A Tale of Two Craties

Several months ago, Sigrid: a friend who has been involved in rescue for a long time gave us a large, heavy-duty crate. It was something she had used for many dogs but would not need any more because she was “slowing down”. It is quite large: 32″ high by 30 inches deep, by 42″ long and made of steel tubes and bars, not of welded wire. This crate, although “experienced” would stand up to most any dog, and we were grateful to get it. We did not have anything that sturdy.

Blade is a Malamute. He is pretty good sized, though he is mostly fur. Blade can be … belligerent. Convincing him to go into a kennel is not usually easy. A crate is almost impossible. I have been house training him for a couple of months. When I must leave the house Blade goes to K4, an outside kennel, if the weather is fair or to the Mega Crate inside the Guest Cottage if it’s bitter cold or wet out. The Cottage keeps him warm and dry. As long as I have a lead on him, Blade is compliant, and will go into even the crate – errr, I mean the Mega Crate. He will NOT go into even the largest regular crate I have.

K4, Blades former outside room.

I would LIKE to get Blade to use a crate in the house, like Callie does, so I could free up K4 & Mega Crate for another dog to use.

A week ago Stacy, another rescue friend brought us another heavy-duty crate. It’s just a little smaller: about 2″ in depth and 3″ in length. But it’s brand-spanking new and it has WHEELS under it making it easier to clean beneath it. I felt sure it would be big enough for Blade, so we unloaded it into our house and I made room for it.

Blade disagreed. I put a lead on him and tempted him with a Soup Bone dog treat. He stuck his head inside for a moment then backed out, “Too small, Doug. A BIG dog like me needs more room.”

Mere inches if difference in size!

I reminded him that he’s not REALLY that big. Yeah, he’s large but it’s not like he’s 120 pounds. He’s 85 pounds. He looks bigger but he’s mostly fur. He just humphed at me and pretended to be inspecting a seam between two floor tiles.

I have not been able to convince him to go into the brand new but slightly smaller mega crate. And a situation has arisen where I really need that K4/Mega Crate combo in the Cottage. So, I decided to bite the bullet and swap them. I did that this morning.

The Stacy Mega Crate is now in the Cottage and available.
The Sigrid Mega Crate is in the house and Blade seems interested.

Yes: I need to put away the Christmas Tree. January has been a strange month around here and I am behind on many tasks. I also need to build a wheeled platform for Blades crate to sit on so I can move it to clean the floor under. That’s easy since another friend, John Kaprocki gave me a bunch of industrial grade casters a couple of years ago, and I have plywood out in the shop.

I have found that as long as I get a slip lead or a leash (slip lead is easier) on Blade he is amazingly compliant. And I did get him to go into his room for a while.

Not overly roomy!

This would not work for long term confinement, but for a while: when I have to go away to run errands (and don’t take him with me) or go to church, Blade will be fine here. And we now have a vacant, workable kennel/crate combination to offer to this other desperate doggo. A win-win situation.

Author: Doug

I've been a wordsmith since the 1970s. Mostly for print magazine and newspapers, but I do have a few books, and now gazillions of web site articles.

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