Friday, November 27, 2009

A Regular Shih Tzu Pro'dog'jee

Yup, I've got to admit it. I have the beginnings of the smartest dog on the block. (And he doesn't even have the benefit of a SmartCard!) Carter has been reading to him in order to give him a jump start on the so-called 'normal' puppies.

I've been working on the house breaking routine. Which, by the way, is different from breaking the house, which he is doing one chunk of wall, one piece of floor tile at a time. That we have down pat. As for house breaking Herbie, I got him a litter box and I keep spraying it with a product invented by a mad scientist who boiled his dirty socks and his dirty underwear together in the same pot until it boiled dry. Then he bottled that aroma and talked somebody into marketing it as an attractant so a dog will have the insatiable desire to do his business wherever you spray it. It's definitely attracting Herbie, but not necessarily for all the right reasons.

As you can see, Herbie is sleeping in the litter box.

Now, before you go thinking sleeping in the litter box makes him not so smart, just imagine sleeping on a surface that conforms to every - and I mean every - lump, bump, curve, dimple, joint and angle of your body. I mean litter doesn't cost near as much as those beds they advertise on the informercials. (Which, by the way, has to leave you wondering what they do with the beds that are returned after a customer's "90 day in home trial" is less than satisfying.) And litter won't leak like a water bed, either. Maybe Herbie is actually smarter than we think and is on his way to making millions of dollars with the Litterpedic Bed System. Hmmmm. Surely I would get a percentage of the royalties since I bought him his first litter box and bag of litter!

Anyway, back to getting Herbie Tate house broken. A long time ago, like the last century long time ago, Alan bought some of those nasty yellow gooey fly strips guaranteed to annihilate the fly population. After hours - maybe even days - of not getting the promised results, and suffering from exasperation, Alan started using the fly swatter to kill all the flies. Then he stuck them on the fly strip. Somehow he thought the sight of a smashed dead fly on a sticky yellow streamer would scream out to other flies in the vicinity so they would want to be stuck just like he was. Well, since I figured Alan was so smart with that scenario, I figured the same technique might work for what I'm trying to accomplish. So....

I collected a small piece of Herbie's #2 and placed it in the litter box. Surely, not only the smell, but the sight of his bodily byproduct actually in the litter box would entice him to add to it. The end results of my little experiment weren't exactly what I was working towards. However, it did reinforce how smart Herbie actually is. He dug the sample out of the litter box, put it out on the floor in another room and then walked away.

Now, tell me, honestly, how many dogs do you know who are not only able, but willing, to clean out their own litter box????? Herbie Tate's off the charts!!


  1. You have to love him, but that's why we don't have any more animals. He is so cute, though. I am glad he is learning to read. He will be the smartest dog ever.

  2. I relate to MOST of that. Basha is not dumb {I mean smart} enough to pick up her own poop. In fact, she gets away from it as fast as she can after it hits the ground, floor, wherever she is at the time. Good thing Herbie's cute, as is Basha, because sometimes you want to drop kick them.