Saturday, May 13, 2017

Pooper Scooper

Recently we grew our family by one more, with the adoption of a little black puppy.

In the words of my daughter’s Year Two teacher ‘what was I thinking?' – here I was with my children all off at school full time, finally with the opportunity to do what I wanted – and I took myself all the way back to square one.’

What was I thinking indeed.

[What I was thinking was that if my husband and kids were going to gang up on me and just buy a dog of their own volition, I may as well get involved and have a say on the matter by choosing my own puppy. But as they say, you don’t choose the dog – they choose you, and a tiny black Shoodle with a white beard and sad eyes chose me as her new mum.]

So, meet Poppy. That’s her actual name, unlike the nicknames I gave the kids (remember them – Baldy Baby, Curly Mop and Blonde Bombshell. Me either].

Poppy’s a Shoodle, as I said, a cross between a Shi Tzu and a Toy Poodle. Of course, when I am upset I refer to her as a Shit-Poo, which is what this story is about (did the title give it away?)

Poppy is now almost five months old and we are working our way through toilet training (square one, Shannon, square one). It’s mostly going well, if you ignore the fact that the kids cry and moan and whine every time it’s their turn on ‘Poo Duty’ so they pretend they don’t see the ever mounting pile of poop in the back yard until finally someone (usually a visitor) steps in it, and then all hell breaks loose and I threaten to get rid of the dog (or the kids, depending on who is annoying me more). Then I have to decipher the Poo Duty Roster to see whose ticks are real and whose are just put there by crafty kids who think I won’t notice they have ticked off their duty without actually scooping some poop.

But the other day, Poppy was stuck inside the house with me. The door had been shut against the sound of a blower vac in the back yard and Poppy, not the bravest soul, had decided that was way too much noise for one small puppy to bear. I had the dustpan and brush out, sweeping up the rogue dirt and leaves that always made it under our old doors (weather proofing, what weather proofing?) when I heard a familiar sound.

I was already on my knees sweeping, so when I turned my head to confirm the sound, I was confronted by the contracting anal sphincter muscles of the puppy, a wettish, slurping sound as she attempted to push a poo out. Right onto the rug.

‘No’ I shrieked leaping towards her on my knees. She looked at me with a bewildered expression, wondering why I was interrupting her Me-Time. I looked up at the door – it was locked and I knew I wouldn’t have time to grab the dog, stand up, unlock the door and take her outside to the grass before she finished pushing her poop out, so I thrust the dustpan under her butt to catch the poop instead. 

Unimpressed, she moved a few steps forwards and continued working on those butt muscles. I shuffled forward on my knees, dustpan outstretched. Squelch. Got one.

She looked at me disdainfully and daintily stepped away again. I shuffled after her again, catching poop as she laid it, me on my knees as I followed the tiny puppy around our living room.

When she finished she sat there watching me as I inspected the dustpan. A small pile of poop, covered in dust and dirt (and full of all the weird crap she ate – I swear there was a shoelace in there). 

She smiled at me in that way dogs do, as if to say ‘what are you going to do now?’

I tipped the entire lot into the toilet, praying to God the bits of leaf would flush away, and then (now the gardener had left) went outside to wash the dustpan. She sat on her cushion and watched me, probably wondering what the big deal was, but gee, wasn’t this good service where her human follows her around collecting her poop as it drops.

And yes, this is my life now.

Right back at square one.

Some bright spark gave the puppy a roll of toilet paper to play with

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