8 Weeks 6 Days- Back to the Crate

Sep 8, 2004 | Stitch's Story

She’s been doing so well in the small ex-pen around the kitchen table, going willingly to bed, staying dry, and sleeping through the night. Time to get back to the crate before we lose the wonderful work Elaine’s done getting the litter comfortable with crates. So we take down the pen and I put her to bed in a small crate under the table with her litter blanky and her toys. Hmmm, obviously not the same as the puppy carrier or the pen. She lasts about five minutes before she starts yapping. Think, Sue! Oh, right. Ron’s still watching TV. So bring the crate upstairs, put it on the bed, turn out the light immediately. Two more minutes of yapping, then silence.

I know I’m playing a dangerous game responding to her yapping by putting her on the bed, BUT. BUT she’s been doing brilliantly going to sleep alone in the pen. BUT when I did this with the puppy carrier, it only took once or twice and she was content to go to sleep. and BUT I think there’s way too much concern about “letting her win” and not nearly enough attention to the idea that this is a baby. Besides eating, the only other job of a baby is to stay with her family to be safe. If she’s not with her family, she SHOULD be screaming for help, and hopefully mom will find her before predators do. What I’m trying to teach her is that the places I put her are safe places, MY den places, and not puppy-lost-in-the-wilderness places. I don’t think that will be best accomplished by yelling at her or ignoring her I’m-alone yaps. So, one night of catering to her yapping before putting the crate on the floor beside my bed. The next night the crate will be on the floor beside the bed, and with any luck the following night it will be back downstairs under the kitchen table. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll put Scuba’s crate door-to-door with it as I did with the ex-pen. But I don’t think I’ll have to. I think tonight she’ll either follow her treat into the crate, or go in ahead of it in anticipation. When I got up this morning Ron had put Scuba, Stitch and the little crate in the dog room with access to outside, and Stitch was asleep in her crate with the door open. She’s not a morning person, thank goodness.

Woo hoo! We go for a walk around the dog yard. Scuba finds a toy and tries to get me to play tug with her, so I take it away from her, hand one end to Stitch, then give the other end to Scuba, and Scuba spends about 5 minutes playing with her. She’s very gentle (remember Scuba grew up playing tug with Giant Schnauzers), backs up, lets the puppy pull her forward again. When Stitch lets go, Scuba even parades the toy in front of her asking her to latch on again. Unfortunately Stitch is a bit too intimidated to just walk over and grab it, so I have to take it away from Scuba each time, get Stitch going with it, then give the other end back to Scuba. When they’re done playing, Stitch has a wrestle with the end of Scuba’s tail, and Scuba doesn’t say anything. Normally, “nobody touches the flag, Jack!”