What Don’t Matter Don’t Matter – Conversations with Stella

I am Stella….Aaaaggghhh! Awwww! I am so sorry! So sorry! Please forgive me! I didn’t mean to!

Me:        Stella, calm down!

Stella:    But what I did!

Me:        I know what happened.

Stella:    So terrible. How can you forgive me? So nasty.

Me:        It’s no big deal. You pooped in your crate.

Stella:    Terrible! Terrible! I didn’t know where else to go!

Me:        It happens. It doesn’t matter!

Stella:    It matters to me.

Me:        Look. I’ve already put your toys in the wash. I am carrying your crate tray out to hose it down. That’s why we have a high-powered attachment on the hose. It will all be gone in a few minutes.

Stella:    How can you ever forgive me?

Me:        It’s already forgiven. Just one of those things.

Stella:    I mean, you were back there, visiting with the human puppy and I felt it coming on, but nobody was in here and who would have heard me and all of a sudden, there it was…

Me:        It’s probably because of that heartworm preventative Tall Man gave you earlier.

Stella:    Aaaaggghhh! I hate those things!

Me:        I know.

Stella:    You hide that in meat balls and I am so weak…I give in every time to the meat balls. Aaaagggghhh! I can’t resist the meat balls!

Me:        You aren’t supposed to resist the meat balls. You need the heartworm protection.

Stella:    I am so sorry!!!

Me:        Listen! Some things don’t matter at all. This is one of those things.

Stella:    But…

Me:        Listen to me! There are things that we do that matter. And there are things that we do that don’t matter. This is a don’t matter thing.

Stella:    Lady Human, that is poor grammar.

Me:        I know. And it don’t matter.

Stella:    But you are teaching me proper grammar…

Me:        Yep. And sometimes improper grammar pops out because what we are saying is real. And it just don’t matter. This is a don’t matter moment. Now think about what really happened. You pooped in your crate. I have taken your soiled crate tray outside, hosed it off, and wiped it down. The poop flowed into the dirt where it will break down and return to the earth. New plants will grow out of it. It won’t smell bad. It won’t stick to our feet. We won’t even know it was there. That’s how the LORD made it to be. Blessed be the Name of the LORD. His ways are higher and better than our ways. If we had to come up with a way to handle the mess, we probably would have messed it up. So, bottom line, you had an accident. It got cleaned up. What don’t matter don’t matter.

Stella:    So, it’s okay if I poop in my crate every day?

Me:        NO!

Stella:    Good! Because I hate pooping in my crate. Nasty!

 

 

 

Copyright 2017 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

 

 

What Do You Mean My Bathroom Is Outside?

This is the messy saga of an uh-oh during the house training of Miss Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie is the other of Wiggles’ puppies that is with us and, as her name indicates, she is sweet. She is not as sharp a tack as her brother, Doodlebug, but that’s all right. She had no plans to go to Harvard anyway.

Unfortunately, she used her brain power to associate her crate with her bathroom. We tried all the suggested techniques for breaking this habit to no avail. We couldn’t figure out her schedule and she wasn’t giving us any clues.

We would spend up to half an hour outside, waiting for her to do her “business” while everyone else was doing theirs, and nothing. We would put her in her crate and, within five minutes, BINGO! She was probably wondering why we kept her outside when all she wanted to do was go into her crate to pee and poop.

About 25% of dogs surrendered to shelters are given up due to house training issues. That was not going to happen to Miss Sweetie. We are the humans. All we needed to do was pump up our brain power and walk in patience. Patience. It sounds so easy.

We reassessed our clumsy efforts by focusing on making sure the crate did not smell like a bathroom to her. It smelled fine to us, but she has a much better nose. Figuring out her body schedule, especially in the mornings, was the next challenge. After weeks of failure, BINGO! The good kind.

I took her outside earlier and by herself. That was a key. When she joined the others in the yard, she got distracted by all the play and never got down to business. When she was the only dog in the yard, she focused. She walked around, she sniffed, and BINGO!

With every success, we poured on immediate praise and watched for the brain change that would let us know that she no longer considered her crate her bathroom.

One day when she and Doodlebug were out together, Doodlebug obliged us with a potty visit of his own. We showered him with praise. Miss Sweetie walked up to us and stared. “Where are my head pets? Why aren’t you loving on me?” It was difficult to ignore her, but it was harder to walk in on her using her crate as a potty.

She looked at her brother for a second, walked over to where he had just peed, sniffed diligently, moved over three more feet, and right before our wondering eyes, she squatted and peed. BINGO! The brain/body connection was made. We instantly lavished her with praise. Miss Sweetie had just graduated to the next level of bathroom hygiene.

Her house training has been frustrating and long. But it wasn’t her fault; we had fouled up somewhere along the line. Yelling wouldn’t help it. I wouldn’t want someone yelling at me about that sort of thing.

It came down to consistency and patience – ours.

“…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.