When you plant a sapling in your front yard, it’s hard to notice as you walk past it every day just how much it’s grown over time. Even if you water it daily and prune it’s branches to keep it healthy, one day before you know it you have a fully grown tree in front of you.
In much the same way, the humans at Foster House opened our eyes one day and noticed that our little Cooper-sapling has done quite a bit of developing over the past five months.
It’s hard to imagine that the dog responsible for destruction like this is the same dog who now jumps up on the couch and settles in for a snooze when we start going through our “getting ready to leave the house” routine.
It’s hard to believe that the dog who couldn’t control his bladder for more than a couple hours hasn’t had an accident in months. So how’d we do it?
Since I work so close to home, I’ve been able to come home in the middle of the day for a potty break. We found that this was the key to Cooper’s potty training success. We think that when he realized he wouldn’t have to wait all day, it gave him the confidence to be able to hold it until mom got home at lunchtime. And as the accidents decreased, so has the destruction. We realized that when we would come home to a mess, there was rarely one without the other.
We would rarely find a chewed up remote control or dog bed without a puddle on the floor. But there was never a puddle on the floor without some matching destruction of some sort. Talk about a forehead slap moment – Cooper was only destructive when he was frustrated that he couldn’t get outside to do his business! He knew all along where we wanted him to go, and when he couldn’t get there, he’d redecorate. Duh.
We’ve been so pleased with his progress that we’ve been experiementing with leaving him along longer and longer. There has been some backsliding here and there when we’d come home to a shredded book or chewed up remote control, but Cooper has done outstanding with Holding It. And as he continues to grow out of puppy-hood and we continue working on him, we’re anticipating more success in other areas as well.
Cooper my man, you such an amazing dog, and we are so, so proud of you. You are going to be the perfect companion for a very lucky family. I cannot wait to see what lightbulb will switch on for you next!
If you’re interested in adding Cooper to your family, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.