The Puppy Chronicles: Week 1, The Potty Training Saga…

I love my baby Lab.  I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, as everybody laughed and rolled their eyes at the mere tought of adding a puppy to the mix.  Granted, I’ve only had her a week, but so far, a new puppy is 100% easier than a new baby. I’d take 100 Lab puppies over 1 newborn human. 

I’m a newbie at this stuff by the way.  At work, new puppy exams aren’t my favorite thing.  I feel a little like an imposter; like an OB/Gyn that doesn’t have any kids.  I can tell you about what I know from books and lectures.   However, as far as first hand experience goes,  I’ve never raised a puppy.  We had puppies when I was a kid, but they were outside dogs.  My current two dogs were both obtained as young adults.  This is my and my hubby’s first time raising a puppy.

I am at Starbucks now sipping a pumpkin spice latte’ from an actual cup (I really dont’ like those cardboard sippy cup things).  There is a reason I’m here and not at home; it stems from a series of events that began with my 4-year-old bellowing:  MOOOOOOM I NEED YOU TO WIPE MY BUTT.   I got up from my attempted blogging, wiped said butt (you non-kid people are jealous aren’t you…bet you wish you could wipe somebody else’s butt, it’s one of the many varied joys of parenting you’re missing out on).  Anyhow, I was walking to the living room when suddenly my feet went out from under me and I landed on the floor.  Hard.  I had slipped on a giant puddle of pee.  As I was walking to the kitchen to get a towel, I almost ate it on another giant puddle.  Apparently Mia had gone on a pee rampage, even though she’d been out 15 minutes before.  Meanwhile, the 4-year-old was now whining because the Wii wasn’t working.  There was a neighbor kid at the door which sparked a dog frenzy of maniacal barking (Mia was a little scared so she ran to the top of the stairs and barked from there), which subsequently sparked a frenzy of hysteria from the 7-year-old whose mission in life is to make sure Mia doesn’t run away.  I’m cussing a blue streak that would make Paula Deen proud (I heard she has a mouth like a sailor) and my neighbors tell their kids not to come over anymore.  Thus,  in the midst of all this pandemonium, I grabbed my laptop, yelled at the husband for not helping with the potty training and stormed off to Starbucks. 

So, anyhow, back to the puppy stuff:  even though I’ve got all this book knowledge I’m an abject rookie making abject rookie mistakes.  Take this potty training thing.  I feel compelled to succeed at this.  My two older dogs are miserable failures at potty training.  They are both “rescued” as young adults (I put “rescue” in quotes because, unless you saved the dog from a fire, or cataclysmic flood, you didn’t rescue it, you adopted it.)  so therefore they were screwed up by their previous owners.   My master bedroom closet (the only spot of carpet downstairs) is a patchwork quilt of pee stains.  The big, expensive, West Elm rug in the dining room is light yellow at one end where somebody has been stealthily peeing (happy Thanksgiving guys, ignore the smell…actually wool must be pretty absorbent because you really can’t smell it).  The $99 rug from Lowe’s in the formal living room was Scully’s toilet for a while.  We took it to the car wash once to clean it, then had the epiphany that we can do it for free in the driveway with the power washer.  Right now there is poop in Scully and Katelin’s crate from last night, but it’s hard to get the dogs to “potty” outside in the rain.  They’ve been leaving the carpet alone lately, but winter is coming and that’s when they would prefer to use the indoor facilities.

So you see, I cannot fail with Mia.  The stakes are higher.  The poops are bigger.  Frankly, I have to employ the same mental affirmation I used when I was potty training the kids: nobody goes to prom in diapers.  I don’t know anyone with a non-potty trained Lab.  But the evil voice in my head whispers:  but what if you are the first?

Mia totally gets that she’s supposed to potty outside.  She is a champ at outside excretion.  Sometimes it takes her awhile to poop, but for the most part she’s pretty good.  She just hasn’t realized yet, that inside is not the appropriate place for canine bodily functions (aside from the fact that Scully and Katelin feel otherwise).  I did have a breakthrough today, when she pooped in the house twice this morning.  When I yelled at her, she actually looked upset.  Up until yesterday, she just gave me that cute, befuddled, puppy look and gnawed at the nearest part of my body. 

I got her a bell today so we can try and teach her to ring the bell when she needs to go out.  It’s a pumpkin bell, purchased on the fly at Hobby Lobby.  Pumpkin because it was at the front of the store, and half price, and I was in a rush because the kids and hubby were waiting out in the car and slightly cranky.  I have a feeling she will try to eat the bell, but we’ll see. 

I love that puppy waddle by the way.  The way their little tails sway when they walk.  Love it.  And the puppy breath too…love it. 

So, apparently, as I stormed out of the house to come to Starbucks, I neglected to check the mirror.  I just realized I’m sitting here with 3 days unwashed hair and my “I get some every morning” T-shirt from Sweet Eugene’s  ( a great coffee shop in College Station, check it out if you’re there, it’s everything a coffee shop should be…artsy and funky, not cold and corporate like some certain large coffee chains that charge for wireless).  I’m also wearing my big blue Croc’s which I generally try not to wear in public so I can look like I have some small semblance of fashion sense.

Mia LOVES Crocs. They are her favorite.  She pounces on them, grabs ’em and runs away, shaking her head viciously to kill them.  She actually loves to grab anything on the floor, it’s all fair game.  All  but the $150 worth of toys I’ve bought her, those she ignores.  But drop a little piece of cardboard when you open up that case of beer…THAT is the best toy EVER.

My knee has finally stopped hurting.  Wonder how many pee spots are waiting for me at home (husband is manning the fort), better get some less slippery footwear. 

Operation potty train continues…

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