The Poochie Bells are driving me crazy! Hard to believe I was worried about whether or not our Teg would get the hang of them. If she were not crated at night, she would ring them at 3am! Since we have a lanai, and know her potty schedule, I can leave the back door open when I am with her and she wanders in and out without bursting my eardrums with her constant, urgent bell-ringing (watch the video below). This satisfies her need to chase lizards and sniff the pungent breeze without actually going into the "dangerous" (and escapable) yard.
We will always have to watch her in the yard, thanks to our living in a preserve. Last night when I took Teggie out for her final potty break, the motion-sensing light illuminated a 2-foot-long snake slithering up the side of the house. We were barefooted at the time, and my imagination immediately began to work on me. Thank goodness she was quick! As we were going inside, I heard a clumsy rustle, and caught the gleem of timid o'possum eyes from the forest's edge. The local raccoons are not timid, however, and have attacked small dogs on late night walks around here.
We love living in a wilderness preserve. For a city girl who was born next to a New Orleans swamp, it suits me to hear the wild things talking at night (it's when the nights are too quiet that I worry...). That's another reason Teggie is such a wonderful family member. She doesn't let those creatures get away with anything! Just ask the fat lizard who lives by the screen door.
PS. I have been asked how Teggie learned to ring the bells when she needs to go potty. She learned this in less than a week (she has been with us at home for 7 days today).
A) We began by lifting her little paws and ringing the bells with them each time we went outside for a potty break.
B) In the first couple of days, we made sure that each time we opened the door, we made the bells ring. By the fourth day, she was ringing them to ask to go outside.
C) Yesterday, I began opening the door for her to go onto the lanai (what a screened back porch is called in Florida) when she rang the bells, if she had recently been outside to potty.