Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dog Training, $1

Mr. Frog prays for an end to the madness.

I don't whisper. Yes, I've seen that Cesar guy and he's got it all figured out. Actually, he's nothing short of astounding, and I wish I had some of his magic. That is not my fate. I am destined to languish among moderately well behaved dogs due to my inability to play hardball with consistency.

Case in point - a crowd favorite, your buddy and mine; Nigel. He is kind, gentle, and generally eager to please. Unfortunately (begin dramatic voice) Nigel has a dirty secret.

In short, he was a carpet crapper.

It takes merely a loud clap to spook him, so training him not to counter surf was easy. He never snacks on furniture (as did Sola) or bullies the ladies. He loves everyone in a big way, and we cherish him. Yet for more than a year, Mrs. Author would arrive home from running errands to find a most unfortunate gift, given in the most fresh and warm way possible. A real stink bomb.

I clapped many times, stomped my feet; threw loud tantrums and scared him silly. It was all for naught. For no apparent reason, Nigel preferred to take care of business in the house. We could have walked him to Alaska and back and he'd hold out. Profanities were uttered out of sheer frustration, knowing that no matter how hard we tried, how far we walked, how much we begged, he was going to bomb the carpet.

There is a faint silver lining in this literal cloud of a story. He chose the mat by the front door as his target. There was an unsavory lesson to be learned as we embarked on this journey - opening the door on the way in took a perfect slice off the top and smeared it across the carpet like so much frosting, a perfect patch of rancid refuse waiting for the shoe to drop. The first couple of times it did.

For a year we were locked in this poop pattern, and there was much applause in the house. I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to give up my dream of wiring every appliance in the house with The Clapper. In retrospect, it was this crushing blow that sent me over the edge.

As I watched TV one evening, a disturbing scene played out before me. Nigel quietly made his way to the door and assumed the position while I sat there stunned. He must not have cared for the weather forecast on TV, and thus decided it appropriate to create his own brown clouds. I went bonkers. All of the rules had changed - Nigel no longer cared to muster the energy to hide it.

I fumed as I bagged his bounty, hands bruised from months of clapping, olfactory senses ablaze. Nigel eyed me with amusement. I rose, molten bag in tow, and took a step toward the kitchen. As Nigel relaxed I paused briefly, positioned the bag approximately six inches above his head, took aim and....by the time Nigel realized what had happened I had resumed my walk to the kitchen and was ten feet away. He bemoaned my lack of restraint: I reveled in it. Truffles and Sola averted their eyes...

Nigel: I am scarred for life. A chocolate hot water bottle deposited squarely on my noggin - the utter indignity.

Author: Actually, you just stood there and let it lazily roll off your head. Your eyes however, were the size of my head.

Nigel: Fine, you made your point.

Author: And I did. Oddly enough, Nigel never had an accident in the house again.

Now before all of you start complaining to me telling me I should not have written about this, that I should have found another way - understand that I am not advocating making turd hats for your dog if you have the same problem.

I simply had a profound need to share the fact that Nigel is just strange enough to have required it.

Sola: It looked like a bag of, well, Truffles.

Truffles: I smell better. Nigel is a hothead, in literal terms.

Nigel: Please, all of you go play in traffic.


  1. itintransit11:18 PM

    I would pay you a dollar to end my dog accidents any day.

  2. You sure are good at describing the scene of the crime. My stomach was turning. I'm glad the poop bag slap worked.
    Love Ruby

  3. Ha Ha Ha! Your post was hysterical. I may need to try this on my Tucker. He is a couch pooper. The couch in our den has a recliner on each end and a cushion in the middle. He climbs under the couch to the middle spot where he can stand underneath it and proceeds to do the deed. The only warning is the stench oozing up from under the cushion. We have tried everything and being a Pekingese, he is indifferent to all of our tactics. Perhaps a nice reminder on the noggin would do the trick. Probably not though. He loves to be dirty and stinky and yucky - typical boy! Your post made my day though! Any advice... send it my way.

  4. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Nice new hat you have there Nigel!

  5. Sorry about your tummy Ruby :p

  6. Stopping by to say hello! We're slow in making the blog rounds, sorry!

    Bear & The Brats

  7. Very hard to post with tears rolling down my cheeks and belly and hands shaking from laughter. I'm not sure if I would have held out as long as you before the bomb had to be dropped but congrats on finding what works! I believe every dog has their very own unique "button" that seems to turn the lightbulb on when a problem needs to be addressed. I would love for you to send this story to Caesar to see what his take is on it. Thanks for the greatest (and last) laugh of 2008!!!
    ps. On a more serious note, I was here to check on Truffles and see how she's doing. My prayers are for her to have this and many, many more Happy New Year's!

  8. Hey you guys! Welcome to DWB! Nice to have more pals from New England.
    Stop by and visit.


  9. Chester's Mom said...

    Very hard to post with tears rolling down my cheeks and belly and hands shaking from laughter....

    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. Truffles is just about the same - not quite what we were hoping for, but she's not getting worse.

    Happy new year to you as well!

  10. Hey, if it works, go for it. That inside turding is just totally not cool.

    Momma says she is also "training challenged." I mean, there is only so much time in a day. Moderately trained is good enough.


  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I loved visiting yours and look forward to stopping by again. Your pictures are gorgeous!

  12. Oh my dogness! That is sooo gross but at least it worked. ;) Poor, poor Nigel, I bet he was super stunned but sounds as though he learned his lesson! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I wish I could trade the beach for snow but unfortunately I no longer have the wonderful sandy beach as I have returned home. It is covered in snow here but not the nice, fluffly kind...it is hard and crunchy and hurts my feet to walk in. :( Oh well, only a couple more months of snow left.

    Also, I read about Truffles and I am definitely sending good vibes your way! :)


  13. OMG!!! So so funny, I am crying with laughter!
    Your writing is pure brilliance too, we'll be back for sure!
    We too are sending good vibes to Truffles.
    Slobbers xx

  14. Well, this is a pawtastic blog. I wish I was fluent in english (wich I'm definately not), to reach and comprehend the true dimension and brightness of all your words and expressions. It seems to me you are a great writter... and so, I'll come back for more of your adventures!

    Thank you so much for visiting me.


  15. That was a very funny post - our Mom is still laughing.

    Thanks for visiting our blog and Happy New Year to you too.

    Woos, the OP Pack

  16. Thanks for brightening up a desolate Monday when all the xmas cheer has to be packed up and put away!
    This had our mum chuckling away.

  17. Thanks for visiting my blog! Yours is hilarious. Happy New Year!

    Your friend,

  18. I simply cannot believe a hooman would do that!! And it worked? I sure hope my Mommy doesnt get any ideas!

    Mya Boo Boo

  19. thanks to the dughallmor beagles for alerting me to your witty blog. can't wait for the next post!

  20. Hi there,
    thanks for stopping by our blog. It's great to meet you.
    We're sorry to hear about Truffles. We're keeping our paws crossed that she remains steady.
    Happy New Year to you all.


  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog and just can't stop snorrrting over this story! You are a good writer! Will stop by more often to see how the tales unfold!
    xo Samantha

  22. w00f's pups, nice to meeted u...me iz rocky and me iz almost 3yrs old...

    b safe,

  23. That is a great story although not so funny for you..

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus, Louie and Callie

  24. Hello there. Thanks for visiting. You take some great pictures.

  25. lol. Liked your post. ;) Thanks for visting my blog.. I will stop by and say hi to you guys again. :)

  26. Great to meet you! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope see you more times! Happy New Year!


  27. Oh my goodness I am dying laughing here! That was GREAT!

  28. I may have to try your solution to a similar problem. Levi started doing this same thing about a week ago, both morning and night directly after being outside. It's a frustrating problem when you think you have housebreaking long behind you. Thanks for sharing. Now I don't feel so alone.

    Levi's mom

  29. I bet thats what they call behavyur modifacashun, is it? I have never been a house pooper, but I believe that would cure me.

    My Mom laughed her head off at that story!


  30. Thank you fow making Mommi laugh so hawd that she fowgot to cowwect me as I was teawing up anofew stuffie, hehe
    smoochie kisses

  31. Baaahahahaha! What a funny post!

  32. Terrific post! What a story....so enjoyable.
    Thanks for stopping by Team Fire and Ice's blog. Hope you'll come back again for a visit. Dock Diving season is cranking up soon, and Sally and Spud are getting excited. I'll most definitely by back here for some more entertainment.

  33. Hey! That Leaf Peeper doggy looks just like me. Drop my my place for a visit.


  34. Hello! Nice to meet you and thank you for dropping by my blog. Now I am off to try this with my training-challenged baby brudder who leaves unfortunate deposits from time to time. (Do you have a remedy for eating said deposits? Is there a sequel to poop hat?)

    wally t.

  35. Thanks for your offer of snow, but we got a huge dump today and more on the way. Wait, maybe that is snow you sent. I didn't realize you pups are in Vermont. I go there sometimes. We think it's very pretty in Vermont and mom loves the mountains. We wish we could live there, but being a Canadian, it's kind of easier to live in Canada. I figure I'm half American, since I'm half Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I wonder if that would qualify me for citizenship.


  36. Hi there! Thanks for dropping by! LOL this is really funny! LS is starting to feel hopeful again about placing rugs and mats at our place after reading this.

  37. hellow! thanks for dropping by. we are so glad thta nigel chose to make his presence felt by leaving ONLY a comment and not the usual piece of "fudge" that he leaves you behind as a welcome gift.

    as for the poo-eradication method, we have to say we are bit taken aback but had to just laugh our way through. We are just so glad that our hoomans probably have more patience and chose to be contended with grumbling their way through our stains. WE'd sure hate to bathe in er.. mudcake? BOL!

    we love your bloggie a lot! can we pretty pretty please add you up?

    Labradors Rule!!

    drooly kisses,


    pee-ees. I loved Nigel's last comment! truly hilarious! All of you are labs, right?

  38. Great blog, how its solved dose not matter, you got there in the end

  39. oh we are laffing too! Very funny indeed. Although not for poor you!

    Marvin once sicked up a whole bird, bones, feathers and all, even the blinking beak. My back was turned - in the kitchen - and when I walked into the living room, there it was on the carpet. Like the scene from Alien when the thing bursts out of the chest or wherever. It was totally gross.

    Took me ages to clear up and I am very squeamish, and daughter was screaming and in hysterics too.

    After all the clear up had ensued, I had to cook tea, and everyone wanted to know why I was not hungry.

    Roast chicken? I don't think so!

    Happy New Year and thanks for calling by our Blog. Jeannie ;0) and Marvin x

  40. "Aki

    pee-ees. I loved Nigel's last comment! truly hilarious! All of you are labs, right?"

    Nigel is a greyhound : )

  41. Not to embarrass anyone, but my brother has taken to doing the same thing: either on the rug in front of the couch in th eliving room or by the door in the bedroom -- even though he has ample opportunity outside. So, since Mom is afraid to ask the question, I will: do you think if we find him in the act and do the same thing, he will reform?????

    We also read your post about Truffles, and hope you can find the right treatment.

    Thanks for stopping by our blog!!


  42. I cannot condone such training methods :p

  43. so you dumped crap on your dog's head? Like I said before... there are drugs for people like you. ;)


    I prolly woulda resorted to that too!

  44. People use Doggyspace to keep up with friends,all the best for all