Friday, July 17, 2015

Dear Abby - On the Sensitive Subject of Housetraining

(Postcard found at Birdhouse Books)
Dear Friends,

Thanks for visiting today!   I have a note to share with you from my friend Molly.  It is about the sensitive subject of house training.  I am replying to Molly today, but welcome your house training suggestions as well in the comments section.   Please send any ideas that may help my friend!   On to Molly's note:

Dear Abby --

I have a problem. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is but I sure hope you can help me with it anyway. I am an 8 year old, 15 pound girl in excellent health and just the right size for my weight. The problem has to do with where I do my business. (Mind you, I don't have a problem with this but Mom sure does.) My sister dachshund doesn't have a problem with the rules either. If she wore shoes, she would be a "miss goody four-shoes" because she NEVER makes a mistake.

I don't make mistakes either. I know exactly where I am doing my business. It is just that my sister believes in the great outdoor commode and I believe in the living room rug commode.

We do have newspapers in a corner that Mom says are for emergencies -- like if we have to get up in the middle of the night or if Mom is gone too long and we really have to go.

Me, I'd rather just use the paper than wait for walk-time. There are too many exciting things to see and smell to be worried about pee and poop. Mom gets upset with the liquid part of stuff if she thinks I missed the paper. How am I suppose to know whether my whole body is on the paper? Apparently, sometimes my front feet are on the paper but the pee comes out the other end. Mom thinks I ought to concentrate more on peeing outside (which I generally do not like to do) and concentrate less on relieving myself on any stray newspaper I find. Why are there sometimes stray newspapers in the middle of the floor if they are not there to be peed on? Newspapers are for peeing and pee belongs on a newspaper. It is far more fun to chase off birds when I am outside than it is to think about mundane things like peeing.

Poop is just as bad! Mom doesn't understand that I just don't like to poop outside. I would much rather poop on one corner of the living room carpet. I've claimed it as mine and we are a family. Others should respect that! Mom has given up getting mad at me. Instead, as she picks up my contribution to daily routine, she mutters something about my poop being solid and not runny.

What do you think, Abby? Is there some way Mom and I can reach a compromise instead of being at a permanent impasse? My sister doesn't even care about this plight. She just keeps on following Mom's rules. Mom has said that I will probably live to be about 18 and she is not interested in another 10 years of picking up my "business" from various spots. I love Mom and she does take good care of me but I think on this "doggy business" stuff, she is being a bit ridiculous.


Dear Molly,

Thank you for writing.  I understand your plight.  My sympathy is always with a fellow doxie friend.  

I do have a few suggestions, though.  Please do not be offended with me when I say that, like your sister, I also am a fan of the outdoor toilet.  I love, love, did I mention LOVE to go for walks.  Potty happens along with walks ... so that is all good.

I would suggest that your Mom keep your leash or harness on indoors and take you either to the newspaper or outdoors at short regular intervals.   I suggest one hour intervals to start, then two hours, and so forth.   If you go potty in the place your Mom wishes -- this is the good part -- then you could get a treat every single time you go.  Treats!  This is what they call sweetening the deal.

I think it would be helpful to remove any delicate marking scents on the carpet with Simple Solution, Nature's Miracle, or something similar before this all starts.  Then the doxie pre-approved areas will not smell as inviting.   

I hope this is helpful!  I am also hoping that blog readers will leave more suggestions in the comments below.

With love and good thoughts,



Book Review - Newport by Jill Morrow

Newport (428x648)


About Newport

• Paperback: 384 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 7, 2015)

In a glamorous Newport mansion filled with secrets, a debonair lawyer must separate truth from deception. . . .

Spring 1921. The Great War is over, Prohibition is in full swing, the Great Depression is still years away. Wealthy families flock to the glittering "summer cottages" they built in Newport, Rhode Island.

Having sheltered in Newport during his misspent youth, attorney Adrian de la Noye is no stranger to the city. Though he'd prefer to forget the place, he returns to revise the will of a well-heeled client. Bennett Chapman's offspring have the usual concerns about their father's much-younger fiancée. But when they learn of the old widower's firm belief that his late first wife, who "communicates" via séance, has chosen the stunning Catharine Walsh for him, they're shocked. And for Adrian, encountering Catharine in the last place he saw her decades ago proves to be a far greater surprise.

Adrian is here to handle a will, and he intends to do so—just as soon as he unearths every last secret about the Chapmans, Catharine Walsh . . . and his own very fraught history.

Vividly bringing to life the glitzy era of the 1920s, Newport is a skillful alchemy of social satire, dark humor, and finely drawn characters.
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My Review 

Newport combines several fiction elements that I love:  historical detail, a 1920's setting, a compelling mystery, and a love story (or two).  This is one of the new releases that I have looked forward to most, and it far exceeded my expectations.

First, there is the setting.  Liriodendron, the "summer cottage" in Newport, was spectacular and atmospheric.  In my mind's eye, I pictured Rosecliff in Newport, which served as Jay Gatsby's mansion in the 1974 film The Great Gatsby.

Then there are the period details.  The 1920's is one of my favorite period settings, and the details were fascinating, right down to the clothes the characters wore.

Then of course, there are the characters.   The protagonist is the strong, handsome, and mysterious Adrian de la Noye.  When he visits Liriodendron in Newport to help an older client with his plans for a wedding and revised will, he meets the man's younger fiance.   Catharine Walsh is a face out of his past. 

This is a book with many plot turns and twists.   There is an involved story about spiritualism, which was popular in the 1920's.  The depictions of the seances were eerie.  I stayed up late two nights in a row because I could not put this book down!

There are so many twists in this book that to say more about the plot would be to share spoilers, and I will not do that.   I will just say this:   if you love well written, atmospheric historical fiction, the 1920's, ghost stories, romantic stories, or just a wonderful read, then Newport is a book you will love.  I know I did.

Jill Morrow 

About Jill Morrow

Jill Morrow has enjoyed a wide spectrum of careers, from practicing law to singing with local bands. She holds a bachelor's degree in history from Towson University and a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She lives in Baltimore. Find out more about Jill at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.