Avoidance? Me? What?

My life is full of small-group drama and money worries and omg-did-i-ruin-my-best-friend’s-wedding-cause-i-lost-the-link-to-my-bridesmaid-dress-and-now-maybe-they-are-sold-out-and-she-is-going-to-hate-me-forever angst and I don’t feel like dealing with it right now so I’m going to write about my dog.

We just got a dog. She’s a year old and this is what she looks like. Ain’t she cute? (I can’t believe I just said ‘Ain’t’)  We adopted her from a shelter that rescues dogs from Tijuana and so even though she’s a year old, we think that the first day we brought her home was the first day she was on a leash.  She doesn’t know very many commands (translation: none) and she’s about 80% house trained.  So obviously this means that we need to house train her.  Everything that we’ve read says that we need to catch her in the act of going in the house and then say ‘NO!’ very loudly and take her outside right away.  Well, we tried this method the other night.  There is this little hallway in our house (about 4 ft long) that’s kind of dark and apparently where she thinks she’s supposed to go to the bathroom.  She headed over there and squatted and we caught her.  ‘No!’ we both yelled.  Husband jumped up and took her outside right away.  However, apparently by doing this, we’ve taught her that she’s not supposed to go to the bathroom at all.  She didn’t go then, and didn’t go at all on the long walk we took her on about 30 minutes later, even with two car rides, didn’t go until the dog park after the long walk.  I think that maybe she also doesn’t like to go while on a leash, because after the dog park at about 4:30 yesterday, she didn’t want to go again.  We took her out right after dinner like the puppy books say to… Nothing

I took her out before I went to small group at about 6:30… Nothing

I called Jeff while he was sleeping from small group at 8:30 and said please check on Ginger cause I’m sure that she has to go by now…Nothing

We walked for 10 minutes when I got home from small group at quarter after 10…Nothing

First thing this morning AND after breakfast…Nothing

That dog didn’t go again until we were back at the dog park at 10 this morning, where she peed once and pooped twice.  How am I supposed to teach her that yes, it is ok to go in the big grassy area right by our door, especially in the morning or when I need to go someplace and take her out quick or at 10:30 at night when I don’t really want to walk far away and that I would really appreciate if she could go on a leash or at least learn to come so that I could let her off the leash.  What horrible habits am I unknowingly teaching my dog? Am I a horrible mom to my dog?  What happens if we have kids?  Am I going to be a bad mom to them?  I thought that dogs were supposed to be good for the self esteem.

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