Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bucket lists and ruined carpet and other stuff

The puppy is peeing on the carpet. I take her on so many walks every day, I always think there's no way she'll have any pee left, but I turn my back for a second and she squats. "But you just went?!" It's crazy-making. I know she's just a baby and her muscles are still developing and she lacks, well, restraint, but I also don't want my house smelling like a urinal. I Google-d different training methods, read what Cesar Millan had to say, read what his critics had to say, but the most promising suggestion (I think) came from a friend. I bought a bell from a craft store, threaded it to make a sort of necklace, and hung it on the door. Whenever I see the puppy squat or see a fresh wet spot, I immediately take her to the bell and move her paw to ring it before taking her out. I hope this works. When my buddy died, I said I'd never get another dog. A month later... here I am. But bad pee habits or no, I'm glad I didn't stick to my words. This girl is bringing me so much joy, she's high-energy and that energy is addictive, and I'm so happy to have her a part of our home.

Since my husband is in Europe for work for a few weeks, I figured this would be a good time to write. I will be working on the Rattle novel primarily, which is taking a different feel than I originally intended, but I've been wanting to write another essay lately--I wrote one after my last dog passed away, and it reawakened my love of the form.

I was talking to a (different) friend--we were basically daydreaming out loud after a long day--and she said, partially joking, that she wanted to move to ABQ and start a hot air balloon business. She told me about the Balloon Fiesta that is going on there now. I need to add that to my bucket list, I said, and when I said it I realized that I didn't have one. My friend is a writer as well, and this short conversation prompted us to come up with a creative nonfiction prompt we both committed to complete:

The piece revolves around bucket lists, so it begins with making one. The piece will be lyrical, sectional: a short piece of writing for each list entry. The challenge is twofold: to come up with the list and to connect it in a unique way.

I bring this prompt up because so far this is the hardest writing assignment challenge I have ever had. I have bucket list block. The balloon fiesta looks pretty badass, so that's one. The rest of the list is empty. If I can manage to complete it, I'll post next week.

In writing news, I wrote a very, very short on the theme Rescued piece for Flash Frontier (there are a lot of wonderful, short pieces here). I'm pretty happy with it. Also, my husband's art is featured at the top of the site.

I also had a short piece accepted to Litro Online about my buddy. This is the first nonfiction piece in a long time, so I'm thrilled to share it. One of the most personal pieces I've ever written. It should be out in November.

Have a beautiful week, folks.

***12/22 Update: The bell worked like a charm. Took about two weeks of consistent reminders, and we have new problems now, but we haven't had an accident in a long time.

1 comment:

  1. That’s a good training for your dog, Jen! Classical conditioning will get them potty trained. You can also give her treats after every time she pees and after she rings the bell, so she’ll start thinking that ringing the bell before peeing is a good thing. By the way, how are you planning to clean your carpets?
    Janie Gonzalez


Observations: Dublin Vacation

Dublin seemed the obvious destination. We would be close to various restaurants and tourist attractions. It would be easy to call a cab or...