442. You can train an old dog new tricks

When you have a family as big as mine Thanksgiving is more than a one day affair.

This year we’re having a particularly large crowd, at last count 28 people and 4 dogs.

Since my niece Cheryl called “Forever Dibs” on my guest room for this holiday and I think all family affairs, she, Brian,  their two girls and their dog Bert usually come a day early and stay a day or two after the holiday so they can experience the City’s sights and sales.

This year I was expecting them on Tuesday but Cheryl called on Monday to tell me that the oncoming storm might get in the way of their arrival.

“So you’ll come on Wednesday?”

“Of course not. We’re coming today”

They arrived later that night.

With the oncoming storm the first order of business was to teach Bert that he could make on the terrace.

Bert is a giant golden retriever who spends his life being good and hiding from his enemies, which could be a loud noise or a paper bag.

We were on the elevator when a young woman who was obviously up to no good got on with us. Luckily Bert was able to hide behind his mother’s legs in time but he did peek out so if more aggressive escape measures would become necessary he could act.

It’s the being good part that made training him to do something contrary to what he considers proper behavior, the terrace thing, difficult.

Every time we put him outside he’d just stand by the door staring at us. We tried everything. One of the girls even put on his leash and walked him around the terrace with no effect.

I  had the brilliant idea of bringing whatever gift he left out on the street back up to the house and putting it on the terrace to “prime the pump” so to speak.

It kind of worked. He’s willing to pee on the terrace now.

Baby steps.



5 thoughts on “442. You can train an old dog new tricks

  1. Bert (love his name) sounds a lot like our Max (lab). Very good and very timid. We live on an acre and a half property in the country. We’ve tried opening the door and letting the dog run free on it to do his business…he just sits on the porch or deck and only does his business when we take him off the property for walks. Hence, he gets walked four times a day, every day. Timid yes…stupid…never!
    All the best for a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family Mattie.

  2. we fenced in our back yard before we went away for 2 weeks. when we came home i walked him & he made 5 doo doos! So much for the fence. we’re having 21 tomorrow! send our love.xxx

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