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This is Hailey.

Hailey has bad knees.

Last week Hailey tweaked one of her knees while running around the backyard.

Since Hailey tries to run around the backyard—even with a  tweaked knee (you should see this girl run around on 3 legs!)—Hailey’s vet said she has to be on a leash to go potty for a few weeks.

Which means Hailey’s mom (me) gets to take her out to go potty. Every. Single. Time. Down the stairs to the basement to the other end of the basement and out the back door. Every. Single. Time.

Hailey’s mom thinks this is a pain in the butt. And yes, Kailen and dad (John) do take some turns, but most of the time it’s me and Hailey girl on her potty runs.

One morning earlier this week, when I was super busy with lots of stuff, Hailey barked that she needed to go potty. So I put her on her leash, and we went outside to go potty. She went, I picked her up, and we headed back inside.

Ten or less minutes later, Hailey barked that she needed to go potty again. So I put her on her leash, and we went outside to go potty. Again. She went, I picked her up, and we headed back inside.

No more than ten minutes later, Hailey barked that she needed to go potty again. So I put her on her leash, and we went outside to go potty. Again. While she was finding the perfect spot to go potty, I realized that this routine really wasn’t working very well for me, and the thought came to me that it might be better (and more time efficient) to just let her go potty multiple times if needed on one potty run. Duh.

The next time she needed to go potty, I put her on her leash and took her outside and followed her around the yard as she found the perfect spots to go potty—three #1s and one #2. When she was done, she headed back to the door.

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And this has been our routine ever since. Although sometimes she just comes and stands by me and looks at me like, “Mom, I’m done. Pick me up and let’s go back inside.”

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What is not part of her routine is where she likes to go potty—she never goes in the same place twice—so I’ve been to parts of the yard that I haven’t been to in months and months. Maybe years. Since our kids are all grown, we don’t really “play” in the backyard anymore, and since John finds yard work to be very therapeutic work, and since yard work is so not therapeutic for me, I’m happy to let him get all the therapy he needs. 😉

So what are the lessons our little Hailey girl taught me? And yes, these aren’t new lessons, but I obviously needed a refresher course.

  1. The world will not come to an end if I take a few minutes off from life and walk around the backyard…or do whatever. If I’d stubbornly stuck to potty routine #1, I’d have missed seeing the beautiful trees, hearing the birds chirping, and seeing the beautiful sky, and I’d have spent a whole lot more time taking Hailey to the potty multiple times.
  2. Patience, patience, patience. You cannot rush a potty-place-seeking chihuahua, and that’s totally okay. It’s worth it to spend a little bit of extra time to get things just right…no matter what you’re doing.
  3. Explore new parts of your “backyard,” broaden your horizons, and get out of your routine. You never know what you might find!

Thank you, Hailey girl. Lessons (re)learned.

And here are some pics from our potty runs because…what else can you do while you’re walking around the backyard. Again. Fall in Georgia is so pretty!

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And isn’t this the absolute cutest puppy dog ever? This little Tyson boy melts my heart. ?

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