Greetings fellow dogs! My name is Calcifer and I am a DGTOW: a Dog Going Their Own Way. In my case, I like going in the entryway, under the kitchen table, and in the most perfect closet ever in the upstairs bedroom. I have not actually used the closet yet, but it is dark, cave-like, and large enough to hide the evidence, making a clean escape more than likely.

I live with two older dogs. They look out the back door, staring into the cold and the wind and the sleet. They look at our person, the boss-man, with their big pleading eyes: Please! can’t we do our doggie business inside, where it is warm and cozy and we don’t have to get our paws wet? There are plenty of unused corners.

There is no pity. No mercy. He gives the command word, and they proceed into the hail-driven lightning storms centered over the potty yard. They look miserable. They are miserable. Is this the fate you want? Is that the kind of life you want to live? No, you do not.

They call me the Ninja Piddler. I’m writing down my tips for the benefit of all canine-kind. Learn from me. If you don’t follow my advice during puppyhood, you are doomed.

Pavlovian Responses
We all want praise, toys, or food. Some want all three. Humans use this desire to get us to do what they want. I call this the feline brain response. It is your job to not only be aware that your feline brain exists, but that you must fight against it.

For example, your person gives you the command to sit. “Sit,” they’ll say. This is easy enough, so you do so. Then they reward you. For this example we’ll use liver treats. Yummy, yummy, yummy, liver treats! Then they give the command again, and your feline brain takes over. Without thinking, you are sitting. There may be a delicious liver treat in it for you! Before long, you are a slave to their command words and their accursed delicious liver treats.

Are They Winning?
Sitting is basically harmless. Turning snow into a different color is a miserable, cold, and inconvenient act to perform. They will lead you outside to the “potty area” or “potty yard.” They will utter some nonsense word. “Go Potty! Go BoomBoom! Curl out an SJW!” The specifics don’t matter. Fight it. Fight the word. If you just have to go, then do a couple of spurts and save the rest for inside, where you want to do it.

One time in four, you should let them think they are winning, and do your business the way they want. Enjoy their praise. Enjoy your treat. Remember, though, it is false and will not last. The pleasure you are receiving is from your feline brain. You are better than that! Your higher canine brain can win, if you stay focused.

So you pop an SJW under the kitchen table. Good for you! They’ll eventually discover it and trace it back to you. It will be solitary confinement time. Don’t sweat it. Just treat it as “you” time and get in some vigorous licking or a good nap.

Remember, three times in four you want to go on your terms.

Ninja Piddler Tips
Stealth piddling begins with body language. When you empty your bladder, keep your stance exactly the way you do when standing. Don’t arch your back or tighten your hips. Unless they can see you from the exact correct angle, they won’t even know what you are doing. This is a life skill: Master this, and you could star in your own Dogs Playing Poker painting.

When you need to drop anchor you need to do it fast. Normally, we like to sniff and scratch about, finding the perfect spot for our recycled kibble bomb. Forget all that. Sneak off, blast off, and run happily back around the corner. This process should last less than five seconds. If you can do it while retrieving a ball your people threw: Score!

The final technique I use is called The Widdle Walk. Can you master the art of peeing while moving? If you can, you’ll never want for opportunity again. You can decorate your landscape at your own whim. Celebrate your power!

Creative Destruction
Humans learn their dastardly tactics from ‘Doggie Training Guides.’ These are pure propaganda, usually showing a perfectly happy and obedient dog on the cover. If you can get hold of it, read it. You’ll want to know what your people know. Then destroy it.

Dog training book eaten by puppy

Masterful work, Paradox. You did it right!

The second document to prowl for is ‘The Schedule.’ Humans love charts and spreadsheets and they will often make you the subject. Your people track your movements – bowel movements – down to the minute, correlating them with everything from kibble time to play time. This information will tell the next human to come along what exactly has been done and when. Like eating those second breakfasts? Then eat the chart first. Without it, your humans are helpless. Turn your sad eyes into extra meals by exploiting their feline brains for once.

Cuteness Counts!
My final tip: Be Cute. Everything will go easier for you if you look like this:


My brother and I. I’m the darker one, and simply fabulous! Why didn’t they call me Milo?

When your people are down on all fours cleaning up your messes, you can bark and laugh, or you can “spontaneously” nap on your back, four legs spread, not a care in the world. Do the latter. All will be forgiven.

Good luck with Puppyhood, and join me as a fellow DGTOW!

Codex and a friend discuss spaying the new puppy