Monday, November 7, 2011

Puppy Journals: Day 3

Well, we've been going about this all wrong. I read a for-real guide this morning and if he's 12 weeks old, we're about four weeks late to the game. He needs to socialize with at least 100 people! He needs to be able to sit at the mere flick of my wrist! He should land an F-16 on the deck of a carrier in choppy seas!

First things first: the crate. Apparently I'm supposed to keep him in there for hour shifts, and bring him out to eliminate at the desired spot. I use the time after to constructively play with him by teaching him to sit and come and how Napoleon shouldn't have invaded Russia, then put him in the crate for another hour shift so I can control where he eliminates. Fun and love clearly have no place in dog ownership.

But wait—I thought keeping a dog in the crate all day made him neurotic? And won't the whole housebreaking thing go a lot better once he's fully vaccinated and I can set him down outside? And if he doesn't get into the right preschool, can he still get into Yale?

I believe my dog thinks his name is "Omar let's go potty," and that I am a strange man who lives in the corner surrounded by pee pads.

Tonight was bad. After systematically crating and uncrating him all day, and occasionally getting to reward him for peeing in the right spot, he peed in his crate. The whole purpose of the training is to keep him in a den-like area where he definitely won't eliminate, so we can show him where we do want him to go. If he violates that principle, the whole ordeal today was for nothing. We melted down. We saw our future, and it was Amy and I at 70, standing deranged over a confused 40-year old puppy croaking "go potty! go potty! go potty!" Sensing our weakening grip on reality, Omar came to the corner where we were huddled, rocking each other, and climbed all over us.

We'll keep him. For now.

Colin Fisher is a lot of things to a lot of people, but mostly he's just an actor and writer.

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