I worked from home half a day today (the other half given over to Jorah’s first vet visit). Most of the work today consisted of cleaning three days of backlog email out of my inbox, so it wasn’t exactly heavy lifting. It did, however, mean that I had to do some reading for comprehension… and that trying to keep one eye on that and one on a creature who’s still trying to learn the house rules was going to end in badness on both sides.

Enter the crate. It’s a big crate. Probably sized for something more like a great dane than a 35 pound puppy. I was determined to let our new boy ride out the four hours unassisted – but next to a very relaxed lab who loves sleeping all day while I’m at the office. Aside from the a few short bouts of whining about 90 minutes in, Jorah took to the experience as well as anyone could expect.

It’s going to be harder – on both me and him – when I actually head back to the office and he’s left to his own devices for the entire day. I know that means housebreaking is most likely going to take a giant step backwards… but balanced against having an entire room chewed to hell by a pup who has no problem vaulting gates or scaling exercise pens, it’s just going to have to be what it is.

I’ll be able to check in during the day with the laundry / dog room camera, but I’m really not sure if knowing I can follow along the entire day live on camera is something that will make the whole experience worse or better. Worse, I assume, since it means being able to see everything but do absolutely nothing about it. That level of voyeurism is decidedly not one of my favorite things.

Escape artist or Why buying a steam cleaner was a money saver

Maggie has once again proven her mettle as an escape artist in training. This afternoon she defeated her crate… At least I can say it wasn’t the zip tied sides that failed. This time she sprung the bottom latch of the only door that will open and jammed herself through the gap. It seems like an impossibly small opening when you pause to consider that Maggie is now probably 20 inches at the shoulder and easily running on 50 pounds.

The first time you clean watery poo out of the carpet, it’s all about the poor sick dog. The third time you do it, the sick pup act has lost its charm. Add to that an area rug with its corner shredded and you really begin to question your sanity. We’re reaching the point where something is going to have to give. Poo or no, she’s going to have to stay in her crate while I’m not here. The 3-year-old carpet is in rough enough shape without her helping it along any further… and destroying things is a new trick altogether. I suppose it’s time to start looking at those industrial strength billeted aluminum crates they use for military working dogs. Summer down here is going to be too hot for me to be comfortable leaving a dog outside all day and the garage gets even hotter than the outside during the day. So yeah, I’m not quite at my wits end, but there is a definite steep upwards trend in my frustration level.

Since the zip ties seem to be out of chewing reach (in theory) the next step is adding a padlock on the non-zip tied door. If she gets past that, I’m going to be out of ideas… and that’s not a position I really want to be in.