When you buy a cute little puppy, or in Lucy’s case, adopt a cute little puppy – you really don’t know what kind of dog you are ending up with. You can figure out some of the characteristics by the breed, but the reality is, you get what you get.
House training Poppy Petunia was fairly easy. We hung a bell next to the door and trained her to ring it whenever she wanted to go out. True, she rings the bell when Amanda is downstairs and she wants Amanda to come upstairs but generally she uses the bell for the purpose it was intended for. Lucy wasn’t going to have anything to do with the bell ringing. Why? Who knows? Maybe the sound of the bell upset her, maybe she just didn’t feel like doing it. Learning Lucy’s signals to go out has been a mutual training session.
In the beginning, Lucy’s signals were: pacing (although she paced anytime she was upset), whining (although she whined anytime she was upset), and noxious farts (although she farted anytime she was upset). Most of the time, Amanda and I would run the dog outside for any of the aforementioned signals. Needless to say…she went outside a lot. Lucy got into a bad habit of whining and pacing whenever I was cooking dinner. I would always turn the stove off and take the dog outside, only to find out that she was scamming me. One day, I decided not to play that game. I was cooking dinner when Lucy started pacing and whining. I told her to wait and surprisingly within a few minutes, she actually stopped her complaining, hopped up into her favorite chair and went to sleep.
I went to bed about an hour after Amanda and the dogs had already settled down in their room. As I would sometimes do, I didn’t turn on the lights in my bedroom. I went over to my chest of drawers and took off my earrings. Then I walked over to my bed and turned down the cover. Back to the chest of drawers to take off my necklace and then over to the laundry hamper to take off my clothes. As I walked back to my bed to get my pajamas from under my pillow, I paused at the opened window, took in a deep breath and wrinkled up my nose in disgust. Wow, something in the yard smelled awful. Maybe one of the raccoons dropped something that they had picked up from the green bins, or maybe something had died out there. Ugh. I closed the window. I slipped out of one of my slippers and put my foot down – into something cold and squishy. Realization slowly dawned on me. Now I know why Lucy had stopped whining. She had taken care of her problem by herself, in my room. I hobbled over to the light switch and flipped on the lights. Not only had Lucy done her business in my room, but I had obviously stepped in her poop when I first went to my chest of drawers and then proceeded to step in it over and over and over as I had walked around my room getting ready for bed. The rug was smeared with Lucy poop everywhere. Long story short – the rug is gone and Lucy isn’t allowed in my room anymore.