Eventually, if you talk about dogs long enough, you will come to the subject of poop. Yes, we humans refer to this as bathroom talk. I only bring it up now because for months we have been working with Miss Sweetie to view the whole of outdoors as her bathroom and indoors as off limits for that type of activity.
It has been a challenge, a long battle, and on various weeks, we thought we had won the fight, only to have a setback, a retreat, if you will, into old bad habits. You see, at a mysterious point in her young life, Miss Sweetie had a crate accident and came to associate her crate with her bathroom.
Solitary trips outside without the other dogs helped. When she is outside with the others, it is time for play-play, not poo-poo, and she never gets down to business.
After months of training, we still have the occasional incident. It seems that Miss Sweetie does not want to bother us by asking to be let out, so she silently takes care of her needs indoors, usually in her crate. We have tried the cleaning solutions, putting her food in her crate, lavish, instant praise, and other suggestions by internet dog poop gurus, and things are going much better.
Still, poop happens.
I walk around outside with Miss Sweetie, just the two of us, so that there are no bulldog distractions. Every morning, you can hear me encouraging her, saying words I never intended in my life to say to anyone.
“Poop! Go ahead. You can poop. You can do it. Anytime now. It’s fine. Just pick your favorite spot. Or a new spot. Any spot. Poop. This is your time.This is your moment.”
I sincerely hope no one is within earshot during these sessions. I can hear them now. “There goes that poor woman who thinks she has to talk her dog into pooping.”
After minutes…and minutes…and minutes of sniffing, visiting with the chickens, taste-testing new sticks, pointing her smooshy face skyward to catch the latest scent on the wind, Miss Sweetie ambles away from me, on a poop quest at last, and secretly I rejoice.
So what have I learned from this?
That if I want people to be patient with me, I need to be patient with them.
That some things can’t be rushed.
That it’s perfectly all right not to be in a hurry.
That while I do not want to smell poop, I need to slow down and smell the morning air.
That I can wait for my first cup of coffee/tea a few more minutes.(Flexibility is good. I’m not going to die.)
That not everything responds instantly to my command. (Who do I think I am anyway?And what am I rushing off to? Get real. It is probably no more interesting than waiting for a dog to poop.)
I keep coming back to this:
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4 KJV)
Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.