Geriatric Puppy Training

Hello, friends! It’s good to be back at my blog after a month in Fiction Jail. I think my Cell mate main character needed a break from me, just like I was starting to need a break from her.

Such an innocent face…

Just so you know, I did more than just write fiction in April. Another lofty ambition was to teach our 14-year-old Pomeranian-Sheltie mutt a new trick.

As I learned some time after we adopted Tipper, her Pom heritage would haunt us. Who knew Pomeranians were bred solely to sneak away from polite company and pee on carpet? That was super aggravating in our last house, with its living room and bedrooms all carpeted. The living room was pretty safe, since it saw lots of traffic and therefore didn’t qualify as a “sneak-away” destination.

But all the bedrooms. Sigh.

In this new house, most floors are hardwood or tile. We have one carpeted guest room, and area rugs in three downstairs rooms. One day during a storm, I got a little lax with Tipper. She went behind a wing chair and peed on the living room rug.

Brent and I bundled the unwieldy rug into the laundry room, rinsed the wet spot, cleaned it with white vinegar, rinsed it some more, and propped it up to air dry.

Not wanting to go through that again, I went to PetSmart for some puppy training pads.

After gating Tipper and myself into the laundry room, I pulled out a pad and let her sniff the pheromone attractant guaranteed to send the irresistible signal:

“This, my canine friend, is where you pee!”

Me: “Here, Tipper, potty. Potty.”
Tipper: >wags tail<
Me (spreads pad on floor and puts dog on it) “Potty!”
Tipper: >wags tail<
After several tries, I let her outside where she immediately went to the grass and peed.

Day 2:
“Here, Tipper, potty. Potty.”
Tipper:

“It’s a little thin, Mom, but I can nap on it okay.”

Day 3:
I followed Tipper outside, pad in hand, to see if I could get her to pee on it.

Nothing doing.

The closest I could get was to get behind her and sneak a fold of the pad under her rear while she was peeing. I hoped she’d smell the pee and get the idea next time.

She didn’t.

Day 8:
After more failed attempts with the pad, I let Tipper out in the living room. She marched over and peed on the living room area rug.

More vinegar. More rinsing. Only this time, I was working alone and ended up knocking over everything in the laundry room trying to wrangle the rug around. Finally rolled it loosely and propped it up on the sink, leaning it against the cabinet to drip dry.

So…. what’s next?

I’m glad you asked. See, adult coloring books are all the rage. I think I’ll pull out a new pad and a bunch of colored markers. Maybe if I disguise the pee pad as a tiny area rug…….

Your turn:
Surely Tipper isn’t the only beloved family pet who gets called “Weasel” on a regular basis. I’d love to hear your pet frustrations! Please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!
Jan

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