Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 32...

but whose counting? Actually it was a good day today. Strike that, it was great. As far as days go, this was one of the better ones that I've had in a long while. The new job is, well, I think I've found where I'm supposed to be. I'm starting at the bottom, but there is a whole lot of growth potential in a direction that I could really do. Its a good place to be...finally, and I'm hoping to make the most of it.

Onto the real matter of the day, though, all of you probably are wondering how things went with "the crate." I set it up last night and put all of the dog toys into it so that if Bear wanted to chew, he would have to go in and get a toy out, which he did. Everything seemed like it would go well with it. We went for our morning walk which I really wish I had the camera with me to take pictures during because the mist in the valleys was really lovely this morning, but hindsight is always 20/20. (Don't hope for much tomorrow as its supposed to start raining tonight and not stop all weekend.)

When we got back, I did some chores and got ready for the first day on the job. I decided to wear a skirt. Bear thought that was great and has apparently never seen one before because he thought this was big fun to chew and bat at, until I took him out. Upon entering back into the house, we reached the moment of truth.

He was not happy about going into the crate.

I insisted, so he did...with assistance.

Once in the crate he was not happy, but calmed down before I left. Will was very upset with the entire situation. I went to work and got oriented, sort of, and came right home. When I got home, there sat Bear in the crate, wagging his tail at me.

The house was intact.

I did not have to raise my voice or have my first words to Bear be reprimanding.

I went to the cage, noticed something was amiss, and focused on getting Bear out to go "hurry" before the moment passed and the impending mess ensued. As I came back into the house and checked to see what I didn't register while getting him out, I found what didn't make sense to me.

Bear had not destroyed the house, but he did manage to "reconfigure" the front bottom of the crate. How he did this, I am not quite sure, but this does pose a problem with keeping him in a crate as I'm not sure how much of this "reconfiguring" the crate will withstand.

I may have to consult with some experts with this problem because at this rate, I do not believe that the crate will last very long. He did have two toys, his tire that he likes to chew and a bone which is still in the blanket but can't be seen in this photo, while he was in there. His teeth and legs are all still intact as well as the toys and there was no mess in the cage...of any kind so I am thinking that the food is okay with him. This just appears to be the kind of thing that Bear likes to do when he is bored... and better he do it with a crate than my living room.
As you can tell from the photo below, Bear was a happy guy once he went out. He wasn't hyper but did enjoy moving firewood in for the weekend with my husband, Willie and me. He's just a really big puppy with a demolition instinct that even my daughter's black lab could not match.
So my husband unbent the crate and is off tomorrow so we will see how Bear does with it on Monday. My first words to Bear today were kind and if we have to get a new crate, then we do and that's life.
I really love those eyes and that face...even if he is in his "destruction phase."
Happy wandering!
The Writer...and her dog, Bear


Irene said...

HI WW, I have an award waiting for you at my place, please come and get it.

saratogajean said...

He looks so happy! He is definately a good-looking boy.

Glad to hear the new job is looking good, and that you're sticking with the crate. Sounds like everything's working out.

Luck O' The Labrador said...

Bear is such a cutie! Keep it up with the crate training. I always felt incredibly guilty when our dogs were young and needed to be crated but they get used to it, you learn a few things, and eventually they get older and don't need to be crated as much. I don't know if you have doggy day care in your area but you might check it out if you do. It helps them use up all the energy even if they just go once a week. Best wishes!

Chris said...

he crate training is a good thing eeven if the dog doesn't like it. I have always done it with puppies and am glad i did. So don't get discouraged about his behavior at first.He will get over it.

~Marie~ said...

What a happy looking guy! I'm glad things went well with the crate.. except the bending... Hopefull he gets used to the crate quickly and you don't have to worry about un-bending a crate.

Sarah said...

Two words to help Bear... Stuffed Kong. If he's a food-oriented dog, the stuffed Kong toys may help take his attention away from you leaving. I think that dogs are like kids, they usually pitch a fit in the first 5-10 minutes. Once they get past that time, they can be OK. If you don't have Kong toys, head to (my fave!), and find the one that's the right size, and right chewer level. Then put a smear of peanut butter or can cheese (yuk) or something of the sort. I've used yogurt before, but have to get it in the freezer pretty quick. Then put some kibble, some bits of hot dog or cheese, something extra special and then some more pb to cover the big opening. Take a treat and stick it in the pb so it's like a handle sticking out of the Kong. Put the whole thing in the freezer, and give it to Bear when he gets in the crate. Maybe it will help him get past the initial "Mom's LEAVING me" part of the process. :-)

I'd try it when you are home once or twice, mostly to be sure that Bear is not going to chew up the Kong (my dogs couldn't do it, but I hear some can actually chew pieces off the Kong), and then try it when you'll be gone for a short time. Good luck, and Good Boy Bear!