Nov 13, 2005 -- Potty Training Setbacks
Jewel's black freckles in her white hair started growing in a few days ago. Her head hair is really looking like a 'fro, and her eyelashes must be a mile long. Her hair is very fine and silky and it began to part down the middle sometime last week.
What a pert girl!
Mom and Dad totally flunked potty training today. Jewel had about 4 poops this morning, one of which made it outside and as many pees. We understand that any mistakes are our fault and not hers; we're slowly figuring it out. Daddy gets cranky about mistakes; He doesn't understand what constant supervision looks like yet.
Since she has slept 2 nights in the open crate and plays in there, we are going to start closing her in the crate for the night. We expect to have to get up to let her out once during the night: the catch is that she walked into the crate to pee this morning: which she hasn't done for a couple days (unless we're in the car).
The silver lining was that we put her cushy nesting bed in the crate while the crate pad liner and blanket are being washed: which happens about twice a day. She was SO happy to see her pretty uber-comfy bed again!!!
I think the weekend's activities confused her because we weren't on a predictable activity schedule like we have been over the last week.
I got a 10 foot roll of sod for $3 at Hope Depot and a $4 cement mixing tray (about 6 inches deep, since she's peeing off the edges of the wee wee pads. I cut enough sod to fit in the tray (about 30"x18") and rolled out the rest of the roll outside to get some sun and "refluff." Ideally, I would have done this already for a few days because the sod isn't pretty: it's smashed and yellow (lack of sun/photosynthesis) from being rolled up. If I did it right, I would rig some sort of draining/aeration mechanism under it so the sod remains viable and we could "flush" the pee so it doesn't poison/burn the grass. The poo we just toss into the toilet. We live in a condo which has a little patio and will be getting a patio pet door insert panel thingy so the girls can go outside during the day.
Now, I know that dogs can be trained to "hold it" for the 8 hour day that their owners are at work/school/whatever. I think this is unhealthy. (This is the naturopath in me talking now, so you've been "warned" :)
Here's why: The bowel is designed to "move" whenever the stomach is stretched by a certain amount of fluids and foods (like a meal): it's a reflex. The stomach is saying to the lower/large intestine (colon): 'ok, you can stop working on that crap, you got some new stuff coming down the pipe.'
Water, minerals, vitamins, and certain fatty acids are absorbed in the lower intestine. If bowel transit time is too slow (think constipation) the body also resorbs the body's metabolic waste (toxins) dumped by the liver into the GI tract and the metabolic waste of potentially harmful bacteria living in the gut. (This is one reason probiotics are so important: they can control populations of pathogenic or potentially pathogenic bacteria by numbers, as well as their own metabolic byproducts: like lactic acid- think acidophilus, but I digress)
Very healthy bowel function looks like 3-4 bowel movements (poops)per day. The bowel is a major organ of elimination of toxins, it's also an organ that creates many toxins: like the putrifaction of food by certain bacteria in the gut that's been there for longer than a few (let's say 5-8) hours. It's important to get it out in a timely manner. When animals like dogs (as well as humans) don't have regular bowel movements, the body isn't able to get rid of its toxins (and I'm just talking about metabolic toxins here, not even environmental toxins yet- in the air, food, water, and relationships) it contributes to a total "toxic load" which causes damage. Specifically, damage caused by inflammation, which is the basis for the vast majority of diseases. For whatever it's worth to you, dear reader....
Now, in the real world, if someone feeds their dog(s)once in the morning (and they poo then) and once in the evening (and they poo then) and they poo again before bed, this is ok. I expect this to pretty much be the case for my poochies, but I want to give the the option to 'go' in an acceptable place whenever they want, as well as on command.