When a prospective pet owner goes to look at six-week-old puppies in the owner's favorite breed, declares before leaving the house, “We’re just going to look,” but stops at the bank on the way, what are the odds that the person will return home without a dog?
Reggie came home with us about a year ago.
What were we thinking? Oh, she was plenty cute, and sweet, and cuddly. But potty training in December? We were nuts. It was a rough December, and January, and February.
She was tiny and it was cold. So of course she didn’t want to take her business outside.
In dismay, after hearing and reading a variety of ideas, I told the vet about our troubles. He said he knew exactly what to do to get her housebroken. It required a trip to the crafts store and a buck.
The vet said to buy a couple of inexpensive crafters’ bells. Hang them on a string. Tie the string to the door with the bells at doggie eye-level. Whenever we take the dog outside to potty, touch her paws to the bells so she hears them jingle. She’ll come to associate the noise with the result we were after. I thought this sounded like an exercise for gifted dogs, and didn’t figure that Reggie qualified. But it was worth a dollar.
But then, gradually … could it be?
The first few times I heard the faint jingle coming from the back door, it was so soft and brief that I wondered if wishful thinking was playing tricks on me. The trouble at first was that she wouldn’t wait for us to get there – she would go on the laminate floor after she rang!
Brian didn’t believe that our dog was a ringer. But the jingle got louder, and Reggie even started waiting for us to get there after moving the bells with her nose (not her paws, as was the original plan).
Now a year old, Reggie’s not foolproof and we don’t let her have run of the house when we’re gone, but rather place her in her crate. She’s also over getting me up at night to potty. Guess that comes with age -- hers and mine. I’m now more likely to awaken her from my nighttime bathroom trips.
But she does pretty well. She rings that bell when she has to go. And now, we can answer this question with confidence: For whom does the bell toll? It tolls for wee.