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September 3, 2020: Attitude

At this very minute, Pete’s walking around my study/our bedroom – he has a paper towel and a bottle of disinfectant in hand. Shadow is at his heels. We smell something rank, we smell dog poop. Shadow had an accident, or so we think. But it wasn’t an accident. This was calculated. She slowly crept upstairs when we were preoccupied and cut a loaf. Or so we think.

We have every reason to think this way. She is not yet fully house broken. I thought we had the poop thing figured out. Actually, we may have the poop thing figured out. Innocent until proven guilty. This is how a democracy is supposed to work. And in theory, it does. All we have

Shadow profile

to go by right now is the smell. Maybe Ryder, who is crashed on her new bed, next to my computer, maybe she farted. Maybe. She seldom farts. To fart is way beneath her dignity.

Shadow might be a clandestine pooper. But she is not a clandestine pee-r. She comes in from being outside, very excited to see us, her butt (minus a tail) wiggling like an out of water minnow, and pees. We have taken to putting her outside, but she still hasn’t caught on.

Up until recently, this caused Pete, who gets more uptight about these kinds of things, more angst than it has me. But yesterday afternoon, I let Shadow in the house and she peed on the kitchen floor. For the first time since we got her, I felt frustrated. She was born April 14 – she should have this pee thing figured out by now.

I am glad she’s not a male dog. They lift their legs on most everything, inside and outside. How do you keep a dog from doing this? I haven’t a clue. It’s a good thing that humility is a virtue. I am now very virtuous.

I guess I expected Shadow to be like Bootleg, our first puppy. She figured out that she was to poop and pee outside in less than a day. And so I expected the same of this puppy. My hopes have been dashed against the fire hydrant of life.

We did not find any trace of anything up here. Pete retreated downstairs, with spray container and paper towels in hand, dog at his heels.

I remember, when I was a kid, the standard procedure for dealing with a dog with poop and pee incontinence was to put their nose in it and hit them with a rolled up newspaper. Word got out that this caused psychic damage to canines. So now what? I’m not sure.

The answer, I think, has to do with attitude. You get on a routine and the dog eventually follows suit. Eventually. And you laugh when an accident happens and clean it up and then move on. And you remain grateful about the fact that you have had the good fortune to have had such a wonderful, smart, intelligent dog choose you as its owners.

Next: 244. 9/4/20: Shine on You Crazy Bookstore

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