I’m considering changing Mick’s name to Joe. Joe Camel. No, my dog hasn’t taken up smoking, but apparently he has a bladder like a camel’s.
Having returned from vacation (totally awesome; or how about rad or bitchin’ while I’m sounding like a teenager?) to find that Mick had made great strides toward housebreaking with our trainer while I was gone. The trick, they said, was for Mick to have a schedule of free/play time, followed by crate time, followed by going outside for what we call POTTY OUTSIDE.
A successful Potty Outside results in effusive praise, a treat, and just in case Mick doesn’t know why he’s suddenly being feted – the official “presentation” of the poop (in one of my colorful disposable poop bags) or a pee-anointed paper towel under the nose (his) to associate this fabulous and exciting behavior with choosing the great outdoors as his bathroom.
We are actually making great strides with the elimination of solids, but not so much with the liquid waste.
Upon awakening – and a successful dry night in the crate totaling as much as nine hours – we make a beeline for the backyard. This is after I, personally, potty inside, since Mick takes so long, I’d be the one with the problem if I tried to hold it waiting for him to go first. TMI? Sorry.
Thank God it’s summer, by the way.
So we run outside and chances are good he’ll have a solid Potty Outside within the first few minutes. Good BOY, Mick! Good BOY, Mick Jagger! Yay! Presentation, treat, everyone’s happy.
Then we wait for a little piddling action. After another 15 or 20 minutes or so of watching him sniff the air and amble around our small yard, I would dash in and get my much-needed pot of coffee brewing. I’d run back to my post on the back steps and find Mick basking in the sun, not a care in the world. He may have peed while I was in the kitchen, but I’ve made that assumption before and brought him inside without witnessing the action – and paid the price soon after with a puddle on the kitchen floor.
Now, I keep my eye on the dog like a cop with a doughnut. He comes back with me to make the coffee, then outside. He comes in while I pour myself a cup and grab my Blackberry and maybe a book, and back outside. Still no action.
Now he has been holding it for at least 10 hours.
I finally bring him with me upstairs to stay under my watchful eye while I take a shower and get dressed. So far so good. And still no potty progress.
Downstairs for our breakfasts, then back outside. Still dry as a Milk Bone.
We go to my home office to work for an hour (Mick has a nap after a busy morning in the back yard), then we take a break for a walk around the block.
Success! POTTY OUTSIDE! But this is after, oh, about 12 hours holding it. I’m telling you – there’s a camel bladder in that tiny wiener dog body.
Oh, well. Good BOY, Mick. Good DOG, Mick Jagger. Sit. Stay.