Training Day

I’ve begun potty training Audrey because, while I don’t really mind the diapers, I had the other three trained by the age of two, and her birthday is fast approaching. I’ve gotten more chill with each subsequent kid, even going as far as not caring that Audrey didn’t walk until nearly 16 months. Given her siblings were walking at 9 and 10 months old, and I used to religiously follow the “what your kid should be doing at xyz month milestones,” that’s saying a lot. I’ve let her take her time figuring out how to feed herself using utensils. I’ve let her be carried around by her siblings and have even let them dote on her. But it’s time, mostly because she hides to poop. Awareness has begun and I’m on to her.
I don’t particularly enjoy potty training, but I guess the approach I’ve taken for the past three kids has worked, so here I am again. My approach? Naked from the waist down and patience.

Perks of this is it forces me to steam clean the rugs more and I’m able to remember the last time I scrubbed the floors. So there’s that.

The cats have taken it upon themselves to all use Jill the Bobtailed Wonder’s tiny little litter box in Claire’s room, thus leaving it to smell like, well, a room with a litter box in it. The older two cats have basically refused to use their giant litter box in the newly renovated basement. In the beginning, it was fear. Change. Then one of the kids locked the cat door (but of course no one knows which kid did it,) and then the cats would pee on the brand new carpet. Can’t really blame them. But of course we thought that they were just mad at us. Nope. Their bathroom door was locked. So I unlocked it and showed them it was unlocked, but they don’t care. Jill’s litter box is where it’s at now.

So today, after Audrey peed on the rug, I noticed Claire’s room smelled absolutely horrible and realized I’ve had enough. So I got rid of it, for now, and steam cleaned every soft surface in the house. Figure it out, cats. Figure it out.

When we first got Beau, he would ritually do his business in the play room, in the same spot, always when we were away. But it didn’t start until about a month after he moved in. Then, about two weeks ago, he showed that he does in fact have food aggression towards other dogs, as evidenced by the fact that he attacked Sadie when she was eating.

After the initial fear and stress wore off, and I had texted every since dog savvy person I knew, I came up with a plan to fix the situation.

When Beau was brought into the shelter, he weighed in at 52 pounds. He’s a German Shepherd mix, and so it was absolutely insane to have such a big breed weigh so little. Along with his random peeing, I put together that he was probably an outdoor dog. Also known as a tethered dog. Why anyone would own a dog just to keep it outside…rage; I won’t go there. Either way, the dog had food issues that needed to get sorted out and when I looked at his surrender papers, it was written he didn’t get along with the other dog. Now I see why.

I don’t give up so easily. Sadie is incredibly submissive and that’s not good when she should be showing Beau where he belongs. The first thing we implemented was single feeding sessions. Sadie has been a grazer for ten years, so it was more about training her how to eat on demand vs Beau, because that dog can eat on demand 24/7. I started with hand feeding both Sadie and Beau. It worked well for the first week, but Sadie was still hesitant, so I mixed a little peanut butter with her food and she’d eat it all right away. Now I’m on this homemade kefir milk kick, so I mix the extras in her dish and she happily eats that up.

We also gate Beau in the living room, a place he feels safe, when we leave. Sadie has the whole rest of the house to roam.

So far, we haven’t had any other issues. We’ve also been teaching Beau the fine art of “Leave It,” a wonderful training tool that teaches dogs not to steal cheese sticks out of tiny hands. Because, tears. And lots of them.

I still need to get Beau to the shelter for a weigh in, but I can tell you now, based on just pets, he is gaining weight. He eats his tumeric every morning wrapped in cheese, so his hip dysplasia symptoms are almost all gone. He gets coconut oil every afternoon and treats every time he goes outside and does his business. He gets brushed twice a week and he gets half the couch to sprawl out on every evening. He is loved.

I’m in the process of training my hips to be stronger. With all that I do, I don’t do enough work in that department, so I’ve had to take the time, every day, to make it work. It takes time, but I already feel the change.

Just last week, when I filled in for a Zumba instructor with BodyPump, three elderly women stayed and tried the class. They did everything to the best of their ability and never quit. At the end of the class, I asked them how old they are: 72, 83, and the one who worked the hardest, 87. She said she was just glad to still be able to move, and has never stopped.

I know that a lot of times, people want things to be just right right now.  Especially in January. I understand that. I’m like that, too. Sometimes, however, training is involved. I want my kid to no longer crap her pants, so I need to take the time to train her. I want my dog to not attack my other dog, so I have to take a lot of patience and train them. I want to feel like the best version of myself, and rid of weak hips, so I have to train myself. Just like the 87 year old said to me, “I just had to be patient and keep moving.” I think we can all learn from that.

So whatever you’re training for in life, take the time, the patience and the heart to know that it’ll happen, someday.

About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on January 7, 2015, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Indeed. Thank you for the reminder, it comes very timely as I was frustrated for the last half an hour because of the fact that I am still so bad at getting rid of things and letting go of hurt feelings or destructive friendships. Nevertheless, I have gotten better, slowly but surely, so I should focus on that, and I can and will get even better at it – it just takes some time …
    Another thing: how come Audrey is nearly two?! I can’t believe that right now!
    And wow do you have a lot to think and take care about just at home!

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