Thursday, April 21, 2005

"Puppy Training"

My first day with little 9- week old Rowena Posted by Hello

This photo is supposed to be in my Profile section, but I have not figured out what I keep doing wrong. For now, it remains here.
Our first day with Rowena was a Saturday. My mother and I purchased this little black and white charmer on Friday evening, and went shopping for last minute puppy supplies. For my mother, she responded to this puppy like it was her first grandchild. Rowena was the first dog purchase any of her children had ever made. My two sisters and I had no "real" grandchildren yet. I had a miscarriage 9 years previous, and still grieved this loss. Each month I continued to not become pregnant just added to this grief as I had always wanted children. You will find out later what this all has to do with Rowena.
That night, we went to bed with a crate pan of woodchips for Rowena to use as a sort of litter pan. I was determine that NO dog of mine would be crated. NO WAY... NEVER! My husband and I awoke the next morning to find a trail of puppy feces and urine all over the floors (and rugs). For a week I continued to potty train Rowena without the use of that horrible crate. After little success and some research (and noticing that Rowena didn't like to use the litter pan more than once because it was too unclean) decided to try crating the little pooper. The first time I attempted to crate her, I closed the crate door and sat there for a few minutes. As I attempted to walk away, she began barking and crying. I ran to the crate and opened the door to let her out. Was it out of guilt that I did that or was it because I lived in an apartment building that I let her out.
After about a week, I finally accepted the fact that Rowena would be a terrific candidate for crate training. She didn't even like to poo in an already soiled litter pan! And so, training began. She quickly learned that her crying to get out wouldn't work. We did relocate the crate to a more social location which helped her feel more comfortable when in the crate. Soon after, she began to figure out that she was supposed to go to the bathroom outside! I found that I could actually sleep through the night and that when she had to go, she would cry and not be quiet when asked to do so. For a while she made mistakes, usually after long days. Now she does really well. She has an iron bladder!

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