Wednesday, May 10, 2006

sans urine; sans feces...

And I was beaming this morning like the mother of a newborn who had just learned to say "mommy" when I found out that both puppies had somehow summoned otherworldly powers to hold fast the dam of Grand Potty River.

No potty.

Is good potty.

The only disappointment was that my husband was the early morning greeter today. Damn, my hard work enjoyed by the Treat-Sneaker! But I was still proud and pleased to show that the proof was in the absence of the pudding.


I am driving my poor husband crazy constantly correcting him with dog behavior knowledge. I hover and monitor like a nag with OCD.

Because I am on a mission this time.

I can hear a treat being removed from a bag at 500 feet. It comes out of the bag and I hear a half-hearted "sit?" from the Treat-Sneaker, who gleefully starts handing over the treat before the puppies even think about lowering any extremity. Enter the dog-Nazi, "No! No! No! They have to sit before you give it to them!" After a sigh and eye-roll, the Treat-Sneaker waits. The moment dog butts hit the ground, the treat hits the mouth and "good dogs!" are all around.

I hear the bag a lot. Enter the dog-Nazi, "Too many treats! They won't eat their puppy food which is specially formulated for their young growing bones!"

This time it's no scraps from people plates, ever. No begging. No eating the cat food or the tootsie roll feast in the garage. No sneaking through the cat door that leads to the tootsie rolls. Petey can fit; Pepper cannot.

The Treat-Sneaker tells the puppies to go "pee-pee." The dog-Nazi corrects him, "No, it's 'GO POTTY.'" Consistency is the only way, the overbearing officer of excrement exclaims.

The puppies "go potty" and the Treat-Sneaker says, "good girl! good dog! good boy!" The dog-Nazi grimmaces and corrects, "No, it's only 'GOOD POTTY!' with physical praise and even a treat. You don't want them to think they need to go potty every time you say 'good dog!'" And then she adds, "And go to the dog without him or her coming to you so they don't think they're being praised for coming to you. They have to be clear about what the praise is for..."

A dismal existence for Treat-Sneaker, who has not scoured the literature for such gems of behavioral information.

But the dog-Nazi is merely a desperate parent seeking some form of order in puppy chaos, and has broken several of her own rules already.

  • No dogs on the furniture or beds? Broken in less than one hour after adoption.
  • No jumping up? Oops, we haven't worked on that yet (they're so cute when they stretch up onto you!).
  • Barking? After some half-hearted claps punctuated with "no! no!"--well, they're just puppies.
  • Face licking? Oh, come on! Everyone likes to be kissed!
  • Pouncing on your chest? That's so funny!

    So, dog-Nazi and her push-over family are getting boot camp*--right after Pepper stops licking my face and Petey wakes up from his nap on the new overstuffed chair...

    *You know, obedience school.


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