Ask Not For Poo the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for Pee

Well, that just has to be in the top 10 of tackiest blog titles ever, no?

Yesterday Christina asked how we get the dog to ring bells to go outside, so I thought I’d just share really quickly.

We taught our very first dog, the one who died just before Christmas, to ring bells to got outside.  Basically, from the time we got him, we would bat the bells with his paw or gently bump his nose up against them before we’d open the door to put him out.  It didn’t take long before he knew that the bells were supposed to ring before the door was opened, so he would ring the bells to go out.  It was great!

Then we got the St. Bernard and figured he’d learn from watching the older dog.  He didn’t.  Then we got more kids and it got rather tiresome having to keep them away from the jingle bells on the doors, take the dog slobber covered bells out of their mouths, keep them from wrapping the bell’s yarn around their necks, etc. so we just took the bells off the door and the dogs had to do the traditional bark/whine, paw at the door thing.  So unoriginal.

But with Quinn being our last, there is a light at the end of the bell-eating toddler tunnel (plus he hasn’t shown any interest in them so far anyway), so we’re trying it again.  It really is nice when the dog(s) will ring a bell rather than scratch the door, whine, bark, or pace incessantly around your kitchen table.

Yes, Rude the Dog paces.  If he wants to go out to potty, he paces.  If he wants you to play with him, he paces.  If something else that you absolutely can’t figure out is going on in that dog’s head, he paces.  We’ve tried a bit with the bells, but to no avail.

So, with the puppy, here is what I’ve done:  I strung five jingle bells (not the really small ones that teenagers lace on their shoes around Christmas time, especially the last day before Christmas break when they decide to go to school in an elf costume and hang candy canes on all the lockers in the senior hall . . . ahem . . . and not the great big ones, just the medium sized jingle bells that you can find in the craft section of any major retailer) . . . umm . . . right, five jingle bells on some yarn, and I hung it from the doorknob so that the bells are down right at puppy height.

This is very tempting for her because she is a puppy and likes to chew, and the bells make noise.  What puppy can stay away from that?  So every time she starts to chew on the bells I immediately put her out (immediacy is rather important as we don’t want her to actually chew a bell off and choke on it).  Also, every time I take her out because she hasn’t been out in a while, I bump her little nose or one of her monster paws up against the bells.  Now?  After just a couple of days?  She will go up to the door, bump the bells with her nose, and sit and wait for the door to open.  I haven’t even seen her chew on them in a day and a half.  Just bump them.

Puppy magic!

As she grows I’ll just raise the height of the bells.

Now, here is a challenge for my literary friends:  Rewrite the hideous inauguration poem in the style of the hideous inaugural poet (hint: this means your poem will also be hideous, but probably at least humorous).

You can see my re-write of it here.

And George . . .

7 thoughts on “Ask Not For Poo the Bell Tolls, it Tolls for Pee

  1. Brilliant! If we ever get another dog I’ll give it a try. Lulu is too old and set in her ways to really take the time to ring a bell. Its beneath her you know…you’re just supposed to read her mind.
    I’m anxious to see what your readers come up with on the rewriting of the horrid poem. I seriously split a gut on your rendition. I don’t have it in me to do a rewrite…it would take me too darn long. But I’ll enjoy everyone elses! 🙂


  2. That is totally brilliant about the bells! Very cute dog too, no matter what name you picked (which is a cute name, I just didn’t get a chance to pipe in due to the sleep deprivation and cerebral thinking required).


  3. We did the bell thing with our terrible lab years ago. Our golden just paces like Rude. Around and around and around. It is so weird. And yet beats the heck out of scratching frantically at the door or peeing in the house 🙂


  4. I had a lot of catching up to do. I’m bummed I didn’t get to vote for the dog’s name, but I think the name you chose is a good one. I wish I’d known about the bell when we first got our dog. It seems I am ALWAYS behind!


  5. Nancy

    I tried to rewrite the poem. I really did. I spent at least two or three minutes, but it was so painful I had to stop. How on earth did you slog through that tripe?


  6. metaphase

    I know others that used the bells, but I sometimes like to ignore my dogs when they want out ( I know that sounds terrible btw. They hold it, and sometimes just want out to chase leaves) so I didn’t do the bells b/c I thought the sound might get annoying.
    Caleb, my GSD is a pacer/follower. Sometimes he gooses me in the behind if I stop too quickly, that’s how close he’s following me through the house 24/7!


  7. Carissa

    I have many friends who have done this with their dog – it is wonderful! We are considering trying it with our three – good luck!


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