Saturday, January 21, 2012

SALLY THE BRILLIANT WONDERFUL INTELLIGENT DOG

The space aliens must have performed a brain transplant on my pitifully incontinent dog over night.
Today is Saturday.
Normally I run before dawn on Saturdays but today a lovely thunderstorm arrived exactly at the time that I would be out doing my run.
Since lightening is sometimes fatal, I stayed snuggled in the Royal Bed until 6:30.
I will run tomorrow morning.
The temperature will be half of what it was today but there will be no chance for any electric zaps.

Two big events took place that past week since my last post.
1 While throwing away a can in my recycle bin, which I keep outside next to my back porch, Sally escaped through the slightly open door and hopped out onto the drive way, as if ready for her morning walk.
I was nowhere near ready for a walk (no leash, nothing).
I have lived in dread of Sally getting out and running off, ignoring my calls and ultimately getting smushed under a big car.
Terrified, I watched as she jumped from the porch to the driveway.
But instead of heading off down the driveway to the street, she stopped, turned around and looked at me.
I invited her back into the house, and to my great relief and surprise, she jumped up on the porch and came the house again.
I almost passed out.

2 Then one evening as Sally and I were eating/cleaning up, Sally went into the back room.
Lately, she goes in there for two reasons – 1, to play with her toys in there, or, 2, to tend to biological needs.
I have no problem with her playing with her toys back there, it is the other activity that bothers me.
So, being suspicious when I heard no playing-with-toys noise, I went to investigate.
Lo and behold I caught Sally starting to poop in the house.
I hollered “no” and opened the near-by door for her to go out in the back yard.
She did and after a minute or so, I let her back into the house.
We had an uneventful rest of the morning after that.

Which brings us to today.....

After my morning ablutions, I let Sally the Dog in from the still-drizzling back yard.
She was damp but not soaked.
Thus, our usual rubby-snuzzly greeting ritual was augmented by a large towel to remove most of the wetness from her heavy coat.
This she sees as a game and – what else? - tries to bite the towel.

Anyway, we get greeted and I set about making our special Saturday morning breakfast.
Since we are out of oatmeal, I planned to make her an egg to go with her kibble food.
And since I was planning on having a cheese omelet, I planned to give Sally 1/3 of my cooked treat.
Thus it was when I gave Sally her bowl of kibbled corn powder to get her started before I added the egg (still cooking), she ate a little then disappeared into the back room.
After a moment of silence, I suspected that some sort of potty need might be brewing (if she goes out there to play with her many toys, there is usually noise)
So I go out there to see what is happening and low and behold Sally is STANDING at the back door waiting to be let out.

I open the door, Sally goes out (in the light rain!), does her little squat in the grass and comes back to the door.
Naturally I praise her to the maximum degree for her brilliance, self-control and all-around fuzzy sweetness.
Then I continue fixing breakfast.
She continues nibbling at her kibble breakfast while taking side trips to the stove because she smells other good things in process.

After about five minutes, she disappears again into the back room.
And after a few seconds of silence, I go in to investigate.
Sally is again STANDING at the back door, waiting to be let out.
I open the door, Fur Flump goes out into the drizzly back yard, sniffs around a bit and does a fresh fertilization of the grass.
As she trots back to the back door, I can hardly get the praise out for being overwhelmed by the shear sudden brilliance of my pet dog.
I let her in and we sit down to eat our respective eggs/breakfasts.
She remains on the floor under the table, her nose nano meters from my knee, to let me know she is nearby and available.
She did not put any paws on my leg or sniff my food (like she did yesterday....)

While I am doing the dishes, Sally quietly played with her toys.
Then she disappears into the back room again.
And again, silence for a few seconds.
I go to the door way to investigate.
And lo and behold, Sally is once again STANDING at the back door waiting for me to let her out.

I let her out and she, again, goes out onto the soggy grass and makes another deposit.
I am nearly speechless, but praise her again, hoping she will somehow remain humble in spite of all the effusive adulation I have heaped upon her in the last 20 minutes or so.

We played gloved hands for about 10 minutes and then it was time for me to leave for my usual Saturday morning shopping trip.
I let her outside and drove to my planned rounds.

Frankly, I am astounded at the sudden change in my wonderful, big (17 inches), fuzzy dog.
We have done NO training as to where she is to stand to announce her need to exit for biological necessities.
But somehow she has connected some dots.

I wish she would bark at such times, to ensure that I do not miss a silent cue.
Maybe we can work on that part later.
For now, Sally is (suddenly) doing great on her potty training.
I know we are not completely finished with “accidents” but this is a really big step in the right direction.
.

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