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great dane puppy teaches toddler how to poop

28 June 2011

Potty Training Secret Revealed in Front of California Supermarket

You’d be surprised what you can learn sitting in front of California’s answer to quirky retailing, Trader Joe’s.

This morning, I learned that dogs can help, inspire even, infant humans with their potty training. Had I known this heretofore little-known fact, I would certainly have been more solicitous of Miss Stitches’ assistance when OD was really young. (Miss Stitches’ was our Great Dane puppy Luna’s predecessor).

After taking Luna to the dog park, we headed over to the plaza for some groceries and puppy socialization. As MW headed inside Trader Joe’s world of magical private-labeled discovery, Luna and I took a seat at the outside tables. We waited. Luna sniffed. Nothing happened. Nobody came over.

Finally, a woman approached and asked if she could pet our dog. “Sure,” I replied. Good for Luna’s temperament. Good for her ego. Everyone – especially puppies – likes being loved. She told me that her daughter had a 7-year-old black Great Dane boy named Riva, and two daughters.

Then she asked me if I’d like to hear a funny story. “At least, I think it’s funny,” she qualified, apparently for fear that I’d call her out for an absence of mirth after hearing her tale.

The Story Begins…

When the eldest granddaughter Amber was just over a year old, Riva arrived in the house as a puppy. As he learned proper pooping etiquette in the back yard, Amber would watch him attentively.

A couple of weeks later, Amber followed him into the garden, pulled her diaper tabs open and squatted down, doing her own garden poop. Dog and toddler pooped together in perfect harmony. It wasn’t a one-time incident; the backyard became Amber’s canvas, the place where she potty-trained herself over the next couple of months.

Whether Riva ever took any notice of young Amber doing what comes so naturally to dogs, Grandma didn’t mention it.

A YouTube Opportunity

Alas, this was 2003. YouTube launched in 2005. You see where I’m going with this?

Can you just imagine the virality (the tendency of something to spread by word of mouth recommendation)? Who wouldn’t have clicked on a “Puppy dog and baby girl pooping together” link? It might not have garnered the 340+ million views of the “Charlie Bit My Finger” clip, but it would have been in the tens of millions, for sure.

I’m looking forward to meeting Riva and his self-potty trained family member at the dog park. I publicly swear to not embarrass the now-8-year-old Amber if she’s there.

The Story Ends….

That was it. MW exited Trader Joe’s, took Luna’s leash and we walked up the sidewalk to the car. As Luna passed the coffee shop near a man readying himself for the carrot cake slice on the table in front of him, she deviated course. As her twitching nose approached the plate and her mouth slowly opened, MW pulled her sharply away.  No cake this morning, honey.

We drove home. When I recounted Riva’s potting training tale to MW in the car, she enjoyed it. As comedy material, it was good. Grandma needn’t have worried.

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