• http://cherepafford.com/ chere

    yup the bells are your ticket. we have 3 dogs and 1 cat and they all ring them. funny thing is the cat was the easiest to train.
    I hear one of them right now – gotta go!

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.iambossy.com/ BOSSY

    Yup, been there done that. Bossy thinks it’s not so much about House-breaking as it is about Mind-bending.

  • Zoe

    I have a little old lady dog (14+) and she needs to go out A LOT, and even then sometimes I think she gets confused about in and out. We’ll spend half an hour outside and then she poops as soon as we go back inside… Or, better yet – we’ve been carrying her up and down the stairs to the front door, and sometimes she poops in mid-air (yes, then there is a poop trail on the stairs). I carry her under my arm like a handbag but my husband hoists her up in both arms, and sometimes the mid-air poop winds up on his jeans. He gets so upset but I’m a terrible person because I think it’s hilarious!

  • Karen

    Not cute poopy polka dots, but just imagine this sad story…

    We own a lovely little B&B… One morning, our adult (non-aussie) sheppard loses control of his bowels, upstairs, right in front of our paying guests bedroom door. Only, I don’t discover it… no, no, I was in the kitchen; cooking breakfast of course! ‘Oh, good morning’ I say as my guests arrive in the dinning room… They say – Ummm, excuse me, I think your dog ummm…… well he pooped. Upstairs. We almost stepped in it.

    Shoot me. Mortified doesn’t cover it. I think I might have fainted or maybe had a seizure.

    Can’t remember what I said. What’s appropriate? “So, would an extra serving of bacon help you forget about it? It’s the dog’s favorite…”

    Turned out my dog was pretty sick and my guests were very *understanding*. But imagine inflicting that vacation memory!?

    I feel your nauseated, carpet scrubbing, panicked, grossed out pain.

  • http://collectingmomentsonebyone.blogspot.com/ Kate

    I’ve been reading you forever and loving every post, but this is my first comment. I just had to tell you how much you make me laugh–like, hysterically by myself in my empty apartment… Thank you so much for the continuous entertainment!


  • http://www.doubledanger.com James (Double Danger)


    A sphenoid bone walks into a bar, says to the pterygoid – why such the long face?!

    ok… I googled it, and picked bone close by, I have no clue either.

  • William

    Let me add an amen for the neti pot. Seems totally crazy, but helped me immensely.

    I used to have vicious sinus headaches regularly, and now they’re pretty rare and less intense. I also sleep better, as I can breathe better at night.

  • Tynes

    You haven’t lived until you are sniffing your child’s head to find out, “Is that nutella or poop?”

  • http://spiritspeaks.blogspot.com sravana

    Word: concerning the late-night pooping – if you don’t crate train her, she’ll never learn to hold it through the night (ask my parents how I know this).

    Get a crate, acclimate her to it, and put her in it at night. They say that dogs won’t soil in their beds, so hopefully Coco won’t, either. She’ll learn to hold it through the night – dogs can do that *much* *quicker* than children!
    BTW – you’re one hilarious woman! I don’t think I would’ve had the ability to get through all the cleaning up – yikes! You poor thing!

  • crystal

    I once smeared the wall and my mums hair with my own poop when i was 3 years old. My mum had a big fit when she woke up from the smell. Be glad that Leta isnt like that!

  • http://www.thelisashow.org The Lisa Show

    Super. I can almost smell it. Laughed out loud at Leta’s reaction. Of course the darling girl deserves a trophy.

  • http://gigiredefined.typepad.com Gigi

    Amazing. Amazing.

    My dog Bandit, throughout the first several years that we had him, had a particular poop fetish we couldn’t seem to get rid of. I mean, you can’t really blame him for doing it, because we often called him dumb–because he truly did appear to have less than a full box of crayons, if you know what I mean–and maybe it was his way of laughing at how we all thought he was so stupid…

    When he had to poop, often, instead of going to the back door and scratching, as he did with pee, he would sneak into the most elaborately decorated part of the house–the dining room–and find a dark brown spot on the red and brown oriental rug. And, right there, on that small brown spot where no one could see it, he’d take a dump.

    The way we would find this was usually a day or two later when we stepped into it or accidentally kicked it on our way through the dining room.

    By then he was pulling a “what, I don’t even remember doing that?” act. And there wasn’t much you could do to punish him after three days would pass.

  • http://bluestalking.typepad.com Bluestalking Reader

    Wowzers, I left you a comment a few weeks ago or so saying I so thought you SHOULD get another dog, adding to the general opinion that seemed inclined that way. Now look at you, on your hands and knees scrubbing the floors.


    Well, if it makes you feel better, I adopted two stray cats late last year and one of them vomited spaghetti and sauce all over the carpeting in my son’s room. And we know tomato sauce does not come out.

    Neither will the image of vomited spaghetti.

  • http://librainfrance.blogspot.com/ A Seattleite in Paris

    Perhaps cats would be a less stressful pet choice…

  • http://findingbeautyinmosteveryday.blogspot.com/ Tracey

    Dear God, aren’t dogs a handful? I have one and would take three cats to one dog any day! Once he croaks, no more pooches for me. The other day I picked up 3.5 pounds of dog crap. And yes, I really did weigh it.

  • http://www.basicallyunemployable.blogspot.com Barb

    Just think how much bigger those polka dots would have been if you’d gotten that hippo you wanted for Christmas…

  • http://www.slolane.org Angela

    This has become my new best friend since having kids and pets:


    It’s AWESOME. It cleaned stuff that I thought for sure was a goner.

  • Diana

    Wonderfully well written…and oh so funny! We have a mini Aussie that looks alot like Coco, her name is Sheba and she’s lucky to have survived her puppyhood! Not just the slow potty training, but she wants to take every item inside the house out into the yard, I have no idea why.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, thank heaven for dooce!

    We adopted an “easy-going, super friendly, kid-oriented” mutt 8 weeks ago, and sufficeth to say she is none of these things and I, too, have felt imprisoned and capable of drowning small, furry animals.

    The fact that you can make me laugh about it makes it seem like I might actually survive until she is a sane dog. That will happen someday, right?

  • Pokey

    I have a half Austrail Shepard, half black lab and everyone told me how smart this dog would be and guess what I was just like you so I symathize with you on the hell that is house training a dog. I was finally able to do it with a kennel but I tried the other methods for a while before I figured out that my way wasn’t working. But now she is 2 years old and the smartest dog I have ever owned and I love her very much! But it took 2 long years for her to calm her ass down and for me to love her.

  • Laura

    3 words – Bissell SpotBot Pet. That thing is the shit! Fill the little holder with water and cleaner. Set it on the poop spot. Push “surface stain.” Walk away. Listen for beep. Pick it up. Put it on next poop stain. Repeat.

    And IT WORKS!!

    I was thinking of getting a mini Aussie. Maybe waiting until December is a good thing. I can forget all the stuff you just wrote by then. :o D

  • happy45

    My pom-terrier(11 lbs) taught himself to use the cat’s litterbox. I’m pretty sure he thought he was a cat too. But then he got sick this past spring. His medication made him pee a lot and off and on diarria. I gave up and bought lots of puppy training pads.
    and just put them all over. He was good about going on them. But I’d also have to clean his poor little butt. Finally, right before Christmas, he got worse and I had to..you know. I’d rather still be cleaning up poop. He was 13.

  • Michelle

    I’ve been reading you for a few years now and I just love your style in expressing your humble life. I am sitting here enjoying my glass of red wine with my one hershey’s kiss and my heart rate went up from following your footsteps in poop. Thank dog there is no way to put poop scents on the internet or some new way to interpret smell via a link because I know that this place would be a rolling rumble of ‘dog biscuits’ and ‘tub bubbles’ and ‘snoring storms’ and who knows what else if GEORGE! was still in the house…?

  • Lisa

    DOUBLE amen for the neti pot. Between it and a chiropractor who took this gadget called an “activator” and shot the spring loaded thing against the outside of my face where your sinus cavities are, I managed to cure my HORRIBLE sinus infection without having to go to a “real” doc for antibiotics. I highly recommend using one for anyone with sinus problems or allergies!! And it’s not as scary as it looks once you have tried it once!

  • http://www.rhymeswithsafari.com Kari

    The bad news is, you can have them totally housebroken, go without incident for months, and then notice a big puddle of pee by the back door one day, for no good reason.

    Ah, but yes, I know the trail of the poopy paws. You clean forever, think you’re done, and then see a speck of poop at the other end of the room and feel like, oh mother of crap, it’s everywhere. The poop is everywhere. I’ll never be rid of it.

  • http://ifyoudare.blogspot.com/ jhong

    Nice =) I love d0gs. They are adorable!

  • Lisa

    two hundred and twenty four!! YES!!

    I wish I could spell how hard I laughed at “how crazy is this? Treats everywhere”

  • http://huggingthemidline.com Missy k

    I read this right after I finsihed cleaning the rug where our cat had pooped. If someone will agree to take the house off my hands — cat, rug, and all — I might give it away at this point!

  • Kayla


    Your blog rocks so much. I especially love how deeply and honestly you speak about depression. I would love for you to come and check out my journey when Coco is not making you insane :)



  • http://www.aplanetnamedjanet.etsy.com Janet

    Oh I hate when that happens. I dont have a dog, but people would let their dogs poop on our lawn —- especially in the fall amongst the leaves that havent been raked yet!!!!! Would seem like I wouldnt discover what happened until AFTER I got back in the house from clearing the leaves.

  • Mel

    My Mom always said things could be worse…..
    3 crazy boys, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a TV recently fingerpainted with my son’s poo (hey, at least he put it in a dish first), I’m starting to think I am the worse.
    I feel your pain.

  • lewlew

    I’m probably only commenting because it’s the ONLY time comments weren’t closed…
    You’re all freaking me out. We’re supposed to get a new puppy next month, and I just got used to the fact that all my kids are out of diapers and done pooping on the floor. Shit.

  • http://janethesane.blogspot.com janethesane

    Wow, sounds like a poopy fun time. I totally would have smelled the paws too. It is important to assign blame at times like these.

  • Kayleigh

    Dooce .. I <3 you.

    You remind me distinctly of my mother. At her house are two dogs, a six or seven-year-old Akita/Malamute/German shepherd/shithead mix, and a downsized three or four-year-old black lab. Going outside is a dangerous thing at her house, for when they come in, there's always mud on their paws. Always.

    My mother is probably more anal than you (impossible, I realize, but true all the same!) and steam-cleans all of the carpets, uses those wet Swiffers on the kitchen floor (only after running the vacuum over it), then uses a dry Swiffer over said floor (linoleum). Maybe two hours later, if that, the Swiffer-vacuum-Swiffer routine is repeated. This continues until 10 or 11 PM, or until she gives up for the day.

    If she didn't work, she would clean her house all day, every day.

    I think you two would get along well.

    She has also been up in the psych ward, though I was a deal older than Leta at the time (14, I think) and she isn't married.

    I think that Leta is an incarnation of me. Only I'm not dead. >:D

  • lynsey

    so honestly i think every person who owns a dog would appreciate a daily tear off calendar of the faces of dogs as they take a shit–so vulnerable, so funny. i think about it every. single. time. i take my dog outside. his shame could help momma retire.

  • http://stayathomesomething.com Kristin

    Wow that is shitty :)
    Delurking to tell you I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. So thank you and the shitty dog paws. I know you probably get told this a lot, but you are hilarious and inspiring all at the same time :)

  • http://sanctitysabbatical.blogspot.com/ Mrs.Strizzay

    Dang girl. I hate dog poop.

  • http://orangebandage.blogspot.com Em

    I know exactly how you feel. My cats keep peeing and pooing on my duvet. I will hide it under another blanket and they will dig until they find it. Lately they have had diarrhea. Needless to say I’m single handedly keeping the Dry Cleaners open.

  • CandyApple

    Non Sequitur Pseudo Haiku:

    Yank Sing
    Tastebud Zing
    Oh Happy Tum Tum

    Probably not the best place to post since most of the comments are about dog poop, but comments are closed on the photo – so there.

  • Majik Man

    My dog one night a long time ago had to go potty real bad. So I let him out of my bed room and as he made his way down stairs I heard a gooey fart and as I rushed out to turn on a light, he was spraying shit as he ran through the carpeted living room, and through the kitchen on the lino floor. I kicked his ass outside and began the 2 hour clean up. I even had to fill up the carpet shampooer. I finally went back to bed at 5am.

  • http://www.stephaniekscott.blogspot.com Stephanie

    First I almost peed myself reading this post. I am not above sniffing the paw of a dog. There is nothing worse than the crap of a dog in your house.

    My husband brought a rescue puppy home from California a few years ago, and then left two days later to go back on a business trip.

    The freaking dog came down with giardia and crapped all over my house the entire week. It was the week before Christmas and his grandmother was coming into town from Florida.

    I was most pleased, I must tell you.

  • LeFiffre

    Yes I love doggies, especially Aussie Shepherds, but this post makes me (purr) love my kitty even more. I had not thought it possible.

  • Lori

    Wow! You are an amazing writer that has certainly captured my interest over the last month or so. To be honest until a few months ago I didn’t even know what a blog was. Various people kept telling me that I should start writing one so I started researching it and came across yours and have been hooked ever since. Your honesty and openness are a gift. Thank you! You make me laugh and I appreciate your realness about your life as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend…ect.

  • http://www.monkeythoughts.com DangerMonkey

    Ugh, one of the many reasons I dread having a dog, despite my husband (and kids’) enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I grew up with an army of them (or whatever you call 6 dogs at once). But the housebreaking is not a good time for anyone.
    I’m with you on the paw sniffing though. I’ve crawled around on hands and knees sniffing various places in my bedroom for the hidden cat poop. It was in the closet, of course. (My youngest cat has issues holding it and occasionally gets accidentally locked in my bedroom. So naturally, he finds a place to poop. Apparently, he feels REALLY guilty about it, so he never poops in an obvious place, forcing me to sniff my way to it. God, I love my life.)

  • Anonymous

    I read that Australian Shepherds “get their brains in the mail” at a later date, if that helps.

  • Anonymous

    I can certainly relate to this posting and the puppy pooping. We have two puppies, one is housebroken and one isn’t. I think the small breeds are much more difficult to train. And they hate cold weather! So of course they don’t want to do their duty outside. We love them both and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (we hope) Good luck with Coco! (thank you for the good laugh on a Sunday morning)

  • Been there, done that

    We had the poopy prints thing happen to us, too. Only it was paint. Blue paint. Bright blue paint. On the carpet. Down the hall and through the living room. Then we got Pergo. Ohhhhhh, Pergo. My non-porous, easy-to-clean lover.

  • Anonymous

    Leta’s reaction reminded me of my daughter’s frequent reactions, only the nature of them are quite different, she’s freaking out because she thinks I actually think she did it, when it’s obvious she didn’t and I’m referring to someone else, like her brother…

    and dogs in general remind me of my son…

    so I felt compelled to post a blog about it, and used your quote about Leta. I credited and linked back to you though.

  • http://vagabond-lynzm.blogspot.com LynzM

    OMG, dude, I could *not* deal with dog housebreaking. Holy crap, literally. I’m glad that Jon’s been able to make progress with that.

    I’m gonna add another crunchy hippy recommendation for a neti pot. Look up Jalaneti online, they have good, big metal ones. It makes a *huge* difference in how you feel, and is a cheaper and easier thing to try for a few weeks than sinus surgery (since my husband has gone both routes…) Good luck to Jon, hope he feels better soon.