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Listen to Her Pee
I adopted my dalmatian, Rainy, when she was five years old. Before then, she never lived in a house, but in the kennel in the back yard. I found out quickly just how incredibly smart AND stubborn she could be.
It took me a long time to housebreak her. She knew she was supposed to go outside, but she didn't want to. She would pee right by the front door, staring at me. Taunting me. It got to the point where I wouldn't let her in the house until she squatted and peed outside. Her response? She would squat outside and pretend to pee, then come in and pee by the door.
During this time, I went on vacation, and my mother watched Rainy for me.
"Is she behaving? Is she doing her business outside?"
"Yeah, she's been really good. She's outside right now."
"I told you, you have to listen while she's squatting. Makes sure she pees, or she'll come inside and do it."
"Are you insane? I'm not listening to a dog urinate!"
Mom didn't listen. And Rainy did as I suspected. Stubborn dog.
She did eventually get fully trained, it took a whole year---I've trained other rescue dalmatians in two weeks. But she was just so stubborn. None of those "expert" methods worked with her. I tried them all.
Anyway... something funny about her was that she acted like rain was acid and would burn her spots off or something. No matter how badly she needed to go to the bathroom, she did not want to go outside. Rainy then decided to push her butt out the screen door to pee, as soon as she was done bolted back inside. I wish I could find my pictures of this dog with it's upper body inside the door and the back end outside. This became her ritual during rain storms from that moment on.
Everything with her was an adventure. One day I was on the phone with my mother, and as I looked out my back window I saw Rainy digging. digging deep. She pulled up a very large bone that looked like a femur. "Mom, oh my god. I think Rainy dug up a leg!"
The property had been in my family for about 25 years at this point, so I knew no one was buried there, but living on the creek, you never know if someone washed up and got stuck in reeds where it wasn't seen. My mother hung up, and as strong a person I am, I hesitated to go outside. I saw my dog drag the long bone to another part of the yard, then go back to her hole where she dug some more. "Oh Jeezh! She's looking for more body parts."
My mother arrived, and we went to the yard together. I sneaked up on the hole where Rainy still dug. Nothing. "The leg bone is over there." I pointed, nervously. I figured my directionally challenged mother needed me to point it out. Maybe she'd be able to find her way this time.
Her face went from one of fear to one of guilt. "Rhoda, this is a bone I threw over the fence about six month ago. I went to Petsmart and forgot to tell you." I never saw the bone, so Rainy must have buried it immediately. Which is weird, cause it's the only time I ever saw her dig.
Ordering pizza was a pretty crazy event in my house. Rainy hated the delivery people. She didn't want anyone near her yard. She owned it. She owned the street and even the playground across the street. Anything in her line of sight was hers. Fighting with a 100 pound dog who's viciously hopping up and down barking while you try to open the front door is not fun. So we wound up with a routine in my house.
When the pizza guy would arrive, I would scream, "Al!!!" To alert my brother of the arrival. Then he would go out the back door, get the food and come in the front door. At which time the barking attack dog would run outside into the yard, barking hysterically. But, with her entertained, we could eat in peace without her whimpering for food.
After awhile, we proved Pavlov correct. If I yelled, "Al!" at 3 am, Rainy would attack the front door, expecting the pizza guy.
And yes, she was a purebred, I have papers. She weighed about 96 pounds of muscle. The vet insisted she should lose weight because of her breed. However, the only time she ever lost weight was when she had worms, "I've never seen an overweight dog with worms." She ran constantly... I never had grass in my yard. My other dals were about 50 pounds. One vet suggested she was from the "British line of dals". Apparently, they are bigger breeds.
Hope you enjoyed my Short & Silly today. Please tell me about your dog's adventures!
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