Friday, November 4, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 4 - OH you mean WHERE I go!

For all of you that have had the extreme joy of housebreaking a puppy, take solace in the fact that I have done it many, many, many, many, many, many, (did I mention many?) times.  I am in the process of housebreaking a puppy right now. Yes, I do get up from my chair a gazillion times. Yes, I have faced frustrations and setbacks just like everyone else. And yes, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.  The biggest obstacle in housebreaking a puppy is realizing - that it IS just a little puppy.  They have limitations. Their brains aren't so far developed that they can instinctively read human thoughts. Even though clearly YOU are standing out in the drizzly rain, with frost forming on your toes, and shivering because you ran out in only a robe and slippers - the puppy isn't thinking about you.  The puppy might not even be thinking about going potty.  The puppy might be thinking - "What does THAT leaf taste like?" or "OH WOW! Did you see that butterfly??"  As much as you want the puppy to ONLY be thinking about going potty - it just doesn't work that way.  First of all it takes a while for the puppy to make the connection between peeing and receiving praise. In the beginning, the puppy has no idea that the act of peeing causes the human to be so darn happy.  It takes a while before the puppy can connect - peeing = joy.  Then we move onto the next step. Picture this - YOU are a puppy.  You just peed outside.  For some reason your human is jumping up and down for joy because you peed.  You don't know why.  You had to pee - so you peed.  Why is this a cause for celebration?  How can peeing cause that much excitement? Now picture the next are still the puppy....and you pee inside the house.  Now the human is MAD!  The human is fuming and yelling and running around with towels and spray!  Perhaps the human lost her mind!  One second the human is joyful over pee.  The next second the human is mad about pee.  Don't you wish that human could make up her mind????  And why is she scrubbing away all that delightful pee smell?  How is that productive?  Pee smells wonderful.  Clearly - the human is crazy.  This routine continues until one day, a little light goes off in the puppy brain. The puppy has an AHA! moment!  AHA!  It is not THAT I pee that causes is WHERE I pee!!!!!! Well why didn't you say so in the first place?????? My November Thankfulness for Day 4 is for the AHA moment.  I give thanks for when a puppy looks at you after it pees outside and has the proudest look on its face and it is just waiting for the preponderance of praise.  You can see it.  The puppy is clearly saying - I just peed OUTSIDE and that makes you happy. What a good little puppy!!!!

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