Every time we think, “Oh, hey, it’s been a couple of weeks at least since Maya last had an accident. I think she’s finally potty trained!” we’re swiftly proven incorrect.
This morning, upon rising at the behest of Maya who seemed to be indicating that she had to potty, I let her and the other dogs out and then set about to make breakfast. Being as how it was still -3 degrees outside due to the polar vortex, I let them back in pretty quick, but gave them plenty of time to do their soon-to-be-frozen business.
Several minutes later, as I wrapped up the preparation of breakfast, grabbed my coffee and headed for the sofa, I spied a huge pile of poop by the back door. I doubted greatly that this had been deposited before the wife left for work, so it must have happened while I was making breakfast. The thing about me is, even though it’s entirely unappetizing to have to clean up dog shit before eating a freshly prepared breakfast, it’s even worse to just leave it there and eat that breakfast, knowing it’s there to be cleaned afterward. So I had to clean it up, but not before shaming the dog for doing it in the first place. While Maya has made great strides in keeping her waste within her until turned into the out-of-doors, she still hasn’t quite figured out a way to willfully alert us when she has to “go.” Or, to mangle some terminology from Dune, to demonstrate pottysign.
At night, she’s much better. We’ve been keeping the dogs closed in our room, which keeps her from wandering elsewhere in the house to make a deposit. Instead, she usually wakes up, stands and shakes her jowls violently. When we hear this, we just get up and let her out and she’s never failed to “go.” This is as close to achieving pottysign–to paraphrase a term from Dune– as she usually comes. And it only happens at night. During the day, when she has free run of the house, we basically have to notice her acting like she might have to potty, which is pretty subtle cause to the casual observer it appears exactly like her normal dog behavior.
Most of the time, we just notice her lingering by the front or back door, or peering out of a door adjacent window, and we just get up and let her out. Occasionally, when we see her at the door and we ask her if she has to go potty, she’ll give us a satisfying whine in the affirmative. But, again, it all requires we notice her doing that, cause damn if she’s gonna say a peep.
Toward the end of the day, having been let out for a solid 20 minutes not 15 minutes beforehand, I was in the kitchen making supper when I happened to glance toward the back door and saw another pile. Two in one day, both while I was otherwise occupied in the kitchen, no effort made to alert me beyond staring out a window. Maybe.