Saturday, April 28, 2012

Poopy Protest

Our dog Andy is such a good boy, everyone wishes he was theirs. Friends and acquaintances will say silly macho crap like...“Yeah I just don’t like small dogs." but once they meet Andy they want to kidnap him.
Where’s Andy?” “Are you bringing Andy?” “Hey, if you guys ever need someone to watch Andy for you…” “I don’t usually like small dogs, but Andy is different.
He’s that wonderful.
So you can imagine my surprise when Andy started acting up, shortly after we moved.   
It was evident he didn’t dig the place, he certainly didn’t dig the isolation. He was used to seeing people and strangers who gave him attention on a daily basis. But now, Andy would walk around the house whining. Look for people on our walks outside, only to find trees and grass. He also didn’t want to be by himself, he would follow me from room to room. Bark at the door when we would leave to go out.

 Soon Andy started to show his disapproval of the new place in a much more noticeable way. My husband and I would come home after grocery shopping or what have you. To find Andy had left a gift for us in the kitchen. I first assumed I hadn’t let him stay outside long enough to go to the bathroom. But it soon became apparent this was an act of rebellion.  No matter how empty I was sure his bladder was. He would always have at least a tablespoon of pee, or a solitary nugget of poo for the kitchen. He was making a statement.
   I thought I could fix this with clever dog psychology. Whenever we would go outside, if he went to the bathroom. I would give him a small training treat and praise the crap outta him. As though watching him poop or urinate was the most fantastic awesome thing ever I had seen. Chris Angel eat your heart out!
                    OMG THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!
You get a gold star!
    I was sure this positive reinforcement idea would work. But no.

 It worsened when, I could not even take a shower without Andy using that small time frame to desecrate the kitchen. Even if I took a super quick shower, I would come out to find dog statement on the floor. I felt partly responsible for Andy’s behavior. I was sure he was picking up on my unhappy vibes about the new place. I don’t like living here either but I’m not about to poop on the floor. I eventually started bringing Andy into the bathroom with me when I showered. He would lay on the bathroom rug and look pitifully at me through the curtain.  I didn’t want Andy to think being put in the bathroom was a punishment.
So I whenever I showered, I would give him a training treat. Soon, Andy was glad when I took my showers. Because it meant he was getting a treat. After which he would lay on the bathroom rug, be content and wag his tail. Then another awesome thing happened. He stopped using the kitchen as a bathroom when we went out!  I’m not sure how bringing Andy into the bathroom with me while I showered, taught him not to pee in the kitchen. But I didn’t care, I was just glad he stopped doing it.

 But now I have another problem. Andy has now associated me going into the bathroom with him getting treats. One Saturday when I went to take a shower. I left Andy with his Dad/my Husband.  Well according to my husband, Andy did nothing but sit outside the bathroom door crying to be let in. Once I opened the door, he trotted inside, sat on the bathroom rug and looked at me expectantly.

By now he will occasionally go into the bathroom without me. To sniff the rug, as though treats spring from it without human aid, like magic.
It’s to the point where even if I go to use the toilet, Andy wants to be present for it.  He sits on the bathroom rug in front of me and just stares.

  Sometimes begs for attention. I’ve created a monster, but at least there are no doggie surprises being plopped on the kitchen floor any longer. So I guess I can deal with this new Andy Oddity.

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