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.

Zadie: the bilingual pirate dog

This was written in early 2012 for another web site, but I’m re-posting it here because it ties in with Cochise’s story and as a tribute to Zadie, whom we miss very much.

Zadie sleepingThis is Zadie.

Nah, she’s not spoiled, not a bit.

She does have an unusual vocal habit though. Many dogs will grumble as they settle down to sleep or roll over. But Zadie uses her grumbling to converse… but not in Dog. When we talk to her or ask questions (like we REALLY expect to get an answer!) she responds in this grumble speak of hers. But she has, apparently been spending too much time in the cow pasture up the road. Her grumble speak sounds for all the world like the lowing of those cows. I don’t mean just a little, but very much like it. Not a dog-like sound at all. I’m convinced she’s bilingual. Continue reading “Zadie: the bilingual pirate dog”

The New Chewie

Blondies chewie basketCochise and Blondie were adopted years ago and are full time members of our family who live in our home. They are very good dogs. So good that we give them toys and chewies to occupy them when they are inside (and not sleeping). Blondie has a whole basket of them on the fireplace hearth. Cochise is welcome to make selections from it as well when he wants to but generally, he’s not too interested in anything he can’t eat. Blondie likes to chew, so we refer to it as Blondie’s toy basket.

When padawan learner dogs get enough Good Dog points, they begin coming into our house for visits. Then for over-nights. Then for whole weekends. If they do well, they are invited to move in and stay until their turn comes on the Rolling Rescue bus.

Lupa is our most recent house guest. She did very well and progressed quickly. Her only issue is that she likes to take all of the chewie toys out of the basket, one by one, and carry them to her blanket to chew them. All of them: leaving nothing for Blondie. Blondie is kind and patient (and we sneak one or two back for her when Lupa returns to the basket).

Marie decided to buy Lupa a chewie toy all her own. Maybe she would not be so fixated on Blondie’s toys if she had one of her own to keep in her crate or bring out and chew on her blanket.

Of course, that initiated … issues. Continue reading “The New Chewie”