Thursday, August 9, 2007

Labradors and Toilet Humour

Reports from the toilet-training battlefront.

My, this is so fun, I don’t think I can express it! – We’re on underpants and trousers number three and socks number 2 for the day so far (just after lunch). For the past week or so, there have been pull-ups (a useful but hideously expensive and environmentally unsound option – even when using the attractive Disney princess ones left over from this process with the Princess). Destructoboy looked particularly good in the Snow White ones, but now we’re onto real pants! This simply means more environmental damage through washing!

Let no-one tell you that toilet training is not a battle ground – I had to interrupt that sentence because the boy who was sitting on the toilet less than 2 minutes ago and was asked 10 seconds ago if he needed the toilet has had a poo in his pants. It is a war – it’s very easy to give in and go back to nappies – but I will prevail! Make that: underpants 4, trousers 3 and socks 2 for the day.

Destructoboy will be 3 next Friday. That means that I have been changing nappies with no let up for 5 years and I have had enough – I’m not going to take it any more!

Combined with a ludicrously runny nose, my major preoccupation has been dealing with debris from both ends of Destructoboy today – I follow him around with a potty in one hand and tissue in the other wiping and swiping through the day.

On a happier note, I finished the third pattern repeat for the Turtle Walk socks and nearly finished the heel flap last night. I was initially unimpressed by the sock yarn, feeling that such a lovely sock pattern deserved a much better class of yarn, but now I am really happy with it. I hadn’t realised (knitting from the centre of the ball as I am, and only seeing the outside) that it has an orange-umber core and a rainbow dyed wrap – as you knit you get quite wide but gradually changing rainbow stripes over the orange – it’s subtle and very beautiful, so I have totally revised my opinion. I am now happier that I have excellent taste in yarn to go with Spidey’s lovely pattern.

This morning we did the craft thing (the weather is a bit on the poor side – 150km/hour winds, horizontal rain, you know the sort of thing) so we did stuff – gluing sequins and buttons on other things, bits of paper, felt finger puppets – I felt momentarily like parent of the year! – It’s OK though, it wore off fairly quickly when I cleaned up the glue and small bits of paper!

I don’t believe I mentioned Luath to you. Luath was our main dog while I was a child. He was a Mundin strain black lab, very big, with the appropriate boof head and deep chest. He was a ‘watter dog’ as they are described in old books. Nothing pleased him more that swimming – except, maybe, eating. Or sleeping. Or being patted. Or riding in the back of the ute. Or the car.

He loved the water. We lived near a river. Countless afternoons were spent throwing sticks into the river for him top fetch – a game he never tired of. He also loved people swimming with him, and as my mother couldn’t swim, I was always allowed to swim in the river, if I took the dog. We trained him to come if you yelled ‘Help’ and he would tow you to the bank while you held to his collar or the scruff of his neck.

If you were just floating in the water, he would grab your arm in his soft retriever mouth and tow you anyway. This system worked really well the whole time I was growing up.

Until we took him to the beach. Where the man was snorkelling. Not only was the man patently drowning, but he had a stick in his mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier Labrador! He towed the man in – by the stick. Luckily, the man wasn’t drowned and had a sense of humour. And didn’t sue.

Luath used to collect all sorts of things for us. When a nest of baby ducks escaped he brought them back, one by one, in his mouth. They were rather damp, but totally unscathed. As were the guineau pig, kittens and chicks. Definitely slobbered on, but no problems. I love labs. Ours died last year and I still miss him. Cats and children adored him. When I was cleaning out the freezer yesterday (our fridge has died) I still found black Labrador hairs in the bottom.

By the way, on the whole Google search thing, I am proud to announce that if you search for ‘Paraplegic budgie’ my blog is the first hit you get.

I wonder why that is?


2paw said...

Oh what a lovely funny Labradors story!! Harki brings things to me if I say :"Can't reach" I am preparing for the day when I may not be sprightly enough to reach something myself. Peri just runs outside with things!! Dogs are definitely easier to house train then humans.

Biby Cletus said...


I ended up here at your blog searching for blogs on resources related to labrador retrievers. cool blog you have here, keep it up. i'm also interested in dogs and do have a Labrador Retriever named devil ( named after the phantom's dog - i was a huge phantom fan in my childhood ) any way its nice to be here. i'll be back some time later for more updates.

Warm Regards from India

you might find this Labrador Retrievers in our blog interesting. do leave comments there. see ya.


Kerala, India

Bells said...

I wanna see your turtle socks. I think I will be making those very soon!

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

My dogs are only really good at identifying the most significant words: 'dinner', 'walk' and 'chicken' - oh, and until the single income bit the budget, 'schmackos'!!
I wish you a swift resolution to the toilet training - my personal favourite was giving our kids stickers to put on the lid of the cistern for every success!! I may have to reinstate that one for Miss 4, who has been somewhat slapdash in the hygiene department recently...