My husband came home late from a meeting the other night, and we sat at our kitchen table while he replayed the details. I had my back to the kitchen door that leads to the outside. At some point, my husband stopped talking and silently motioned for me to peek over my shoulder. At some point, our little Zoe walked over to that very same door, sat like a pretty princess, and timidly pawed at the little “go-go” bell we installed, without actually ringing it. FOR THE FIRST TIME.
When she realized we were watching her, she paused. We excitedly asked, “Do you want to go potty?” And then she wagged her little tail like crazy, rang the bell, and out the door we went with big cheers and treats, to boot!
Mind you, we had the bell installed by the door for almost four weeks at that point, always taking her little paw to ring the bell before we took her outside for potty a few times a day. And yet, she would not do it on her own. Would not. She would just sit there and stare at it.
Every thought ran through my head:
- I thought Maltipoos were supposed to be smart.
- We managed to find the most stubborn one of the bunch?
- Is she too young for this yet?
- Oy, potty training is gonna take a long time, huh?
- Keep trying, mama, she will get it one day!
- People on Facebook and Amazon SWEAR by the power of the go-go bell.
- Go-go bell gods, I beg you to shower us with your blessings. Soon.
- My priest is going to schedule a confession with me if he reads this post for that last entry above.
- Darn it, if she isn’t THE CUTEST DOG EVER.
Seriously, didn’t Pavlov already prove that bells work?
Back to The Night of Pure Magic. We were so proud of her! We cheered so loud! She rang that bell like a champ four more times in a row, even though it was raining outside, to our complete amusement. 16 weeks old and she rang the bell like a champ.
Makes me think of that scene in one of the Rocky movies where Rocky and Apollo Creed casually box in the ring by themselves with their mouth guards in and one of them says, “Ding ding,” to kick it all off.
She’s 18 weeks old now, and she’s a lot smarter than I gave her credit for. She knows that treats come with ringing the bell, so now she doesn’t necessarily always go potty outside. Sometimes it’s a sniff-for-all in the yard (kinda like a free-for-all, but puppy style) with a bonus treat. The kids don’t always police to make sure she actually goes potty so we have a bit of work to do to make sure she does it. And sometimes she grants me a courtesy 2-second squat.
Sneaky, that little Zoe.
Man, do we love that puppy.
The entire household is completely smitten with her. I mean, head over heels. The five of us sound like Alvin and Chipmunks when we talk to her.
Even our oldest, the 15 year-old who was very reluctant to get another dog, is in total puppy love. He completely breaks down, dimples popping left and right, talking in soprano high voice, asking for kissies. I mean, it’s totes adorbs. I have never seen him smile so much. Smiles for miles. You have no idea how happy that makes me feel.
Our house has been magically transformed by this little, four-pound ball of fluff.