.  When we came back in the house, we played for a while.  After she tired herself out, she bounced into her bed and went to sleep.  I watched a program that I had taped the night before.

Later on, Penny woke up.  She started playing with her toys.  I was doing something on the computer when I heard a noise that didn’t seem right.  I turned around to find her playing with her piddle pad.   I got up to go over and straighten it out, and tell her that her piddle pad was not a toy.   Then something on the pad caught my eye – there was a wet spot.  Penny had peed on the pad!   YAYYYYYYYYYYYY!!

A little while later, I went in the kitchen for something.   I headed back to my cave and when I rounded the corner, I saw a wet spot on the floor.  Penny peed on the FLOOR!   Does that mean the piddle pad incident was just an accident?

I chastised her, pointing to the wet spot on the floor, then took her to the piddle pad to show her that’s where she pees if she’s inside.  Once I put her down, she hauled butt to her bed – that’s what she does if she even thinks  she’s in trouble.

Because she peed on the floor, I knew there was no sense in taking her out.  Little did I know she was going to run in the bedroom and drop a duece on the sly.  How did I find out?  No, I didn’t step in it.  I knew she had done something when she came running in where I was as if the hounds of hell were on her heels.  I went to search for her dirty deed, found it and chastised her for that little incident too.

Okay…once again, no need to go out.   She’s already done it.  So I went in the kitchen to start cooking something for dinner.  While in there, I hear these little feet stampeding down the hall and back and into the kitchen.

Hmmmmmmmm.

I come to the hall, and BAM! She’s done it again.  And this time, she was NOT gonna let me catch her.   I chased her around the diningroom, the livingroom and back into the diningroom where she darted under the table and to the other end of the house.  She ran straight to her bed and flopped down in it, then rolled over on her back.  In her little world, she thinks there’s no way I can get her out of her bed when she does that.  But get her, I finally did, and put her in her carrier.  She knew she had done wrong, so not only did she not fuss about being confined, she even went to sleep.

For the rest of the afternoon and evening, she pushed something out on each trip to the great outdoors.   I’m not sure if she learned her lesson, or if she was just trying to prove a point to me…..

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Past Adventures

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