Thursday, September 14, 2006

I've pissed off dog people

Lord help me. Actually, in this case, the Lord may not be enough.

Here's my tale.

Gatsby the Adorable is nearly seven months old. He has never been fully potty trained, although he's been damn close for about three months. He still has accidents in my house, at my parents' house, and at Greg's house. Normally we just clean it up and I briefly wonder if I'll ever have a trained dog.

Greg is getting new carpet, and I will die if Gatsby has an accident on his brand new shag. I'd be pissed if I got new carpet and Gatsby went on mine, so I can only imagine if someone ELSE'S untrained dog was the first to mark it. So, the pressure to be 100% trained has escalated.

I decide to reach out to other cavalier owners for some help. BIG mistake.

Here is my request for help.

The first response was an all caps bold (in case I'm hard of reading) demand to not spank my dog. Got it. Spanking is bad, I will discontinue the spanking. Duly noted.

But wait!! Obviously the clearly stated, all caps, bold type was not enough. FIVE other people need to state in FIVE different ways that I should not spank the dog, including someone asking if I would spank my child if he/she had an accident (if my child was four years old and shit on my carpet, yeah, I would spank him/her. No question.) and someone else telling me that I'm psychologically damaging my dog and he'll eventually respond by biting the face off of my child (probably the same one I beat whenever he/she has an accident).

Now I really understand, thank you. Thank you also for the warm welcome to the site. Oh, wait, no, none of that. Thanks for the advice on the issue I actually asked about, oh, wait....Well, I can't say that no one did that. Some people towards the end gave some excellent suggestions (including the end of the 'you're psychologically damaging your dog' post) and were very warm and helpful. Thank you to those fine people.

I'm guessing that PETA probably has a line on my home and by the time I get home from class tonight there will be a note on Gatsby's kennel demanding that I complete a parenting course before the return of my dog.

Meanwhile, Gatsby, in all of his beaten, abused, psychologically damaged glory, is hanging out on the floor at my feet chewing on a rawhide.


wignifty said...

When you enter a community that refers to their dogs as human children, you're not exactly entering a room full of people with a grip on reality.

I will say it once again, a dog is not a child. For that person who compared spanking a dog with spanking a child, I would say, "That's a good point. By the way, how big is the crate you force your daughter to sleep in?"

Having a dog that shits the carpet does not make you a bad parent, and having a well-trained puppy does not mean you'll be guest starring in Nanny 911.

Now, as for you spanking Gatsby... What kind of a fucking monster are you?????

Myfanwy Collins said...

Yeah, dogs are not kids and you are not a horrible person for being upset if Gatsby poops on your rug.

Things to explore (because it's awfully hard with the smaller dogs, I think--their digestive systems etc are that much smaller and trickier):

Crate training--I know this works having dog sat for small dogs. Yeah, baby!

Dog walker: hiring in a dog walking service during the day while you are at work to get that pup out there for fifteen minutes even to relieve himself.

My dog would rather chew his leg off than mess in the house and he never, ever has (other than once just a week or so after we got him but he was really sick with heartworm, etc, and we didn't know what he meant by the crazy-ass barking when we left--we do now). With that said, when I'm away on business I hire in someone who will be there so that he has to go fewer than six hours without waiting. It really helps. But, of course, this is an added expense that.

Finally, watch the "Dog Whisperer"--Ceasar Milan knows his dogs! He's amazing!

Kelly said...

See, you are both totally helpful. I do crate train, Myf, and I love the idea of a dog walker!!

And Lee, I totally wish I had thought of the crate comment! Greg said that dogs are pack animals, and they keep each other in line with physical reactions, not by praising the hell out of each other.

I should have just asked both of you in the first place.

Seebo said...

I understand your frustration - when I got my dog (a rescue 6-7 months old) he was mostly trained, I think he just did it for attention. But spanking isn't good becase it teaches them to fear you - like screaming "Gatsby come here" - who wants to come to mom when she's screaming. I think they were well intentioned in their advice, but believe me I understand how crazy people can get over their "babies" - and I agree, Cesar Milan is THE MAN.

Best of luck!