Dear Neighbors and nearby businesses. Also, emergency vehicles, traffic in general, birds and other wildlife, and neighborhood pets:
I know this seems like a lot to ask, but if you could hold it down a bit, I’d really appreciate it.
, You see, I got a new puppy for Christmas, and then promptly had to leave him in Older Daughter’s care while I went to spend a couple of months with Younger Daughter and the grand-kids. I’m home now and seriously working on training Colonel Brandon to do his business outside. (I’d also like him to eventually notify me when he has business to take care of, but that’s a fight for another day.)
He’s doing pretty well, but we have more accidents in the house than I’d like. I know it’s not out of his control because he never potties in his kennel–not even when I was out of town and Older Daughter was at work all day. But now that I’m home and he’s out of the kennel, he … well, I think he forgets.
When we go outside (about every hour), he sets off to do his business. I know he does. It’s nose-to-the-ground while he does some serious sniffing. I get excited. I really do. This time, we’re going to be successful–and quickly, too.
Just about the time I think he’s found a spot, somebody somewhere will make a noise. Maybe a sired wails past on the main road outside our subdivision. Maybe the next-door dog snuffles. Maybe the guys working at that business way over there drop something. Maybe a bird chirps. It really doesn’t matter what the noise is, it’s a noise, and Colonel Brandon is immediately distracted–and distracted to the point that he no longer remembers what he’s doing outside in the first place.
We spend a lot of time outside working on his memory issues. The weather’s been pleasant since I came home, but summer is coming quickly in this part of the world, and I’m not interested in sitting out there in the sun for an hour while the dog gets distracted by the world and forgets to potty. It’s supposed to be 20 degrees warmer on Sunday than it is today. This does not make me happy. Plus, it’s hard to get any work done when I’m outside for long periods of time.
Don’t get me wrong…I love this cute little dog, and I’m very happy he’s a member of the family. He’s just a bit more easily distracted than my previous dogs, and not as quick to get back to business afterward. And he does seem to get a little more focused every day–except the days when he doesn’t achieve focus at all, not even once. But when you’re no taller than a weed, there’s probably a lot more to distract a fella in the middle of a yard that hasn’t yet seen a mower this year.
Colonel Brandon is still an infant, so the chances of him suddenly developing the ability to focus and concentrate are slim. Obviously, then, the only reasonable solution is for the rest of the world to just quiet down when the dog and I step outside. No slamming car doors, no wind chimes from the neighbor’s backyard, none of the aforementioned sirens or work-related noises, and for heaven’s sake, no conversation. If you must talk to each other, please don’t do it when Colonel Brandon is sniffing his way around the yard.
Five minutes of silence (6 or 7 times a day) while the puppy takes care of business. I don’t think it’s too much to ask, do you?