Friday, 16 July 2010

a dog learns to toilet in a new place...maybe

I've always thought that, at a pinch, I would move heaven and earth to help Penny. Well, yesterday I started on the earth-moving. We have a set of stairs to reach the backyard and Penny's supposed to rest, so we thought we'd set up a toileting area on the back patio. Some phone calls to 'instant turf' companies ended in success, so off I went to collect one roll of turf, and we set up a nice little miniature garden for Penny's use.

But the patio is out of bounds for toileting, as she well knows. So nothing happened. I collected a little pile of poo and put it on the new grass. Nothing happened and it was back to lugging 17 kilos of dog up and down the steps. (I'm NOT young!)

'What do you mean, have a wee?' her body language said.

A wiser friend suggested we collect a patch of grass where Penny had already peed. So I carried her down once again and, of course, now that we were in the correct place, she urinated on command. (Good girl!)

Next job was to lug her back up the steps, close the gate to the patio and go down to do some digging.

'What are you doing down there and why can't I come and help? I'm a good digger.'

Okay... so carry the little patch of planet earth to the patio and insert it into the patch of turf.

And Bob's your uncle!

Oh, as to moving Heaven AND Earth? We're petitioning Heaven that Penny won't need surgery!


Maggie and Mitch said...

We are crossing our paws that you pee and poo in your new spot, Penny! Look how hard your mom has worked to make it just perfect for you!
We don't want you to have to go through surgery either!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, keep those paws crossed! I had to carry her down the stairs to poo this morning. She is DEFINITELY going to lose weight!

JD and Max said...

Poor Penny - we're keeping all our paws crossed that you won't need surgery.

Poor JD has a poorly paw and can't walk properly at the moment, he has to lay off walks. But like Penny, he has his favoured places to go potty. He's fine about weeing in the garden but hates to poo in his own backyard! So we're having to take him round the block to ensure he goes and it makes me feel like an evil witch, dragging an injured puppy around outside!

Snuggles and hugs - JD, Max and Clare.

parlance said...

Clare, thanks for making me laugh out loud, when I've been feeling a bit down. The picture of the evil witch dragging the poor injured puppy around the block is so-o-o funny!

Next time I'm struggling down the steps with Penny who won't "go" on the patio I'll be glad that I'm not having to haul her, limping, around the block, me full of guilt and the neighbors pointing.

Good luck with the sore paw.

Oscar the Indefatigable said...

Hi Penny (and Penny's human),

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It was so nice to meet you! I'm going to add my crossed paws along with those of my kitty and piggy sisters to the ones above! We really hope you don't need surgery.

My human thinks your human is so clever with the instant grass. I hope you learn to like it after all that effort. Though I can't really talk. I have my favourite spot behind the garage and know not to go near the vegie patch but if I there's been a disturbance in my territory (like a possum running along the fence or the neighbour's cat trying to sneak in) I like to make sure the impostors know just whose garden it really is. On every. Single. Bush. :D

Love, Oscar and the gang

parlance said...

Oscar, just make sure you keep clear of those vegies, or your human just might get a little teensy bit annoyed.

Honey the Great Dane said...

OH, I hope the new "seeded" patch of earh is helping!! It can really difficult once dogs get used to their routine to change them - especially if they've been good about following your rules previously and then now can't understand why you're asking them to break the rules! :-) Honey is like that about certain things - like getting on the sofa - the few times we've tried now she's older, she always looks so uncomfortable and can't wait to get off again! :-)

Anyway, I hope your new temporary toilet works. They do say dogs imprint on substrates so hopefully...back in our old house in Auckland, we managed to teach Honey to only wee & poo on a patch of barkchip behind the garage and to never toilet on the grass lawn - even though she could toilet on grass everywhere else. It was very handy as it kept our lawns green and clean from any poo! It took me about a week of intense supervision and constantly taking her to her "toilet" place and staying with her there until she relieved herself (and was rewarded) before she "got it" - but once she did, it was great - she always followed the rules and even if she was bursting, would always run past the grass lawns to go to her barkchip toilet behind the garage...

Anyway, good luck with Penny and keeping everything crossed for you!


parlance said...

Thanks, Hsin-Yi. She hasn't "gone" on our little patch of grass yet and we won't fuss about it until we go back to the vet and find whether she's going to have to avoid the back stairs for a long time. If that's the case, I'll do as you say, and just hang around out there with her until it happens. (At least it will pass the time for her, lol.)