"The Muffled Cries For Help From a Daddy of Four Beautiful Little Girls"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pavlov's Dog--or--His Face Sure Rings A Bell

I've tried hard not to write constantly about our new puppy.

After all, we DO still have lives beyond just being first-time new puppy owners.

But as thrilling as those lives are (homework, organizing a soccer league, vacuuming, laundry, ministry, expanding our investment portfolio, de-pilling the couch, blah blah blah), it's time I told you some uncontainably exciting news.

Cheddar goes to the bathroom OUTSIDE. A LOT.

For weeks, we've been taking him outside often. Often enough that he'd have no excuse for having accidents inside. It was quite tedious to go out as frequently as we did, but there were six of us to share the load...

...until school started and Cindy was home alone with PoopMachine 2000.

However, having the foresight to see that day coming, Cindy instructed us to install a jingle bell near the front door. Every time we took Cheddar out to relieve himself, we'd jingle the bell, then out we'd go. Each time.

Theoretically, Pavlov would say that Cheddar would be conditioned to associate the bell with the door opening to go outside. (O.K. Those of you already familiar with the Poop Bell, don't spoil it for the rest of the readers. Just let them believe that this is a geniously original idea. Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh.)
Sure enough, one day Cheddar up and rang the bell himself with his cute widdle nose.
Then we took him outside.

Then he went to the bathroom!
Then we did a jig...with the heel-clicking and all.
Now he rings it all the time. I really don't know when the last time was that he peed in the house. And even when he deposits a log on the carpet, it has an imaginary note tied to it written in scraggly imaginary puppy writing: "Here's a present for you as a reminder to you to open the stinkin' door when I ring the bell, folks!" He's that smart.
Of course, he's working the system to his advantage now.
He rings the bell when he wants to:
1. Lay in the sunshine
2. Dig in the mulch
3. Chase butterflies
4. Bark at the neighbor's dogs
5. Intimidate bike riders
6. Run in the freshly cut grass, heavy with dew and drag 12 pounds of clippings into the house.

And occasionally, he'll even poop or pee.

But I don't mind all of that other stuff. I'm just glad he's house-trained (98%).
I'm so happy, I could pee,
But not until AFTER I ring the bell.


Aaron B. Huddleston said...

lol Clever idea, funny unforeseen downside. lol

AmyG said...

LOL, cute idea! Glad you got him trained. ;o)

S'more of my Thoughts said...

Awwwww - glad it's working for ya! WTG, Cheddar ~ I knew you could do it!!! And, fyi ... it's impossible for you to blog too much about "the" Cheddar!

Emily said...

uh, do you guys have any regrets?

Kirby3131 said...

How funny. Cheddar has been acclimated & seems to have the right personality to fit into your home.

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

I told Cindy that he almost became Shredded Cheddar the other day when he practically left her with a stump of an appendage.

Tammy said...

Sounds like the resident cheesehead needs a little play area in the yard! And the "log" comment made me spit out coffee. Thank you kindly.