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When Saturday arrived, my daughter Anne and I were very excited to go meet and bring our new dog home. We put the address into our GPS right after lunch and started driving through town.

"Town" is pretty small for us even though we live in the County seat, so I was not terribly surprised when the speed limit increased and the houses along the side of the highway disappeared into trees and open fields. After a few minutes of driving through countryside, we turned off the highway into a small hamlet and then turned again onto a narrow street, which we followed past a field until we got to a cute, one-story house. We parked in the driveway and knocked on the front door, which was promptly opened by a pleasant-looking, young woman.

She greeted us and welcomed us inside the house. A large, black dog, followed closely by a very small dog, then crossed the room to exit the house through the same door we had just entered. As we waited for the young woman to return from closing the door behind the dogs, I noticed a black tabby cat stretching awake on the other side of the room.
Seatbelt tether

A few minutes of conversation with the young woman yielded that she was a nursing student with a full-time job and her son had recently been diagnosed with a severe medical condition. The nearest hospital where he could be treated was a three hour drive from home. The poor young woman was clearly overwhelmed and needed to let something go. That something really had to be the little dog that she could not figure out how to reliably housebreak. Happy as I was to have found the dog I had been waiting to rescue, my heart felt broken for the young woman who was giving her to me. Giving away her puppy could not have been an easy choice for her to make.

The dog in question was a little thing with a coarse, black and brown coat that stood only a little taller than my ankle. Tipped ears and bright eyes, her long tail curved between her legs as the three of us: Anne, the young woman and I tried to lure her into the back seat of my car so that her harness could be buckled into the seat belt. (The seatbelt tether was a leftover from Snickers and, whereas he never could seem to get used to it, I was determined to train our new dog to use the buckle in the car from the very beginning of her time with us so that she would be safe in the car. Fortunately, she did fine with it)

Anne and I had already discussed the housebreaking issue and decided that we would use our bathroom as a safe place for the dog to stay until she had her first accident and we could begin the housebreaking process. So, when we got home, we stayed outside for a few minutes and walked the dog around the yard to see if she would potty outside and we could praise her. But when she did not potty outside, we came inside and walked right into the bathroom to  sit and wait there together. Minutes dragged into an hour with no result and I still needed to get dog food. So I left Anne with the dog and ran to the store for it.

By the time I got home with the dog food, the dog had still not had an accident. So I went back into the bathroom with Anne to wait for our first housebreaking event. Minutes continued to creep by and I eventually had to send Anne out of the room so that I could pee (in the toilet), but the dog continued to hold her bladder.

It was at about this point when we decided that we'd had enough of waiting in the bathroom for a doggy bladder accident. We slipped one of the doggy diapers given to us by the young woman onto the dog and went out into the house to drink some tea and discuss what we would name her. (Okay. I was the only one drinking tea but I was thirsty so might have had enough for both of us.)

This post first appeared on A Writer's Blot, please read the originial post: here

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