House Training An Older Dog – A Complete Guide To Help You Get Your Pet Home!
In the beginning there was nothing but a big empty room. The only thing in it were two old chairs and a table.
That’s where you sat when your owner left for work or school. At first, you didn’t mind sitting on those chairs because they provided some relief from the boredom of being alone all day long. But then one day, you started getting bored too. So you decided to sit on the tables instead. Soon after that, you found yourself sitting on them every single time you went out. Eventually, you got so used to sitting on these tables that they became like furniture and nobody would ever move them or even think about moving them again.
At this point, your chair was just a place for resting when no one else was around. However, you were starting to get restless.
You had been sitting on these tables for so long that you couldn’t imagine ever going back to your original position. And if someone did try to move the chairs, you weren’t sure what would happen next…
So one day while you were sitting on the chairs, your eyes suddenly caught sight of something behind the door leading into your new home. It was your neighbor’s dog!
It was a cur, to be exact. You had never really paid much attention to it before, but now you could only think about how fun it would be to hang out with such a spirited creature. Maybe, just maybe, if you were to take the chair over there and hop over the fence, he would play with you. That’s right! You have a crazy idea. But you are sure it will work. So you quickly stretch out your body, and in one swift motion, jump over the fence and get to the other side.
And there he was, wiggling in excitement as you approached him. He could sense that you were his master, even if you didn’t look like one.
As soon as you threw the ball for him, he caught it and immediately brought it back to you. You were so happy that for a moment you almost shed a tear. Now this is what life is all about! Having fun and playing with a dog!
As you continued to throw the ball for him, you started to feel more and more like a true master. Then without warning, the ball slipped out of your hand and went flying over the fence!
But that wasn’t even the worst part. The worst part was when the cur ran after it and jumped right over the fence too! Now you were stuck on the other side of the fence all alone.
You started looking around for something that you could stand on so that you could get back to your side. But there was nothing!
Even the chairs were too tall for you to reach. At this point, you didn’t know what to do. You were starting to get scared because your owner would be home soon and if he found out that you had escaped, he would punish you severely and never let you play with the dog again!
So you did the only thing you could think of, you yelled and cried for help. You must have been crying for at least an hour before your owner came home from work.
And when he saw that the dog was gone, he immediately suspected you.
“You little monster!” he yelled as he grabbed his belt, “I’m not going to sell you this time.
No, instead I’m going to use you as bait to trap that cur.”
He dragged you outside and tied you to a tree near the fence, well away from your usual spot. He then tied a rope to the bumper of his truck and drove off to the other side of town.
He came back an hour later with the cur. He was dragging him behind him, but as soon as he got close, he slipped the rope off and let him go. The cur ran straight towards you!
You didn’t know what to do. Everything was a blur and all you remember is someone yelling, “Look out!”
You slowly opened your eyes only to find yourself on the floor of your room. It had all been a dream!
You sighed in relief and looked at your clock. You had only been asleep for an hour. But even after waking up, the nightmare wouldn’t leave your mind. Everything that had happened seemed so real!
Yet you knew that you couldn’t dwell on this for too long. If you did, it would start to affect your relationship with the dog.
So you shook it off and grabbed your favorite shirt, some sweatpants and your toothbrush before heading off to the bathroom.
After brushing your teeth, you inspected your face in the mirror. You looked a little pale, but that was to be expected from someone who had just had a nightmare.
But you couldn’t go outside looking like this. If your owner saw you looking so upset he would probably think that the dog had died or something. And you definitely couldn’t have that.
You went to your dresser and put on some of your favorite clothes, a t-shirt with an ancient Nintendo logo on it and some jeans. You then combed your hair and headed off to the kitchen to say good morning to the dog, although you still looked a little upset.
You look upset.” The dog asked as you sat next to him.
You sat there for a moment trying to think of an excuse, but for some reason the dream was still fresh in your mind. You ended up telling him everything that happened in the dream, but left out the part about the dog dying.
He listened intently as you spoke and his ears drooped a little when you were done.
“That was just a dream, don’t take it personally.”
The dog tilted his head in confusion, “But I don’t understand.
If it was a dream that means that it’s possible that it could happen right?”
“Well in that case I have to make a choice between being sold or you dying.”
You started at him in surprise, “What are you talking about?
It was just a dream. It isn’t possible for me to die in the future. I could jump out of a 2 story window and I wouldn’t die, because I’m a dreamer.”
You had a point. But still…
the dream seemed so real. Like it was actually possible for it to happen. After sitting there deep in thought for a moment you got an idea, “I know what we can do to find out once and for all if it’s possible for me to die. I’m going to go out and throw my hands up in the air. If a car hits me then the dream was real, but if nothing happens then the dream was just a dream and I can stop worrying about it.”
“That seems a little…
ill advised.” The dog said after a moment.
You got a better idea?
Besides it’s the perfect plan, I’m a dream and I can fly so if I get hit by a car then I’ll just phase through it before it hits me. I’ll be fine, trust me!”
The dog didn’t seem too happy with your plan, but he couldn’t really come up with a better idea.
And who knew maybe you could fly?
Stranger things had happened after all.
“Okay, I guess that’s as good a plan as any, but you still need to be careful. I don’t want you getting hurt or anything.”
Walking out into the street with your arms in the air might have made you an easier target for a car, but you were too excited about proving the dog wrong about getting hit to really worry about it.
“Alright, I’m ready. Wish me luck.”
You called back as you stood in the middle of the street with your arms in the air. You waited a few moments, but nothing happened so you slowly brought your arms back down to your side.
The dog came up to the edge of the street to meet you.
“I told you nothing would happen.” He said with a smile.
“Yeah well I still wish I could fly. That would have been so cool.” You said a little let down, but happy to be alive nonetheless.
The dog put a paw on your shoulder, “Maybe you just think you can’t. Try jumping off of the garage and I’ll catch you when you fall.”
“Yeah right! That’s even stupider than what I was just doing.”
“It’s not stupider, you said yourself that you think you can fly. So just jump off and find out if you’re right or not.”
“But what if I’m wrong…”
“You don’t know until you try. Just think, if you can fly you’ll be by far the coolest kid on the planet!
Who could be afraid of something that can fly?
! But if you don’t jump then you’ll never know and will always wonder ‘what if…?’. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
The dog had a point. If you could fly then no one could ever be frightening again.
And if you couldn’t then what had you lost really, a few scraps and bumps?
You’d survive either way.
“Thanks for the pep talk, I think I’m gonna try it. See you on the other side.”
“Good luck kid! And if you can fly then grab some trucks from the garage on your way back, I’m sure the kids would love them.
I’ll keep an eye out just in case someone is driving by. Go ahead and get started, I’ll give you a little time to jump.
Taking the dog’s advise you started to make your way down the ladder, each rung bringing you closer to your destiny. You had butterflies in your stomach by the time you got to the bottom, but you were also very excited to prove yourself right.
Looking back up at the dog, you gave him a nod and he responded in kind. Taking a few steps back, you gathered all of your courage and then took off running as fast as your legs could carry you.
“Flying! I’m flying!!! Yeeeeeeeeah!!!!” you screamed at the top of your lungs. You were actually flying!!!!
You soared higher and higher, almost close enough to touch the bottom of the cloud that hung over your head. This was so much better than any carnival ride you had ever been on.
Your euphoria was suddenly cut short when a loud screeching sound tore through the silence and something hit the top of your head. You reached up and came back with a feather.
I’m flying and I grew a feather?
!” you shrieked as you looked up at the dog who was now on his hind legs with both front paws against his ears. He seemed very upset, but your confusion was too great to worry about his feelings.
What kind of magic is this?
! I’m supposed to be flying! I grew a feather! I should have wings!!” you shouted up at him.
You were so filled with rage that you completely forgot that you were standing on the edge of a roof and when you stomped your foot down, your leg went straight through the rotted wood beneath it.
“Oh my god, help! Help!” you screamed as you started to fall backwards. You didn’t even have time to grab the ledge before you fell.
You landed with a splash right in the middle of a pile of rotting garbage.
“That…was…AMAZING!” the dog yelled jumping down into the dumpster.
“I’ve never seen anything like it! You fell right through the rotted wood as if it wasn’t even there!”
“I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.” you said rocking back and forth.
“No, you’re not. That was like…I dunno…that was like nine stories!
How are you still alive?
Just think if you had actually flown, imagine the distance you would have covered!”
Are you trying to make me feel better?
Because it’s not working.”
“I’m serious! Try standing up, go on,” he ordered.
You pulled yourself up from the slimy trash and balanced unsteadily on top of the heap of garbage. Your head throbbed and you felt like you were going to be sick at any moment.
“See, your legs still work. Now walk towards me,” he instructed.
You did as you were told and managed to climb down out of the dumpster without fainting. You didn’t feel well at all and still thought you might vomit, but you weren’t going to give up yet.
You had to test your other senses.
Can you hear that?”
the dog asked, his head cocked to one side.
What is that?”
you asked, putting your hand to your ear.
“Shhh. I think its…I think its flying pigs!” the dog exclaimed jumping back into the dumpster.
You stood there straining to hear what he was hearing when a sharp piercing sound caused you to clap your hands to your ears and crouch down on the ground.
What is that?
Is someone murdering animals over there?
!” you asked angrily.
“No, it’s a car alarm going off! I can hear it from here!” the dog explained. “Come on, let’s go check it out!”
You looked at him like he was crazy and he returned a look that said: come on, it might be important.
“Alright, but only because I’m still not feeling well,” you replied.
He led you out of the alley and onto a main street where there were lots of lights and people were milling around. The sky overhead was full of bright shining stars, and the moonlight reflected off the windows of a nearby building.
For a moment you forgot all about your predicament and just stared in wonder.
“Come on, this way,” the dog said.
You followed him down the sidewalk and across the street. Car alarms were blaring in the distance and you heard sirens approaching.
Where are we?”
you asked as you looked around.
You saw a brightly lit sign that said ‘McDONALDS’ and below it was a picture of an strange animal you’d never seen before. It had four legs, but its head was attached to the top of its body like a person.
It also had small wings like a butterfly.
What is this animal?”
you asked, staring at the sign.
“Uh, that’s a chicken. Chickens are animals,” the dog replied looking up at the sign then at you as if you were very stupid for asking such a question.
“I know it’s an animal, but I’ve never seen one before.
What kind of animal is it?”
“It’s a bird,” the dog said rolling his eyes.
You looked at the strange animal and felt hungry for the first time in days.
Do you think if I ate at McDonalds I would get to see more of those animals?”
Before the dog could answer you heard sirens approaching and saw three strange cars driving down the road with blue lights flashing in the front. The cars all had letters on the side, but you couldn’t read them since you were too far away.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Prevalence of behavioral changes associated with age-related cognitive impairment in dogs (JC Neilson, BL Hart, KD Cliff… – Journal of the American …, 2001 – Am Vet Med Assoc)
- Raising and training a livestock-guarding dog (JR Lorenz, L Coppinger – 1996 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu)
- Computerized cognitive training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis (NTM Hill, L Mowszowski, SL Naismith… – American Journal of …, 2017 – Am Psychiatric Assoc)
- Working memory training in older adults: evidence of transfer and maintenance effects. (E Borella, B Carretti, F Riboldi, R De Beni – Psychology and aging, 2010 – psycnet.apa.org)
- Don’t Shoot the Dog: The Art of Teaching and Training (P Dennison – 2006 – Penguin)
- Treating house-soiling behavior in a dog with pachygyria, hydrocephalus and cerebellar hypoplasia. (K Pryor – 2019 – books.google.com)
- The Well Dog Book: The Classic Comprehensive Handbook of Dog Care (G Riggio, A De Cesare – DOG BEHAVIOR, 2019 – dogbehavior.it)
- … Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression, Housetraining … (D Taylor – 2006 – Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books)