We brought Oliver, our eight week old shih-poo puppy home last Friday. Or, I should say, we brought Ollipops home, as he was dubbed by the girls and me within five minutes of crossing the threshold into our kitchen.
We are smitten, to say the least.
However, Nate is strongly opposed to the Ollipops moniker, believing it detracts from Oliver’s masculinity.
I think you could strap a machine gun belt on Oliver, wrap a spiked collar around his neck, tattoo naked ladies and skulls all over his body with the requisite I LOVE MOM on his bicep and throw him on top of a Harley and he still wouldn’t look masculine.
Do puppies even have biceps?
He’s tiny, not much bigger than our remote. He’s basically two pounds of fur with eyeballs and a bladder the size of a shrunken, dried up pea. Pun totally intended.
We gave him a bath in our kitchen sink the first night and we had to keep a tight grip on him to keep him from swirling down the drain because without all of his puffy fur, he shrunk to about the size of a macaroni noodle. Next time I will bathe him in a colander, just to be safe.
He’s doing surprisingly well with the potty training. I don’t have time to count up all the accidents he had inside the house the first couple of days because Zoe’s high school graduation is two years away and I don’t want to miss it but suffice it to say that I think Oliver got the hang of it sooner that we did. He did not have any problem peeing outside. We, on the other hand, had a recurring problem determining whether he had, in fact, peed or was he just screwing with us, out of some misguided notion of alpha status? Because I’m all about the alpha and at one point, I may have screamed I’VE GOT 850 STRETCH MARKS AND CELLULITE AND CAN COOK CHICKEN 101 DIFFERENT WAYS, BUSTER. I’M THE ALPHA, I’M THE ALPHA! and he may have replied LOOK AT THE POOR HUMAN IDIOT! I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY! but I couldn’t say for sure.
Oliver is pretty low to the ground and covered with poofy fur. There is very little clearance for unobstructed pee sightings. The ground was already dirty and wet with the thaw so feeling around for fresh pee was not an option and can I just get a THANK GOD for small favors? Because I don’t like to feel around for bodily fluids, I don’t care how cute you are.
Oliver hadn’t made it obvious yet as to how he intended to announce the imminent arrival of his pee: squatting, lifting his leg or holding up a billboard with I’M PEEING NOW. PAY ATTENTION emblazoned on it in neon blinking lights, which was our preferred choice. Everything we read instructed us to not stare at him while he peed because apparently, a dog is not unlike a certain human whose urinary tract will curl up into a fetal position and crawl right up into her esophagus where it will grow roots and cause her to burp incessantly until she can be absolutely certain that no one within a five mile radius will think she is performing something as disgusting as *whisper* tinkling.
What? Like your bladder doesn’t run screaming out the window when someone walks by the bathroom door? Or pulls onto your street?
This left Zoe and me taking Oliver to go potty in his snow blowed potty area late at night, illuminated only by a 60 watt bulb on the back of the garage and a flashlight. We averted our gaze and pretended to be thoroughly engrossed in our neighbor’s basement windows while peeking at Oliver out of the corners of our eyes. I tried to hold the flashlight steady and aim it at Oliver’s nether regions. This is surprisingly hard to do when you’re shaking from the frigid cold and facing in the complete opposite direction.
Through the night, Zoe and I had what amounted to the same conversation over and over ad nauseam:
- Did he go?
- I can’t tell. I think he did.
- How can you tell?
- I can’t. I’m being optimistic.
- My eyes are cramping.
- OH MY GOD, GO ALREADY.
- Go potty, Oliver! Go potty! Go potty! Go potty! Go potty!
- Keep it steady, I can’t see anything! Aim it over here.
- We need a bigger flashlight.
- Is he squatting?
- Yes! YAY! Wait. UGH. No. That’s not his bottom. That’s his head. They look exactly the same out here.
- I think he’s eating the grass.
- Are you sure?
- OH MY GOD, IS HE EATING HIS POOP FROM BEFORE? THAT’S A DEAL BREAKER.
- Wait! He lifted his leg!
- Why did he fall over? Do you think he has balance issues?
- I don’t know and I don’t care. JUST GO ALREADY.
- OK. Just feel it.
- Feel what?
- It! See if it’s wet.
- What do you mean, “it?”
- You know! IT. Down there.
- Oh my God, I can’t believe you just said that. Isn’t that against the law or something?
- Not in my world. Besides, it’s either that or we freeze to death. Which is it going to be?
- I’m not feeling his business! You do it!
- Ooooh, no, no no … if you recall the contract you and your sister signed in order to get the puppy? Article 28, section 12, subsection 12-b specifically states that you, the undersigned, will supervise all matters of waste elimination, including feeling his business. Nicely put, by the way.
- OH MY GOD, FINE.
By Sunday, Oliver decided to squat as he peed and now it’s pretty easy to determine when he has done the deed and if there’s any doubt, I just make my girls feel him up because that’s what good moms do to instill a sense of personal responsibility in their kids: make them eat their veggies and grope puppies.
Never have I been so grateful for the physical composition and aromatic nature of poop.