Inside House Poopers Anonymous (IHPA)


“Hi!”  “My name is EmmaLou and I’m an inside house pooper.”     “Hi, EmmaLou!”

This morning as I was sitting in the family room sipping my coffee and getting ready to make the last tidy run around the house prior to Gretchen the Immaculate Housekeeper’s arrival, I smelled a familiar odor.  I told myself I put too much coffee in the French Press, and the smell from the new air conditioner unit (whatever that sealant and gooey glue stuff they use) must be making me think that what I really was noticing was the aroma of dog poo.  So I sat and drank my coffee.  The aroma did not dissipate.  I had another cup of coffee.  The aroma lingered.

I casually strolled through the dining room and discovered much to my horror a pile of dog poop that looked as if a Tyrannosaurus Rex had been in there and had been eating Fiber One Bars the night before (sound familiar?)  There was a pile of poop on the floor the size of the state of Vermont, I kid you not.  How that much poop could come out of one 80 pound dog is beyond me but there it was in all its glory.

So I did what any normal wife would do…I got Devoted Spouse and told him EmmaLou had left us a present in the dining room.  Now that sounds like a pretty stupid thing to do — to expect your spouse to clean up the dog poop.  The reason I told him and knew he would take care of the problem is that even though it’s been several weeks since my back surgery I have an extremely difficult time trying to get to floor level let alone get back up.  I knew he would have a much easier time of cleaning up the mess.  Bless his heart.  But what to do about EmmaLou?  This is inside house poop at least Number 4 or we may be up to 5 now, I can’t recall.

I have enrolled her in Inside House Poopers Anonymous (IHPA) a lovely group of dogs who meet once a week up at the local doggie-day-care-center-groomer-spa-extraordinaire where all the dogs share their stories, encourage one another, talk about their 6-step program (12 steps are too many for the Yorkies to remember), then adjourn for cold water and doggie biscuits after the meeting.  I’m hoping this will help EmmaLou face her addiction and kick it once and for all.  Her 6 steps include:

1.  admitting that one cannot control one’s addiction or compulsion; but realizing one should poop outside if at all possible
2.  recognizing a greater power that can give strength; especially one’s Master who can do something permanent about the situation; something involving the puppy farm
3.  examining past errors with the help of a sponsor (experienced member); any breed of dog will suffice as long as they have successfully completed this 6-step program
4.  making amends for these errors; especially toward one’s fur parents who have to continually clean up the mess
5.  learning to live a new life with a new code of behavior; which includes getting outside immediately upon waking up in the morning
6.  helping others that suffer from the same addictions or compulsions; EmmaLou will be very helpful toward other dogs with this condition; she is very compassionate toward those who are challenged in any way.

I will get an IHPA pin in 30 days

I will get an IHPA pin in 30 days

I am working the program

I am working the program

EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, soon-to-be-broken Inside the House Pooper…ya gotta love her.  sigh…


22 thoughts on “Inside House Poopers Anonymous (IHPA)

  1. Oh no! I don’t think I could stand it, Linda. I grew up with dogs, mostly Red Setters and an occasional Fox Terrier, but they were all outdoor dogs, lived in their own houses in the yard and were never allowed in the house. I an my sisters sneak one in now and again, but we’d have to evict it before my father came home and blew a gasket over his hunting dogs being ruined by the women in his household!

    Point is, I never knew about their disgusting doggie habits, like farting, and rubbing their smelly anal glands on the carpet, and pooping all over the place – until we adopted a dog, a Golden Retriever, some ten years ago. From what you’ve written about Emma, our Rusty was not quite so efficient a destroyer, but she had strange habits, like eating light bulbs found in the waste basket. And, of course, she never saw a filthy, smelly pile of crap she didn’t want to roll in. Or an open septic tank, as happened once. Stuff like that. When she died, about four years ago, there was no question of getting another dog, as far as I was concerned.

    When my cat died, it was another matter. We had another one within a week and, even though she has turned out to hate ‘hoomans’ (except me, he-he!), she’s still in no way as troublesome or time-consuming as a dog.
    Tessa this is the first time we’ve had this problem and it’s been going on for about a month now. I’m convinced that the problem lies in the fact Larry gets up with her early, feeds her, then does some of his own constitutional (no need to explain that) and she may not be able to hold herself in until he gets around to letting her out. Larry and I have now agreed that the VERY FIRST thing that occurs in this house each morning is let EmmaLou outside, then feed her, then do whatever you need to do while she is having her breakfast and I think this will solve the problem. I hope. Because I don’t like this at all. Its very uncharacteristic of her. She’s destructive, but she’s basically a good dog and when these things happen I swear she has that look on her face that she knows she did a bad thing but couldn’t help herself. I’m being as supportive as I possibly can because I absolutely adore her. This however will be my last dog. Period.

  2. I think you have the right solution. For all Rusty’s destructive ways, she only pooped indoors if something she’d eaten caused diarrhea or, in the very early days, when, like your cartoon, we didn’t read her signals correctly. (We adopted her when she was already almost three years old.)
    I’m hopeful this will solve the problem. But it’s made me re-think my plans on getting new carpeting in living room and dining room — I think I will now have a laminate floor laid – ya know, fake wood – it will be much easier to clean should this happen again. *sigh*

  3. Awe shucks Cronie,
    It’s a good thing your Emma is so drop-dead gorgeous…otherwise she would be plain ol’ dead by now!
    And that must be a big pile of poop because she is a big dog.
    When Coco poops on the kitchen floor, it’s small.
    But stinky!
    It makes me gag.
    It is a horrid problem and one I hope we will be able to solve by getting her precious little butt out the door immediately upon her awakening Devoted Spouse instead of his farting around and then letting her out. I can’t clean it either – I have a terrible gag reflex – fortunately I never had children. Would never be able to change a dirty diaper. I have this real problem with smells and a super sensitive nose. It’s not fun.

  4. I think you need to take her out first also. I hardly know a dog that wants to poop in the house. Mine would feel so bad.
    Yep – Devoted Spouse was out with her at 5:15 this morning and all went well I’m happy to report. Now we watch during the day and see if there are any other times this might be occurring. Can’t have pooping in the house – nope, absolutely unacceptable. She will continue to faithfully attend her Inside House Poopers Anonymous meetings and we’ll get this problem fixed!

  5. Emma Lou, Emma Lou, Emma Lou, you do not know when to quit … God love her! She is beautiful, and perhaps it’s not on purpose … patience, Linda, patience … as always!
    Hi sweetie – I learned early that dogs have an attention span of a gnat and they live in the “here”‘; the “right now here”. I have never scolded her for finding something unless I actually caught her in the act of whatever destruction she was enjoying – but I’ve never caught her pooping so I can’t admonish her. I understand completely – when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. And, she actually DID look ashamed on the days we found “presents” – I’m convinced she knew it wasn’t the right thing to do but she couldn’t help herself and she always picked a place where I would definitely see it and be able to clean it thankfully. This is the last dog in my life I believe and I certainly hope I have her for many, many more years, but it has taken its toll on both of us and we are far too attached to this creature of wonder and total love. I think I’ll try goldfish next time around…you know the ones that come in a box at the grocery store? Less upkeep.

  6. There are days where I regret it, but we have a string of sleigh bells attached to our back door for the dogs to ring and let us know they want out.

    Gavin learned from our old female, Sadie (who learned from Malcolm whom we taught) that if you ring the bells you get to go out. Gavin taught Patty. (Are you confused yet?)

    When I regret having the bells there is when both dogs decide they want to go out every five minutes just because. The advantage? They let us know when they NEED to go out too.
    What an interesting comment – go check your email!!!

  7. What, Lassie? Is Timmy in the well? LOL Only you could take this very frustrating situation and make it into something so hilarious. Sorry can’t help myself laughing.
    If I don’t laugh about it, I’ll absolutely strangle her. She is so exasperating and I’ve said this a thousand times…she does something horrid and then looks up at me with those beautiful deep brown doe eyes that say “It’s just me, I can’t help being the way I am, and I love you.” Her bad behavior followed by her adoring love is as consistent as Cream of Wheat. She will be the death of me no doubt (or at least the reason for many more wrinkles). Hugs!

  8. LMAO, Linda. This couldn’t have been more appropriate. We were away for a week and we missed the dogs sooo much. Anxiously drove another 40 after 615 miles to pick the girls up when we got home last evening. All was well, happy to be home again and then this morning…..poop on the den floor! Lucy!!! There she sat on the couch as I discovered it…..ears down, head drooping…how can I get mad?? This was really odd though….if she’s going to do that she usually ends up on the little rug by the door in the kitchen which is sooo easy to clean up. Oh well, welcome home. I love her anyway! But I’m thinking of enrolling her in the IHPA.
    EmmaLou would be proud to sponsor Lucy at any time – They meet Monday evenings at 5:30 pm. Lucy will have to promise to uphold the creed and “do (doo) the program”! LOL

  9. She’s so adorable she can crap on my foot! We always smacked them with a loose rolled newspaper and chucked them outside. They soon got the message and started whining at the door. (I bred a litter of golden cocker spaniels)
    She is adorable and it hasn’t been her fault – Devoted Spouse wasn’t paying close enough attention to her in the morning and now has realized that as soon as she eats her breakfast she HAS to go outside IMMEDIATELY and we’ve had no more problems. She’s the most precious dog in the world and I’m far too attached to her – she’s my little fur-child!

  10. That is one of the reasons I don’t want another inside dog. I know they have accidents but as they get older the accidents get more frequent and I always plan for my dogs to live a long, long time. Poor EmmaLou! I’m sure she was really sorry…..
    It’s actually our own fault, not hers. Devoted Spouse takes his time in the morning just goofing around while she eats her breakfast and he doesn’t always let her outside right after she eats – and that’s what was causing the problem – she MUST go outside IMMEDIATELY after her breakfast – she just can’t hold it. The same holds true for dinner and late at night – so we had problems if we left the house later in the evening to go out and didn’t take her for a little constitutional first. I’m convinced this is entirely our fault.

  11. Poor girl. I hope she makes it through the program successfully and lives happily ever after with everyone. 🙂

    One of my girls runs back and forth, from me (in the living room usually) to the back door. It’s a pretty obvious clue. The other doesn’t do anything, and never goes in the house. Well, there was that ONE time… but how do you know who did it when you have two dogs? Oh yeah, Tori’s a walker, you know, she walks around while she poo’s. So we think she was the culprit that one time since it was from one end of the bedroom to the other…
    I tried to teach EmmaLou to hit sleigh bells we had hanging on the back sliding glass door if she wanted to go outside. Didn’t work. She’s much more subtle – she’ll just stand at the door looking out and then casually glance back at you and then look out the door again. That’s usually the sign and it either means there’s a rabbit she wants or she actually has to do some business. Now if she stands there and whines, that means I have to go and I have to go now. Sometimes it’s hard to read the signals and I wish she could talk. Unfortunately she is just like me with the ADD thing going on and if she could talk we would drive each other crazy! Hugs!

  12. Pingback: A Blogger of Note? Me? Well, Crap on a Crutch… « Crone and Bear It

  13. I’m breathless with anticipation. Has she finished her step work? Is she maintaining a state of not-inside-the-house pooping serenity? I’m so glad IHPA was there for her and for you.
    I am happy to report she managed all 6 steps, was awared various pins but refuses to wear them because they hurt when u stick them in her fur (so I made her a sash which she won’t wear at all – right up there with the bows and bandanas issue) and she is now a Lecturer for the cause and has helped countless other dogs stop the inside-the-house-pooping addiction. We are very proud of her. But the papparazi are killing us!

  14. My shih tzu took a poo in our dining room right after we moved to our new house. She’s been back in her puppy crate ever since.

    How do you like me now?
    I like u just fine – EmmaLou spent a considerable amount of time in her own puppy crate Tuesday after the Moose Poop rolling incident and the dog bath from Hades. Yikes – she wore me out! The good news is she hasn’t pooped in the house since the last time – and I think it was our fault because we didn’t get up early enough that morning to let her out and the poor little girl just had to go! Ya know…poop happens… 😉

  15. Awww, she is too cute for words! I know it is exasperating when they poop in the house (my Beagle has had his occassional accident…..mostly from us not being on the ball, als0) but then he looks at us with those big brown eyes, ears drooping….how can we get mad? Like one of the commenters above, we have bells on our door that Bailey will hit when he needs to go out. If he really needs to go bad he will be very insistent. We know not to make him wait…
    Thanks – we’re kinda hung up on her, too. We also have a set of bells on the back door (that’s why I told Doggonedmysteries to check her email, I told her that story) but EmmaLou just ignores them. She will look at the door then look back at you, then repeat that process a few times until we get the idea she might want to go out. So I slide open the door and she just stands there. I HAVE TO GO OUT FIRST. It’s flippin’ ridiculous the hoops this dog has me going through. But she’s been a good girl and no more pooping in the house (fingers crossed)! 🙂

  16. Another reason to be grateful for back surgery…
    Yeah, this was one time I was glad I couldn’t bend – coz what she left looked like it had been produced by 3 elephants who had been bulking up on roughage…

  17. So funny, I too have two ones anyway..they are potty box trained as they are inside doggies…your story is too funny!
    Holey moley there isn’t a box big enough for EmmaLou to go inside!!! ROFL – I wish I could toilet train her but she’d just probably forget to flush! 🙂

  18. Oh, boy, this hits so close to home! I must find an IHPA group for our Dexter. Our little rescue Pug is absolutely resistant to keeping the poo outside where it belongs! It’s driving me absolutely crazy, especially since he’ll “go” inside right after we’ve come in the house after being outside for at least twenty minutes. Such a stinker (pun intended)!

    Your description of the meetings cracked me up. Especially the part about not having 12 steps, because the Yorkies couldn’t remember that many!
    You think I’m kidding but Yorkies can only count to 6. Proven fact. We have had no further problems since EmmaLou worked the program. Now if I could just stop the chewing of the furniture and the laundry…

  19. LOL! I love this post!

    What about dogs that poop in the house, under your 7 year old’s bed, when you do something he doesn’t like? As in leave him home while we go to a movie, or tell him, “No, you can not have that hot dog, it’s the boys dinner!” He hates it when we do this and to show us how much he hates it he poops under Little L’s bed.

    Well, let’s see…how did I solve that one? Until she learned I kept her in a crate when we went out. She was so miserable being crated then I put her in a small area (like the kitchen) which was easily cleaned up and each time she showed me that she could be a good girl she got a larger territory. The pooping in the house really was our own fault – we couldn’t get up and that poor little girl had to go. I try and get her to go at night so I don’t go through this in the morning, but she was off her schedule. I’d also make sure your little dog doesn’t have access to Little L’s bed if you are going out. Good luck! Thanks for commenting!

  20. Yeah, You gotta love her! She has a face that really does forgive almost anything!
    Yup it’s those big brown eyes that get me every time. She will rip up a pillow and have such a delightful time…I walk in and flip out at her…she looks up at me…Ruh-Roh…the brown eyes blink…and it’s like she tells me “Sorry mom, it was there and I couldn’t help myself.” I just smile, clean it up, scritch her belly, give her a kiss on the nose and off to Target I go to get a replacement. That’s my fur-child. 😉

  21. I have a Yorkie puppy, who loves to pee and poop on pads in our house. She occasionally goes other places, rarely outside. I admit, we are at fault, we do not take her out enough.
    She is adorable, only weighs 5 lb so her poop is small, thank goodness.
    If she needs friend with references I think I know where to go.
    I love Yorkies; they are just so adorable but I’m afraid one might sleep in bed with us and I’d roll over and smother it. Although for many years the cat slept tucked into my side and I never smothered him (I thought about it occasionally but that’s another story). EmmaLou will be happy to sponsor your Yorkie through the 6-step program! EmmaLou has done so well the organization has requested that she be a leader so now leads one of the programs once a week. She comes home and shakes her head at some of the doggies who simply do not want to do the steps. I’m so proud of my fur-child – she’s come a long way. Now if we could just do something about that chewing issue…

  22. A recovering house pooper! I agree with the others – she has those gorgeous looks going for her and you just can’t get too angry. Especially when you have a spouse to clean up the mess.
    Yeah, I can’t complain too much. And she’s back on her schedule again. Whew!

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