On our side sliding door hangs a string of jingle bells year around. They hang there for the dog to jump up and ring to tell us when she needs to go out to the bathroom. It seems, however, that she uses a higher level of thinking to ring those bells than her small brain could possibly be capable of.
For instance, the dog looks like she is soundly sleeping on the chair in the living room when really she is lying in wait. We sit down, just get into a school lesson and "bing", she has hopped up and rung the bells. Or this one, we get a game all laid out, take about two turns and "bing" she's rung the bells. Sit down to dinner, take a couple of bites and "bing." Settle down to watch a t.v. show, get all comfy and, you guessed it, "bing." Seems awfully coincidental doesn't it.
Now for a normal dog this wouldn't be a big deal, she would go out, do her thing and come back in. Nope, no can do for this dog. She has to sniff every square inch of lawn that she can reach on her leash. Then she looks around to see if the ducks, chickens or a cat is any where near. If they aren't maybe something else is and she should spend a few minutes scoping out the yard. If she thinks she has heard something she points like she has some big important job and then holds the position for a minute or two. You are a lap dog, not a hunting dog, just go already! Next, sniff every where she had just sniffed in case something has changed even though she was right there the whole time. Now, maybe, just maybe, she will potty in an efficient manner.
Here is another problem with this whole taking the dog out thing. She will only go for Dad and Dancer, not Spark or myself. Well, I take that back, she will go for me if it is really, really cold out or everyone else is already in bed. Otherwise, I start out with my cute voice for her to "hurry up." Dad tells me that these are the words she understands but I really don't believe him. Next, I move onto my still cute but your are trying my patients voice. By the end I am threatening her like a kid who won't leave the play ground when it is time to leave. I usually come in with her prancing and me with grumbling about what I would like to do to her if I didn't love her so much. Then Dancer will take her out and she will go right away. I could swear too that she gives me the stink eye when she comes in and telepathically says "ha, see I will go, just not for you."
Besides the ringing the bell at the most inopportune moments, and only going for certain members of the family, she won't go all at once. As soon as we get back to what we doing "bing" she wants to go out again. The first time out she piddles, and then the second time out she poops, but only half way. She comes in again, waits a few minutes for us to get back to what we were doing, and then "bing" she wants to go back out and finish. She does this every.....single....night. Now here you might be saying, "well just make her stay out there longer." No matter how long you wait she just won't do it all in one go. If she comes in and wants to go out right away again and we ignore her, she just keeps binging those bells, and I am sure this is the reason, because she knows that it is annoying.
The more I think about this whole bell thing, it seems like something the cat may have taught her.