I actually got a good nights sleep and woke up at 5:45 am. It was a wee bit early and I had no intentions of waking my new tenant, pal, a doggie named Oscar or his alter-ego Piss Pot.
Frankly, I wanted and or needed some me time to forget about our dog troubles from yesterday and move forward in a positive direction. So I laid in bed and scribbled a few notes on a paper tablet.
Basically a list of things NOT to DO. For example, at the top, never let Oscar off his leash outside his Den (crate). And on the second page, bullets of priority training subjects. Again, for example, feeding times, potty time, and when will he potentially be alone in the house.
On paper nothing elaborate for our first full day together (we hope), but I wanted to concentrate on making a solid schedule that I could keep for no less than a month.
WAIT A MINUTE SARGE
…And just what planet are you living on, Marcelino?
This is earth, Oscar is a dog, he’s not a platoon of paratroopers you can just bark out a few commands and he’ll hop to it. No.
You start barking commands to start the day with Oscar, they’ll be calling you Sergeant Quickerpickerupper!
Okay, back to square one, giving myself some time to forget about our dog troubles.
JUST THREE THINGS
I summarized my notes and decided to concentrate on his Den (crate), let my normal routine dictate a temporary schedule and let Oscar roam free with his leash on of course.
I already know what you’re thinking?
Yes, free roam, supervised of course and if that means I do some or a lot of housekeeping on day two then so be it.
The one thing I’m not going to do today is crowd his space. I love animals but I’m also a loose cannon. That being said, I don’t know what might happen if he threatens to bite me again.
You do remember me saying, I’m a bit shaky, a shaky one indeed, if threatened again, a scene from the 1960s civil rights era may reappear but this time a black man with a hose on a doggie!
No, sure I’m a loose cannon with ignorant people, but animals I don’t harm under any circumstances.
EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM
At approximately 6:14am, I hear Oscar moving about and rattling in his Den, and then a tiny bark is heard.
The bark was intriguing because he hadn’t made a noise since I met him yesterday around noon. You do the math, it’s a pain to execute while typing this sentence.
Okay, I get moving about, do some personal hygiene and then head downstairs. He’s not made a peep since I started getting ready for today, so I was taken aback when I discovered him cowering in the back of his Den — as I say, Good Morning, Oscar, at roughly 6:45am.
My view at this point is not exactly what I was hoping to see; the cowering much less the poopie half in and out of the Crate. Yes, I said crate, no sane fox or dog poops in his Den, it’s his home (sanctuary). That probably explains the thrashing and the bark I heard earlier.
Okay make a mental note, let’s get downstairs and in platoon formation by 6:30am, Sarge.
NO NEED TO RUSH
The hard plastic mat is wet with urine and the cage portion is soiled so it’s no need to rush out the front door for potty time, your looking at potty. After a few attempts at coaxing him out of the crate with a treat to no avail, I reach in and clipped on his leash.
Yes, it was a bit of a struggle with him cowering all the way in the rear. Now my back is killing me, and for a moment we make a slight connection (my grimacing) and he briskly came out of the crate. I then soldier on, pickup the crate and place it outside in the back courtyard to clean later.
Oscar confused just stands there like a little doggie statue until I return. Good boy, Oscar.
OUTSIDE IS FANTASTIC
Frankly, I never exit my front door to go anywhere. Why?
Because I’m too lazy to walk around on the sidewalk to my car. It’s much easier (shorter distance) to exit the kitchen and back security gate doors and my car is right there.
Oh, so that’s the true reason you went berserk on the house hunting strangers parked in your space yesterday?
No, stop getting sassy with me, close your browser smarty pants!
Anyway, lazy again, I decide to exit the front door (your first breadcrumb) and walk Oscar to the side lawn area that’s adjacent to our row of townhouses. It’s nice and green but more importantly two giant sycamore trees provide excellent shade from the torrid Las Vegas weather in the summer.
Sadly, he moves about with his tail between his legs and is jumpy from the noise of the cars passing by our location. Despite the distractions he does a number #2 potty in the grass and I graciously shower him with a, Good Boy, Oscar!
Oh, so his foster mom was correct in saying Piss Pot is actually housebroken? My instincts tell me otherwise and I get to the business of scooping, then off to the dumpster we go.
At this point I barely notice the tail between his legs as Oscar marches forward. I’m just glad we’re heading in the right direction for me to get rid of this poopie bag!
He sits for a moment while I rid myself of aforementioned bag, he’s panting a bit but looks eager for more walking so I show Oscar his neighborhood. We walk close to an hour as we catch some views (3000 block, 5th unit, needs to paint his gate door) and we head back in the exact opposite direction for home. Yes, I’m trying to program his GPS chip in case he breaks free in the future!
We get back home without incident and I fill his food and water bowls to the rim. Next I gotta deal with that nasty crate so I leave the back kitchen doors wide open so I can watch him eat while cleaning.
One of the first recommendations Oscar’s foster mom gave to me was to purchase a Crate it makes things so much easier with adopting a rescue.
I didn’t fully grasp the “it makes things so much easier” because every pet I’ve ever owned, cats and parrots have all been free roam in the house. I don’t care for the caging of animals. However, unbeknownst to me this crate would serve a vital purpose over the coming days.
The Crate I purchased for Oscar was the perfect size (30” long x 19” wide and 21” tall) and it’s functionality (it collapses) are perfect for a Chiweenie or another small breed dog.
You do not need tools, it’s easy to assemble and more importantly easy to clean. With transparency in mind for you the reader before you click, this is an affiliate link to Amazon’s website: Carlson Pet Products SECURE AND FOLDABLE Single Door Metal Dog Crate, Medium.
The cleanup of Oscar’s Den (crate) was quick and easy with a bucket of soapy water and a garden hose. I also sprayed the mat with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in the event existing fleas hidden in his potty area decided to find a new host.
The aforementioned mixture is a safe and natural flea repellent. My community has an assortment of small breed doggie tenants and grass is only prevalent on one side (street) and between the rows of townhouses. A sniper or flea smorgasbord of targets to engage and takedown on a daily basis.
MY BROWN THUMB
It’s around 8am, I begin my routine of drinking my breakfast (protein) and working in the flower bed. I keep the kitchen doors open so Oscar can tag along or roam a bit if he pleases. He slowly investigates my gardening activities while licking his chops, but keeps his distance and finds a watchful spot near the back gate.
APPEALING STREET VIEW
The oppressive heat of the Las Vegas sun takes its pound of flesh and we head indoors, good boy Oscar, as he follows without command. I reassemble his Den add a few old decorative wash clothes and an old towel to his Den floor. I also use my experience owning parrots and place a small throw blanket over the cage (curtains) for the full Den affect.
Yes, I upgraded his accommodations, a little luxury isn’t gonna effect his psyche? All I did was what realtors call “curb appeal” making your home more attractive from the street for selling purposes.
Okay, the truth, every dog training article I read last night said, a fox, coyote and or dog, regards their Den as personal space and a sanctuary from predators and of course the elements. Relative to this blog post, let’s just say Oscar’s fear lends itself to a sanctuary. Upgrade Needed.
Oscar immediately investigated his new accommodations, and appeared to be pleased with my efforts and laid down inside right in the front.
NOT ALWAYS HOME
I take advantage of this opportunity and close the gate, go upstairs and shower. It’s now approximately 10:30am, the time I normally go to the gym to hit the treadmill and peek at pretty girls (no touching please).
I have no plans for the gym, but, I need some supplies for the flower bed, a little grocery shopping and swing by Walmart and pick up some pee-pee deterrent “No Go”, I read about last night on the internet. The necessary route and tasks should bring me back in 2 hours, a good amount of time away from home so Oscar doesn’t get the impression I’m gonna be home with him indefinitely.
As planned I returned on schedule, unpack everything then I spray a bit of No-Go in the areas where we had the accidents yesterday. I open the gate of Oscar’s Den and upon exit he sneezes (not far from accident areas), so I take one more peek in his Den and at him for an allergic reaction, satisfied the coast is clear, I head into the kitchen for a drink.
REMEMBER NO SPRINKLERS INSIDE
With one eye on Oscar, I make myself another protein drink for lunch, put away Oscar’s empty food bowl and just observe Oscar on free roam. He has little interest in the toys I purchased, he appears a bit more interested in the steps but dares not to step up onto them.
He does play a little with a flat toy doggie that makes a paper crunching sound when you step on it or Oscar grabs it with his teeth.
The moment captures my imagination as I ponder the thought of creating this blog, Oscars Gaze, as a journal of our life together in the now, the near future and the long term.
I’m no stranger to blogging, on and off, since 2007, but WordPress has made some changes to their terms, products offered and most importantly their new interface. I was an ardent PC user so interacting without a mouse with an iPad was a real challenge to put it mildly (a lot of cussing).
And in those moments of frustration (distracted), Oscar deposited a poopie just to the left of the small kitchenette barely shown in the picture above. In a voice of disappointment (of whom), I said, Oh, Oscar, you didn’t just poop on the floor did you?
Well who else did it, you Fool, it’s just the two of you in the house!
INVOKE MY 5TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS
I was frozen in time looking at fresh dog potty on the floor, as Oscar without any emotion walks away from the gruesome crime scene with no acknowledgement of my inquiry.
Every dog training article on housebreaking I’ve read in the last 24 hours, specifically says, don’t correct the dog if you don’t see the actual act taking place. I only caught the VERY end of the aforementioned dirty deed, so I was confused about what to do.
On top of that dog training literature always takes a passive approach to training a dog nowadays. No leash choking, no construction boot into the hind quarters and in this case no putting Oscar’s nose in his potty.
According to animal behaviorists this makes the dog more difficult to train and even further states that this negative approach makes the dog fear you.
Now here’s the kicker most experts believe that the dog doesn’t understand what’s wrong with it’s behavior (deposits on the floor) after the deed has been done, unless you act immediately and accordingly to the wrong behavior!
What? You mean to tell me that ten seconds later Oscar has no recollection or comprehension of what he just did on my clean and shiny floor?
I PLEAD THE 5TH YOUR HONOR
Well that’s just real convenient for the dog now isn’t it?
Now I’m getting a clue why so many dogs end up in animal shelters due to potty training. I know damn well this owner is not letting a unconscionable Piss Pot and or a Poopie Gangster take over my house! So, I got to pay better attention to what Oscar’s doing, at ALL TIMES.
We peacefully coexist without incident until mid-afternoon, I’m pondering the structure of Oscars Gaze. I concluded that it would be a good idea to capture our experience (don’t make the same mistakes), give myself a hobby and of course give you the reader an opportunity to grin and chuckle (lol) at our shenanigans as they unfold.
You know something like you would see on the Bravo tv channel except there will be no references to sex, drugs, alcohol, undergarments malfunctioning and or plastic surgery. Well at least not for the time being.
Does that tickle your fancy?
Nevertheless, Oscar gets a bit more comfortable as he explores and begins to investigate the steps leading to the second floor of our home (my Den).
He cautiously makes several attempts to get up “gingerly” but his short legs fail him. He takes a little break, then a 3rd attempt, this time he jumps, and navigates the first hurdle (step). Grace will not be Oscar’s style moving up and down the steps in the future I assure you.
He then begins a grueling cardio workout of up and down steps, adding one more step each time. I was just about to get jealous when he makes a mad dash to the top of the stairs. With success he peers down in triumph.
My instincts tell me I better get my cardio workout in gear and join him IMMEDIATEDLY, there’s carpet on the second floor!
With my Fitbit tracking, I join Oscar upstairs as he romps around the second floor. Where did all this playfullness come from all of a sudden?
Oscar is quickly moving from room to room, sniffing and darting about, and sure enough I lose my attention to the details and go relieve myself in the bathroom.
Wait for it.
And so does Oscar in my bedroom, a number 2, right next to Geoffrey (Toys r Us giraffe mascot). Damn it Geoffrey, stuffed animal or not you could of at least tried to intervene!
I actually catch him this time in the middle of the dirty deed, I yell, NO, and vigorously clap my hands! He stops and darts into the guest bedroom and finishes to complete a poopie crime spree! No need for poopie detectives a patrolman witnessed the crime.
I immediately took Oscar outside, and said, Potty Oscar, go Potty, but, the Piss Pot, was empty, go figure.
I watched Oscar sniff and explore with tail between his legs again, no need to be ashamed my new pal. Frankly, if, I had a tail it would be between my legs right now. Let’s go back inside Oscar it’s getting hot out here.
I clean up the mess upstairs with vigor and guilt, then saturate key areas upstairs with “No Go”, the pee-pee repellent mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, what Oscar was doing during this time I shamefully retort, I don’t have the foggiest idea.
LETS FINISH STRONG
It’s time for dinner now, I fill Oscar’s bowl with dry dog food and top off his water. Then on to preparing my boring heart-healthy chicken dinner.
Oscar finishes his dinner strategically before myself, and he gets an after dinner treat, being a little piece of my chicken breast. What the hell we’ve had an interesting day together so far, let’s just forget about our dog troubles from yesterday, a little piece of chicken ain’t gonna hurt anything at this point?
We head out the door 30 minutes later, Oscar deposits a number #2 in the grass, Good Boy, Oscar, we go on a long walk around the neighborhood without incident and return home.
I settle in on the Phillies baseball game on TV as Oscar approaches my chair, he then abruptly drops to the floor. He sits contented for over an hour as I repeatedly argue with the TV and the outcome of the game—Phillies blew it in the 8th Inning.
Closing in on 9pm now, and it’s time to emphasize his Den and our schedule, so it’s nite-nite sleepy time for Oscar, and I leave you folks with rhetorical ice cream cone. Enjoy the day ending video.
GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH, OSCAR
CHEW BONES: The dog urine repellent spray, No Go, mentioned in this post doesn’t have an odor you can smell and works fantastically. So good for me in fact, Oscar never pottied again on the floors, as I used half the bottle covering the entire house (my OCD again).
Unfortunately, Oscar began “holding” his urine after this day, something we’ll talk about next time.
You can find “No Go” in Walmart or you can use this link to Amazon here: Pet Organics (Nala) NaturVet DNB04016 No-Go Housebreaking Aid Dog Spray, 16-Ounce