I’m a pack rat and sometimes it pays off. Take for instance the fact that I kept my dog Argos’s crate almost 3 years longer than I needed it. I say ‘I needed it’ because Argos would never say he needs a crate, of all things.
I put the old crate in my bathtub and scrubbed it down with hot water and Dawn. Dried it and lined it with pee pads and covered those with a small soft blanket I had slept in. Ellie would have a nice, clean crate to sleep in at night. However, it didn’t quite happen that way at the beginning. I know puppies cry at night in a new home and I can understand why; no litter mates, no familiar smells and everything so foreign and different, but Argos never cried. Ellie did. Ellie howled.
I tried putting a warm bottle of water under her blanket so she would feel warmth, I tried toys and treats and nothing worked. I gave up the crate for a week and instead set up a sleeping area right next to my side of the bed and close it off with a gate. For some reason this worked wonders, no more crying and no more howling. Then she chewed up my night stand and that was the end of that. Back to the crate for Ellie! To my surprise, this time around, she was fine in the crate and it was happily ever after…
Until a few days ago when I realized she no longer fits in the crate. The reason for the crating at night had been because she wasn’t potty trained and I didn’t want her to roam free at night knowing all the trouble she would make for me. She’s potty trained now but she manages to chew up things she is not supposed to, mainly forgotten pieces of undergarments. The point is, after 3 months of being potty trained, I still don’t trust her to set her free at night when I’m sleeping. Argos was the king of the castle when we slept, but now he shares bunkers with Ellie because he has been demoted to her current sleeping arrangement, in the kitchen.
There was a bit of complaining from Argos the first couple of nights and now he has pretty much come to accept it. Ellie on the other is quite happy to have company when everything goes dark. I think I’ll re-evaluate this arrangement after Christmas and see if Ellie is ready for a little more freedom.