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Despite This we stay for March 18, 2010

House-training a puppy

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO- Huerfano County is puppy-purgatory.  This is the place all mommy dogs warn their little kids about if they don’t eat their green beans.

    Housetraining a puppy in South Florida might be fairly painless, but in Huerfano County, it’s a whole other story.

    The joy a puppy feels about being allowed in a human house is soon overshadowed by getting thrown out of the house every 15 minutes into the cold, cruel Huerfano world.  You see them, sitting there, shivering, pleading to come back into the warm house.  They look so pitiful.  “What did I do?” their sad little eyes beseech.  “What did I doooooo?”  It is only after a series of these events that the puppy starts putting one and two together.  They are no doubt aghast when they realize that the humans want the innocent little puppy to go outside to go number one and number two – every time!

    Sure some days may be sunny.  But it also snows – and sometimes the same day. 

    It also rains.  Rain is very inconvenient to innocent little puppies because it tickles their ears and drips in their eyes, so they can’t see when their human opens the door to let them back in the house.  And mud!  Dogs may act like they don’t mind being muddy, but the first thing they do when they come inside is run into the living room and wipe their paws on the couch.  So they obviously DO mind being muddy.

    And then there’s the wind.  Huerfano wind can blow innocent little puppies clear to Kansas if they aren’t careful.  Wind blows into puppy ears and up their nostrils.  It makes them gag worse than eating vegetarian dog food.  Wind makes trees act like monsters and sound like puppy-eating demons, which are not pleasant when one is trying to concentrate on doing one’s business.

    From the very beginning, puppies try to tell their humans that housetraining is a big mistake.  They will sit outside shivering in the snow for ten minutes, but they will not go potty.  Then when you let them in, they will immediately piddle on the floor.  And it’s even worse with small dogs because their legs are so short, you can’t tell when they squat until a puddle forms around their feet.  So when you put them outside to go, you have to watch with binoculars to tell if they squatted.  If they see you with the binoculars up to your face, it could scare the crap out of them – oh wait, that’s a good thing I guess.

    Don’t dare offer your innocent little puppy a treat when they do their business outside, because then they will think they can get a treat each time they go outside and squat, whether or not anything else takes place.  They might squat outside, then get a treat, then come inside and piddle on the floor.  This can become a great game for a dog, but will drive you barking mad.  Somehow we all make it through anyway, despite Huerfano weather.