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  #1  
Old 05-01-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default The Potty Training Diaries

I might be being a tad overemotional, but I am at the end of my rope with Elliot's potty training issues.

I left her home today (in the company of the roommates dogs, and the two cats) while I went to work. When I came back, she had peed in three spots and pooped in three spots. None on any of her pads around the house.

I've also found by power of nose and close investigation of the carpet that she has been peeing all around. The carpet is this weird green and you can't even see the pee spots, but I thought I had been smelling kind of a stale pee smell off and on for the last couple of days. I thought it was just the roommates litter box. No. It is Elliot, peeing EVEN WHEN I'M HOME. I feel like a terrible Chi mommy because how am I not noticing her doing this when I am at home? She follows me everywhere, we play all the time, and I just don't see how she is sneaking off to do this? Especially when I can SEE that she is peeing on her pads too! Why?!?!

At first I got really mad but then I just cried.. a lot. It is silly, I know. I put her outside with the big dogs (she escapes the fence if I leave her out there unsupervised for very long, but for 5-10 minute periods is fine) and scrubbed the carpet.

I made a thread asking about potty training techniques (as Elliot is now a year and a half and she STILL isn't potty trained, and I PROMISE that it isn't for lack of trying. That is why it is so hard) and I was advised to crate her, or confine her in some way and also to keep her on a leash with me in the house so she can't sneak off and pee somewhere.

So, I got a baby gate for the bathroom, and tomorrow when I go to work I will be leaving her in there. It makes me so miserable to think about confining her because I KNOW how much she hates it, especially being alone ... but I have to try SOMETHING.

Argh. She is attached to her leash right now, and hating every minute of it. When I lock her up in the bathroom tomorrow she's not going to understand why I'm doing it.

I feel even MORE horrible because I called Bill to vent a little emotional overflow, and I said that I wished I had never gotten a dog! I should have considered it more carefully but I needed someone during that period in my life, and so I got Elliot. She is my best friend and I love her so much, I just wonder if I haven't been fair to her and that is why she has behavioral issues? I know she has separation anxiety and that is again my fault because I took her EVERYWHERE with me when she was a puppy, and now... I just can't. I would if I could and we would both me much happier for it.

So, when she started wiggling around for me tonight I just kind of went off on a sobbing jag which really freaked her out. She knows I have emotional problems (Bipolar) and is the best comfort for depressive episodes and is surprisingly calming during mania. She knows what the crying is about, and she just put her little head under my chin and snuggled me for awhile, which of course made me cry harder because I can't believe I said I never should have gotten her. I can't imagine my life without her, she is my baby.

So. This is potty training (again) day one.
Let's hope day two goes smoother.

Last edited by skwerlylove; 05-01-2010 at 03:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2010, 04:32 AM
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Not day two yet. Still awful day one.

I haven't let her out of my sight, and she hasn't gone potty yet. I have let her off the leash and harness here in my room because I can keep an eye on her at ALL times, and she has a potty pad right in here.

I think she's mad at me. I keep trying to get her to come sit with me on the bed like she normally does, but she has chosen a certain spot on the floor and even if I go and get her and put her on the bed and pet her... she just gets up and goes back to that spot on the floor. She never lays on the floor.

I hope this doesn't hurt the relationship we have. I know that sounds really stupid, but she IS my best friend and we have a great puppy/mommy relationship. I have to discipline her though, so I hope it doesn't hurt us too much, and I hope she still comes to sleep in bed with me tonight.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:51 AM
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Okay.

So the time for my anxiety induced ramblings has come to a close and it is time for me to think rationally about my situation with Elliot. What are my options?

Obviously there needs to be a change, and I need to be strong enough to implement it. If it means locking my dog in the bathroom while I am not home, then so be it. The rest of it, I need to figure out.

I know that my fear of changing the dynamics of my relationship with Elliot by forcing her to walk with me around the house on a leash was heightened by my paranoia and anxiety during that time. I can't always cope successfully with my own mental instability, but even now, in a more rational state I know that this idea of changing Elliot and I is not unfounded.

I feel like there has been a definite cooling between us in the past couple of days, and I feel like there are a variety of reasons for it. One would be Smooch. He was taking up a considerable amount of my time and thought, as I put everything I had in to his care. His care also required my attention at faithful, four hour intervals and much of my time in between was spent worrying. If not about Smooch, then about the rest of my life. I haven't actually spent much meaningful time with Elliot in the past week or more (while I was dealing with the side effects of the Tegretol, I haven't had much meaningful interaction with anyone) and surely she has noticed. She is a jealous creature, because I am the center of her world. This is my fault, as I sought to make her my best friend when I brought her home. I spent too much time with her, and have loved her far too dynamically than I should. I know many people who would think it ludicrous that I have been investing so much time, thought, and emotion in to the dynamics of a relationship that I have with a dog. Perhaps it isn't rational, and I have done a very unhealthy thing in the pursuit of my own stability... but so be it. There isn't anything that I can do in good conscience to reverse this, and I don't want to. Healthy or not. This relationship is every bit as important to me as one I might have with a human. In fact, it is probably more dynamic than many of the few relationships that I do have with humans. The issue isn't whether or not I am overthinking some insane attachement to an animal, but how I can adapt my relationship with her so both of our needs are met.

How can I meet her needs, and in turn show her how to meet mine? Since I can't just ask her "Elliot, please stop pooping on the floor" I have to find a way to communicate to her that I don't like what she is doing. In the same way, I have to find out why she feels she needs to when I know good and well that SHE KNOWS the proper place to relieve herself. She just chooses not to.

Someone suggested rehoming her. I can't think of anything that would be a higher act of treason. While I may, after some time of grieving, get over the little Chihuahua who is my closest confidante- I doubt she would be able to get over me, the center of her small existence. I can't in any kind of conscience place her in another home. That is not any kind of acceptable reason to get rid of an animal, because you can't find a way to communicate with them to stop pooping on the floor. Yes, I see your point. In retrospect I should have sought companionship with a cat, but I didn't. I have Elliot, and she has been a far greater friend to me than you have. Period.

Though it pains me to have to lock her up at all, it must be done and I hope that she can forgive me for it. I am considering another companion for her during the day, while I'm gone. I have the cats, but they are so much more independent that I can't believe that they would spend any amount of time with her during the day when she can't actively seek them out around the house. So, I have thought about bringing home Pippa.

I am still thoroughly undecided in this, as I would be taking in another Chihuahua. She isn't potty trained, at all. Normally I would say that I would have a better chance of procuring the desired results from her, but the Parvo has complicated a lot. She is now comfortable defecating in her sleeping space, out of necessity. She hasn't been allowed to go outside or her cage, and so had to relieve herself inside of it. Now she's comfortable with it, and thinks its okay. How can you crate train an animal that has no qualms about soiling her sleeping area... when the whole premise of that methodology is that she won't?

I am still very seriously considering telling Sarah to just bring Pippa home to her parents, know that she will be getting a loving home, and be satisfied with that... but I can't give up on the notion that she may be a friend to Elliot when I am not there.

Whatever happens on this endeavor to retrain my dog I have to keep in mind that my 7.5lb pooch is worth any hardships that she may cause me, and that I can't allow myself to view her differently because of her shortcomings. I have realized only now that the reason our relationship has seemed to be strained is that I am frustrated with her. The reason she seems distant is because I have distanced myself in that frustration. She knows it, and has respected that distance, hence her sleeping on the floor more often. She's a good dog. She wants to make me happy. Now I need to employ all that I know about behavior modification, psychology, and old fashioned friendship to correct it.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2011, 03:56 AM
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Aww I feel the pain in your posts! I'm so sorry for the dilemma you're going through. It must be so hard for you and your chi... But stay strong and even though this is a tough time, stay positive! (((hugs)))
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:43 AM
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I'm sorry to hear this...
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