23 June, 2010

Three piddles and a poop

...which has nothing to do with "Four Weddings and A Funeral".
It just exemplified the tone--literally and figuratively--of my life these days.  The life of a puppy Mom, that is.

Even with all the major or mundane things that occupy my time and mind, what prevails is whether or not I can get our puppy, Chai to "do her business" when she is outside.  You see, our dog is rather unique.  She doesn't really like to waste her time and energy on eating or peeing.  Don and I have to get very creative in how we remind and encourage Chai to take care of business---and to do so outside instead of inside the house.

Chai is such an engaged lil' gal and has far more interesting things to do--such as chase the cats--than use her time eating; or peeing outside when we want her to.  I have never known a dog to be so disinterested in food--well, unless the food is canned cat food or as our dog trainer Lindsey calls it, "Kitty Rocca" from the litter box.  We can set out a bowl of dry food for Chai and she will spend a 1/2 hour nosing out each little kibble onto the floor or turning over the dish. I even bought a weighted bowl to make it a little harder for her to capsize her dinner but she doggedly prevails (pun intended).  She does prefer wet food but we are trying to not make that a mainstay for every meal. Chai nominally appreciates when I add a tablespoon of wet puppy food, a little warm water and concoct a stew of sorts. But even that gets little attention and can sit all day long past what would be her second meal.

Recently, I have tried adding a tablespoon of rice or soy milk to enhance the flavor but that also can mean that her kibble gets all soggy and even less appetizing as the day wears on --especially with the summer weather.  Today, I didn't want to waste the breakfast I had so lovingly prepared and knew it would be mush in a matter of hours.  So, I went over to her bowl and sat on the floor beside it and handed her a few bites.  In her fashion, she would take one kibble bite at a time as long as I handed it to her.  Can anyone spell D I V A ?  After several rounds, I put the bowl under her nose and she proceeded to finish it off.

Anyone who has ever had a puppy knows that they often need to pee more than adult dogs, so parents are encouraged to take them outside frequently, especially after sleeping or eating.   Oblivious to the time of day that might be or the weather, Chai is not fond of wet grass.  This makes getting her to pee during the wee hours of the morning almost impossible for a stumbling, sleepy parent.  Don and I now keep a pair of flip-flops near the patio door so that we are prepared to journey out in the middle of the yard and coax her to join us all the while trying to not to wake the neighbors or whichever one of us gets to stay abed during that shift.

Oh, did I mention our puppy is a Cairn Terrier? Operative word there: terrier.  And she is tomboy who loves to dig and burrow and get dirty. With her scruffy coat, she becomes a magnet for every burr and bramble she can traipse through while scrounging for the most disgusting thing upon which she can chew.
Holy terrier, Batman.

Now that Chai has all her puppy shots and can be social, we have a harness and leash to use for taking walks.  I try to walk her at least once a day for her  exercise and for her form of entertainment and canine Internet picking up various new smells along the way.   For us, it is also another measure by which we know with a little patience and perseverance, we will be lucky enough that she will piddle, pee and or poo.

There I stand hovering over this little creature as she does what nature intends and needs to do and I wonder if people passing by or watching from a nearby window, question my little happy dance, or scratch their heads in bemusement at the cartoon voice I emit in extolling and thanking Chai for going potty.

Maybe it's actually her mom that is going potty.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...