Monday, June 30, 2008

Out Of Sight, Out Of Obedience

Theo's latest "Theo-ism" is when either Husband or I go upstairs. He gets this look of total agony and indecision when one of us goes upstairs while the other is downstairs. Usually he ends up deciding based on who is where. If I stay downstairs, he'll stay with me, if I go upstairs, he'll run up after me. Husband whines that it's because Theo loves me more, but it's really just because I give him attention and Husband doesn't.

It's actually kind of a problem because the only reason I go upstairs usually is to go into the bedroom (it's too hot to do any actual hanging out up there right now). Theo isn't allowed in the bedroom, so I have to close the door on him. Sometimes he cries, sometimes he just sits at the top of the stairs and waits for me. And sometimes he poops. That's right. He poops.

See, Theo doesn't spend a lot of time upstairs (because Husband and I don't spend any time upstairs). He spends every night in his crate, but I don't think that counts to him. And since he doesn't spend any time upstairs, he doesn't consider the area as a "living space". And since he doesn't consider it a living space, it is, by default, a pooping place. That's how the doggie world works, right? I know all I have to do to make it stop is play with him up there a bit, but I just haven't gotten around to it. So instead we try to make sure he stays downstairs.

Yesterday I needed to go upstairs to grab something from the bedroom. It wasn't a big deal if he followed me, but I didn't want to encourage the habit. I made him lay down and told him to stay at the bottom of the stairs. As soon as I got to the landing and rounded the corner, he ran up the stairs. The half second after I was out of site, he would no longer stay. He did it three or four times. Finally I started periodically peering my head over the railings so he could see me even when my body was out of site. Then he stayed. Finally. It's super cute that he wants to keep tabs on me, but at the same time, it's a total chore to make sure that when one of us goes upstairs, the other is there to distract him. I'm sure we'll get it in time.

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