Shake, Rattle and Roll



Crate training update: I really thought I might be out of the woods  after Waffles went to sleep last night in her Thundershirt without even a whimper. Granted, it was very late and she had had a busy day, but this was the first night without any banshee screams and I was getting ready to give the Thundershirt a convert's endorsement. Come to think of it I still might, because Waffles was not wearing the Thundershirt when I left her in the crate this afternoon. I was afraid to leave it on her when I wasn't in the house because she has a way of slipping out of it and having it gather around her neck, so I placed her naked in her makeshift "den," and proceeded to get ready to leave her for  a few hours.
The screams started almost immediately and I turned up the radio in the hope that it would keep her company. "I'll be back little girl," I soothed. It did little good, but I reassured myself with the knowledge that she would soon quiet down and she could not break out of this crate as she has her x-pen. It helped that we had been having "trial runs" when I was home to get her accustomed and I had learned both of the above -- 1. that she eventually quieted and 2. she could not pull a Houdini in this style crate.

I was right! When I returned home several hours later -- a nervous wreck (my sister-in-law, a new mother, likened my trials to trying to get my niece used to her new crib) -- I found that indeed the crate had held. And, while the house was quiet when I opened the door, it took only seconds before Waffles began bellowing to get out. I turned the corner from the kitchen into the dining room where I left her crate and almost banged right into it. In her distress, it seems my 13 lb. pug had moved the crate, which has to weigh more than she does, at least 3 feet across the room. Well, at least she didn't get out.

I'd love to be able to allow Waffles to roam free while I am gone, but there is just too much traffic in and out of my house to allow me to safely do so. I can't trust that she won't sneak out the door, so we'll try the crate again tomorrow morning when I have to leave again. The training books assure us that dogs love their crates finding them safe, dark dens like they would have in the wild. I wonder...a cage is a cage is a cage...I might guess. I too balk at certain forms of security others feel I should embrace -- a traditional 9 to 5 job, for example. I'm going to keep trying the crate training for awhile, but I wonder if I were Waffles if I would be viewing this cage as my home.