Novelist | Singer
One very important part of a dog’s life is learning that it makes a difference where we pee. B helped me a lot with that. The first week in my new house, she was with me all the time, which was great, because pictures of my brothers, sister and my mom flew through my head in little spurts, making me panic a little. It happened a lot at first, especially when I shoved my nose into that blanket and sniffed in deeply. Ahhhhh! A picture of my mom would pop up, and sometimes I could taste that yummy warm milk for a second, but that happened less and less over time.
We live up 27 stairs, and like I said, they are open and boy, are they scary. You can see right through them to open air. B carried me outside a lot—down all those scary stairs to the yard. Up and down and up, so many times that it made me dizzy. She set me down in the leaves, I peed. Then she showed her teeth and said Good Boy, then she walked away and made me chase her. It was a fun game.
For a while, there was a white and blue square sheet in my room. That was fun. I chewed and pulled and chewed and pulled, and then there were millions of little white and blue pieces everywhere. Then B would pick them all up and take them away. I got a few brand new ones and chewed those up too. Much later I found out that I was supposed to pee there, but I didn’t know that, because there were no leaves. I never saw one again.
Peeing is good. It feels good and gets a lot of Good Boy. I soon found out that it’s not just peeing itself that is good. Sometimes it’s not good, and that’s when it’s inside the house. I’m an intelligent dog and learn very fast. The first time I peed in my room, B said, NO! I was confused, because it was supposed to be Good Boy. Then we went down the stairs again, but my pee was gone. I just walked around, and soon B picked me up and we went up the stairs.
The second time I peed inside, B said NO! again. What?? No Good Boy? Then later, she took me outside and I peed, and then Good Boy!!!! This was louder than usual, and she called me and hugged me—it was great! A little switch flipped in my head. Dogs connect things, and that’s how we learn. That day I learned it was good to pee in the leaves—outside. A few times after that, I couldn’t hold it when I was inside, and I peed in my room, or in their room, which was worse. I felt ashamed, but B didn’t say anything. She just got a towel and soaked it up. But outside, it was always Good Boy.
One day, there was a plastic box filled with leaves at the top of the stairs, and that’s where I peed at night. She picked me up, took me outside to the deck, and set me down in the box. I peed. I got it. I’m a smart dog, and I never pee inside anymore.
I remember few things about my childhood, but that was a good one, and even today I always pee in the leaves and look at B, and she calls me a Good Boy. I get lots of compliments at this house, and it is easy to figure out how to get more. Life is good.