Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Mommy Training

While it is difficult to say definitively until I actually have spent time with a child of my own, I venture to say that being a puppy mommy is decent training for being a person mommy. Most notably in the area of never peeing alone.

For some reason the bathroom is a very concerning area for our dogs.

Penny was our first dog. We adopted her as a puppy from the humane society. She was my introduction to managing to use the facilities while having two warm, brown eyes locked on you. Until she was about 5 months old, Penny was not deemed reliable enough to generally be left to her own devices. As she became more reliable and I began relishing the idea of using the facilities all by my lonesome, Penny discovered that the latches for our bathroom doors were somewhat less than reliable and a nice firm scratch/head bump would allow her to check that all was well. This led to several rather interesting situations with various houseguests that failed to heed the warning to shut the door FIRMLY.

It turns out that there is something with January and adding to the family with me. Every January I seem to have a strong desire to either adopt a dog, have a baby, or, preferably, both. Thus far, my husband has reigned me in at either a dog or a baby but not both.

When January rolled around and Penny was about a year old, I decided that we would foster a dog from the local animal shelter. Enter Sydney. Sydney was a 10 month old Australian Shepard who had spent most of his puppyhood chained to a tree until the rescue group found him and placed him in our care. That was a month to remember... (he wound up being adopted by a family that actually wanted a 70 pound bundle of lap dog)

At any rate, Sydney was an even more exciting bathroom companion as he really felt quite certain that you would be sucked into an abyss if he didn't personally supervise your bathroom activities. Unfortunately, he also had a weakness for pulling the toilet paper off the roll and trying to sniff key areas of your anatomy. I never looked at multi-tasking the same way again after fielding a trip to the restroom with Sydney.

After Sydney was adopted we decided to adopt an elderly beagle who would keep Penny company without running the humans in the household ragged. Shirley was apparently attached at the hip to her previous owner. She is somewhat concerned about being in the bathroom with the door closed because of suspicions that she will be subjected to the horror of a bath. At the same time, if you leave her on the other side of the door during your abolutions, she will whine and whiper most piteously. It makes for quite the conundrum. Happily, Penny taught her how to bodycheck the bathroom door so, when I feel that chilly draft during my shower, I know that Shirley has made her rounds to be sure I haven't been eaten by the bathroom monster.

I am not clear why dogs become so conerned about the bathroom. Is it that they're concerned we're confused with the way we "flush" our markings? Do anyone else's dogs feel the need to check on them while they are in the bathroom?


Erin said...

We have 3 dogs and where ever I am, they are. So, yes, bathroom time is almost always with 3 dogs and 2 kids in tow. If by chance they (any or all) cannot get into the bathroom they will sit outside the door patiently until I am thru.

Honestly if it weren't for them (fur babies AND human babies) I would be quite lonely =)

Mrs. Flinger said...

As someone who just posted about why I love Elmo because I can poop alone, you are right on the money.

There is no privacy any more, hon. :-)

Becky said...

Your post about Elmo was what made me think about pooping alone...

Golly, motherhood sounds fun! ;-)

Becky said...

Erin- I bet you can't even contemplate being forced to pee all by your lonesome, can you? It would be cruel! And so lonely! :-)

Rachael said...

We used to have a big mutt named Riley. He would come in and try to get on your lap while you were in mid stream. We thought we were rid of the problem when we found him a new home. So not the case because my 16 month old thinks he needs to sit in my lap and have a book read to him while I pee.
You'll be ready!

Becky said...

Good to know! ;-)

Andrea said...

Try this:
Pregnant with your second, throwing up while your husband showers, the dog runs in circles, and your toddler mimics you puking.
Yep - privacy is gone!

Becky said...

Golly! Something to look forward to! ;-)