Feeling like a Stepford wife

The whole point in retiring early was to spend more time with the kids while they were growing up. It wasn’t a tough choice to make. I was never the ambitious young lawyer that most of my peers were. That retirement proved better than I ever imagined was a bonus. I had the opportunity to make good in a second (blogging), a third (print media writing) and even a fourth (teaching) career.

Still, sometimes, I feel that my life is almost surreal. A house (not a mansion) in the suburb, beautiful children, a faithful husband who worships the ground I walk on, dogs, cats, a small garden of potted herbs that I plan to expand to include some salad vegetables. I cook, I bake, I pack my kids’ school lunches with home cooked food… It’s almost like a movie that it’s freaky.

I’m not complaining. No. This is how I always imagined life should be — enjoyed at my own pace, doing things I love to do instead of slaving to please my bosses, being a real mother instead of one who only tucks her kids to bed at night and spends the day social-climbing, getting massages and facials and working out in the gym with the illusion that she can compete with women half her age who manage to catch her husband’s roving eyes without even trying.

It’s such a wonderful life. Perfect — well, almost. Until the poop. Then reality comes crashing through. What poop? Poop, you know, is there any other kind?

So, I was writing my column earlier, and I was already behind schedule because I had to go to the supermarket first, and the dog came into the bedroom and decided it was going to be his domain for the next few hours. He stationed himself by my feet and decided that the stack of pillows under my desk on which I rest my feet while working was the best place for a nap. Fine, I thought. In fact, it was one of those surreal movie-like scenes that I mentioned earlier. Writer pounding on the keys, dog resting on her feet… It’s a movie scene, alright.

Then, the dog got up, seemed restless and started exploring the floor. When I glanced at him, there was a pile of poop in front of my closet. I don’t know how other writers operate but when I start writing, I don’t like pauses. I work in bursts and when the burst happens, I let it run its course and that’s usually enough to write a complete piece. But there was poop on the floor not three feet away from me and the burst dissipated. I stood up to get a nylon-bristled broom and a dustpan. I couldn’t have been more than a minute out of the room but when I came back, the dog had almost finished eating his poop. Dammit, really.

That was when I started screaming, rousing the house helper who was taking her after-lunch rest. I didn’t want to disturb her, actually, and that was why I went to get the broom and dustpan myself. But cleaning a pile of poop was one thing; cleaning smudgy half-eaten poop was something else. Then, it turned out that not only was there poop on the floor, there was also a pool of pee.

Never mind the surreal life of a suburban wife. Mine has poop in it — it’s got to be real.

  • Chris

    YOu can really do it yourself con. Crate training might seem cruel, but it’s really effective. Proper house breaking is an everyday chore for about a month or two. Two things you have to remember, food intake and the right size crate. A dog will instinctively not poo or pee in the same place it sleeps, so you really have to contain him. Controlling the food intake allows you to somewhat predict when he will go poop.

    This is me potty training lilu to do her business on a pee pad hehe…only works on small indoor dogs.
    http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n190/ogpro/pottytraining.jpg

    • http://casaveneracion.com Connie Veneracion

      kotsengkuba, blocked because of the location?

      I will Chris, kung wala na choice, no. Kasi naman, Sam is in school five days a week. I gave Speedy the link so he can buy kahit rudimentary materials.

      • http://www.kotsengkuba.com kotsengkuba

        di ko lang alam, forbidden page yung lumalabas kapag kiniclick ko yung link. siguro dahil narin sa location.

        nakapag-try ako ng ibang sideblog plugin pero di ko rin nagamit kase pareho nga lang ng sa’yo, manually composed din. kaya yung ginamit ko nalang yung random image tapos exclusive lang sa isang category. ok narin, gusto ko sana automatic malilink yung thumbnails ng photoblog. masyado na palang kong nag-aambisyon, hahaha :D

  • http://casaveneracion.com Connie Veneracion

    lette, we’re going to get one of those sprays to eliminate residual odor, especially the smell of pee which seems to stick longer. And having a new baby quite rightly describes the situation. Perhaps, that’s the difference between having Astro and all the dogs we had in the past. After raising my girls, I have learned much about patience so I can deal with Astro in a way that I couldn’t with the other dogs we had.

    Auee, mas mabantot yung pee. Hay grabe.

    • Ining

      hey connie! first time ko mag-reply sa blog mo. and to think feb pa ‘tong subject mo. i was searching for a train the trainer workshop when i hit this string. of all things! i got myself a puppy too he’s a 3-month old minipin and poops and pees everywhere. my working full-time doesn’t help. so, is brad pit now housetrained?

      anyway, what i really want to ask you (and it sounds crazy to add this in this blog) is whether you have a train the trainer workshop or know of a good one. need this for my supervisors to attend. and while i’m at it, do you know of a good leadership training chuva? – i said good, not expensive :-) can’t afford anthony pangilinan.

      do email me if you some info. hugs to speedy.

  • chiara

    hahaha funny. the poop makes it even more movie-like. ;) comedy nga lang. :D

  • http://rrriiiaaa.blogspot.com Ria

    Well at least it’s not so freaky anymore. :)

  • http://pinayhekmi.mychronicles.net pinayhekmi

    Dogs eat their own poop all the time wysgal. It’s definitely gross and not something I would encourage but it won’t hurt them. I definitely DIS-courage our dogs who tried to eat their poop.

    Anyway, Ate Connie. That restless pacing is definitely a sign that someone needs to get that dog outta there soon. I would make certain parts of the house off-limits until he’s potty-trained. He’s from a good lineage so he’s probably very smart. House-breaking him should be easy.

    Good luck Mrs. Not-so Stepford Wife!

  • http://wysgal.blogspot.com wysgal

    The dog ate its own poop? Can it get sick doing that?

  • Chris

    LOL…

    Time to google “crate training”

    http://www.inch.com/~dogs/cratetraining.html

    Trust me, you will love the dog all the more when he’s got his poop act together.

  • d0d0ng

    One huge reason not having dogs or pets at all!
    Oh my goodness………………

  • http://titorolly.blogspot.com rolly

    It’s real alright. You have to train your dog not to poop inside the house. There are certain ways house breaking it. First is to crate him. We failed to do this, too. Too late, I guess. The next best thing is to know his schedule when he has to go. Take him out of the house to let him do his business there.

    BTW, does he jump and bite you guys? Mine doesn’t with me anymore. But with my daughters and wife, it’s another story. He gets too excited, lunge at them, bites their pants or their feet. No biting inhibition yet.

    Anyway, that only goest to show that I’m not an expert. So, don’t mind me. I’m just a first time dog owner, too. i use the internet to find ways to training our youngest! Good luck to both of us!

  • http://casaveneracion.com Connie Veneracion

    chiara, at the time it was happening, I felt it was a tragedy hahahaha

    Ria, poop is a sure way to get you back to reality. Baby poop 15 years ago, dog poop today. Haaaaayyyy…

    Wysal, that was my first thought. What if it got sick? What if Sam blamed me for neglecting her dog while she was in school? It was a mixture of anxiety and disgust and panic. Kaloka.

    Pinayhekmi, talaga? It’s common? Duh, I got a lot to learn about dogs, don’t I? And I suppose I got to set aside some time in the morning to walk the dog if Speedy or Sam can’t.

    Chris, THANK YOU! Will show the link to Speedy too. He’s reading up faster than I am on this learn about Pit Bull thing.

    d0d0ng, oy, pets can be a joy ha. I was so against having cats in the house but now I can’t imagine a house without a cat. Try, try. :)

    Tito Rolly, they say that a dog can “feel” if a person is someone not to mess with. And dogs can sense fear or anger in a person. Sam’s pup doesn’t jump yet (3 months old pa lang); he likes licking my feet though LOL

  • http://www.kotsengkuba.com kotsengkuba

    connie, kailangan lang ng konting potty training ni brad pit(bull). hindi pa nga nya nangangatngat ang muebles at mga tsinelas nyo eh. pero i’m sure, in time magugustuhan mo rin sya.

    our family have always loved dogs more than cats. kahit lahat ng muebles namin e may ngatngat nga. when i was a kid, i had a law and order G.I.Joe action figure, the one with a K9. ayun, nginatngat din ng aso namin yung laruan aso. sabi ko nalang nagselos ata. hahaha.

    tsaka pano pala ginawa mo jan sa mga pictures sa theme mo? yung may thumbnail agregators sa taas. plugin din ba yan? peram ako, hehehe :D

  • http://casaveneracion.com Connie Veneracion

    Oo nga, konting tiyaga lang itong asong ito. Sana mabilis matuto.

    Yung thumbnails, actually sideblog yan hehehe http://blog.fileville.net/?page_id=121

    Manually posted but from the WP Panel directly. You only need to edit your template once when you place the miniblog tag.

  • http://www.kotsengkuba.com kotsengkuba

    na nosebleed ako sa plugin in :D pano naman kase blocked ako dun sa original site kaya di ko alam kung pano gamitin. random image plugin nalang ginamit ko http://justinsomnia.org/2005/09/random-image-plugin-for-wordpress/ tweak ko nalang ng konti yung styles pero ayos ayos na. thanks!

  • arny

    dear connie,

    i also have a dog, a yellow lab and doesnt stay in our house. he is trained to poo in the garden and even when he is inside his cage he doesnt pee and poo. patience lang talaga when training. but i will freak out when he eats his poo. may i know what breed is your dog? i know your army of cats but not your dog. i am clueless.

  • arny

    connie,

    pitbull pala. i didnt read the last half of the comments. i hope you will double check your dog ha. e may be sick. since when did u have that dog. i always read your blog but dont know the dog. who take care of him? i know your daughters take care of the cats but the dog? pitbulls are not that smart though. patience talaga.

  • http://scroochchronicles.blogspot.com/ Kongkong622

    Dios ko po!! All I can say is…KADIRI!!

  • http://homepage.mac.com/sungecko/iblog/inna/Speechless inna

    ms. connie,
    they tend to poop and pee in the same spots over and over- so maybe let brad in your bedroom after he’s done his business. taking them to walks will let them know that’s where they need to poop and pee (observe his schedule…timing is everything :). and after that’s been establish- they will let you know when they need to go outside for P&P (aside from their scheduled walks)….bring a pooper scooper and a plastic bag i’m curious- do people now pick up after their dogs there?

    we don’t have a dog right now cause we are renting and there are no pets allowed in the complex…my daughter kai wants one so bad…our solution for now is nintendogs! sometime maybe….i grew up with dog(s) too and they are just soo cute- except when they poop.

  • sam

    Hi Con. Your puppy is adorable! Re potty training – I hired a professional trainer to train our dog to poop at a designated place. He came over everyday for about a week or so. Least time and trouble.

  • http://casaveneracion.com Connie Veneracion

    arny, that’s all in the entry before this one, “Sam’s boyfriend.” :)

    Inna, you mean if people clean up their pet’s mess on the streets? Hay naku, I wish. This dog, well, he’s been as far as the garden. It’s been less than 48 hours since Sam brought him home.

    Kongkong, sinabi mo. Talagang, “Waaaaaaahhhh!” LOL

    Sam, pa-text naman please ng contact info. Baka lumayas na yung house helper namin pag di pa ‘to na-train. Grabe.

  • lette

    Congratulations -may family puppy na kayo! Would just share with you our experiences in housetraining the 2 y/o retired greyhound that we adopted last September. Puppies daw can’t hold their poop & pee long enough like older dogs do so for the next couple of months medyo madalas ang labas for pooping & peeing. May SIL said, para syang nagkababy ulit… Pag daw nahuli mo in the “act” of pooping/peeing inside the house, firmly say no, pick him up and let him finish his business outside. If you were not able to witness the act, no need to scold him–they apparently have short memory so he would be wondering what he did wrong even if it was just five minutes ago. There are safe products that you can give dogs to discourage poop eating (gives their poop a bad taste–as if naman may isasarap pa yun !) or just pick the poop up right away. Our grey had a total of 5 “accidents” –sa carpet pa–all of which I think were due to our inability to read her signs na she has to go. So now, early AM, afternoon and bedtime, labas namin sya so she can do her business or bago namin sya iwan sa bahay. I used to bring her out 4 times/day–ngayon, 3x na lang. Make sure also you clean the spot right away. Kahit di natin naaamoy, alam nila na doon sila umihi so uulitin yun–use special cleaners (enzymatic) pero kung tiles naman I think strong cleaners will do…Hope this helps. Have fun!

  • http://kwentongwalangkwenta.com auee

    so real in fact that I can almost smell it!