It is raining, it is pouring, and ole’ Toby ain’t roaring to go outside at all.
How many of you have one of those dogs who will do all sorts of daredog, instead of daredevil, stunts in the house or yard, but when it is a dreary, rainy day will not step one foot outside?
I am raising my hand over here while looking over at my almost three-year-old pup snoozing comfortably on the bed.
Doesn’t matter what I do – offer him a MilkBone or a Bacon, Bacon Little Bites treat, or, yes, I should be punished, I know, a french fry or a piece of Turkey lunch meat or a toy or promise him a trip to Starbucks – this dog is not going out in the rain.
He can’t stand for his paws to touch the wet ground or be pelted with rain drops.
You know, to be honest, I can’t blame him. I hate to be out in the rain too.
So what do you do?
Experts say that you can teach a dog to go do his personal business on a command. I wonder if those “experts” have actually tried to get a dog to go poop or pee. For all of us dog companions know that when a dog is outside to do his business – his true business, and I am not talking about just marking his territory – it takes forever.
When Toby goes outside, he has to sniff every piece of pine straw, every blade of grass, eye every twig and stick, look under and over every bush and rock before he just lets go. (Sorry, Mom, for the plain speech here, but it is what it is.)
I imagine going food shopping with Chef Mario Batali to be as painfully long as potty time with Toby.
So, the idea of teaching a dog to go potty on command should be applauded, and probably tried. Like anything though, the idea better be consistent and full of rewards for said dog when the idea becomes an action.
The con of that idea? It doesn’t solve the situation at hand. How to even get Toby to walk outside on the very wet ground is the problem.
If I were a rich woman, I would venture into the idea of buying the rainboots and rain coats for a dog, and probably even one of those dog umbrella hats. I am not above the cuteness or silliness of dressing up a dog for fun – just ask Toby and Carter and all of my friends on Facebook.
If I thought it would help, I would do it now even not being a rich woman. (Can’t you just see the pictures that would happen? Toby in his yellow slicker and rain boots? Can’t you imagine the therapy the dog would have to go into after that? After wearing a montage of hats for canines at Halloween, Toby spent hours on his psychologist’s couch … Ya’ll wonder why I am broke all the time – doggy therapy is no joke.)
(Toby is not in therapy – that was a joke, though sometimes I wonder if just maybe that might be the racket to go into – become a doggy counselor. Look at all the dog pictures you see on social media. Someone would make a killing if they became a Sigmund Freud for dogs.)
Dressing up Toby or covering his feet doesn’t motivate or move the canine who shares my life.
Toby, with his collar and leash on, stands at the door. He will give me the “Are you kidding me? Those may be puddles for you, but for me that is a drowning accident waiting to happen.” look. I will pick up my 20 plus pound dog and walk him across the parking to the area behind the dumpster that is called the “dog friendly zone,” and put him down on the sandy spot. He will take two steps and do his business, and then turn back and look at me.
I will then pick him back up, and carry him across puddles that short girls like me shouldn’t try to jump. He won’t let me put him back down until we are safely inside.
This is the dog who will not walk across the patio – which I covered with an outdoor rug – when it rains. (The rug is usually soaked – under a roofed patio – go figure.) I have to pick up there and hold him in my lap or arms if I am standing if we go out on the patio when it rains. Or he will stand on the carpeted side of the patio door.
Spoiled dog? Most of you would say so. If I was being honest with myself, I would probably agree. My dad, who is not a dog person – though he doesn’t hate them, he is just not into having dogs inside, would say, “He is just a dirty ole’ dog.”
Yeah, maybe so. He is my dirty ole’ dog, and apparently, is the king of this castle – especially when it rains.Yeah, Toby rules my roost, even in the rain.
(Becky Holland/TCM Ink/2016)