I am Alpha Dog

So you know when you move from one room to clean dog poop from off your dining room rug, only to go the kitchen to find your 3-year old telling you “I had a accident” and before you know it, you’re cleaning up MORE poop, this time out of tiny little underwear?


Yeah, that.  Welcome to my glamorous existence.

In October, young Quinn Shumway proved to us that he was ready for potty training.  At least, we realized that one was coming, ran him into the potty at a breakneck speed, ripped off the diaper and just like that, he did it.  It was as close to a staged event as one can get, but a mom who wants to throw away diapers can convince herself of anything.

Of course, since that day he’s had about 10 successful pooping trips to the loo; the rest of the time we’re cleaning up accidents.

Cut to early December when 9-month old Elvis the rescue dog arrives to join La Familia Shumway.  While generally a sweet little dog with a great disposition, he doesn’t like the snow and so when given the opportunity would rather leave a present in the Dining Room than brave the elements.

Put simply, cleaning up crap – literally – has become a large part of my life.

I was venting to a friend of mine about the dog and his “issues” (he also has severe abandonment anxiety…I can’t make this stuff up) and after proclaiming that Elvis would not win, that I WOULD BREAK HIM OF THIS HABIT, she said to me:

“So let me get this straight: you are fighting with a 12 lb. canine for the title of Alpha Dog in your house?”


You need to understand: I succeed when it comes to things like this.  I know that the key to letting a child (or dog) know who’s boss is maintaining a steely resolve to not give in.  They wiil fight back but if you vow to stay the course (and keep spare plastic bags handy) then eventually you will win.  I was able to get three babies – albeit, human ones – to sleep through the night by the time they were 10 weeks old and successfully potty trained two of them within five days, so I thought I had the magic bullet.

Four months later, I’m still dealing with crap.

I can’t figure out why this is taking so long this time around.  I mean, I’m sticking to my guns, punishing the dog, not giving in and buying diapers again, so by all accounts I should have been victorious months ago.  And while I’ve heard all the encouraging sentiments – “Every child is different, you won’t win this battle” and “The dog just needs time,” I refuse to back down.  I will win or die trying.  For I am Alpha Dog.

Of course in the meantime, you can still find me cleaning up crap.   Literally.