If you've been reading for a while, you've seen my earlier post about Fia's Destructive Tendencies, and you know that she is nearly the perfect dog... until you leave her alone. In an attempt to curb her destructive enthusiasm, we started crating her while we were at work. The first steel crate she had lasted 3 whole months before she bent the bars so much that she was able to climb out of the top of the crate and escape. Did I mention she was Houdini reincarnated? She has also figured out how to open every latch, clip, door, slide bar and hook in existence. Or she just eats them, you know, whatever is easier. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the first crate. The second crate looks like this --->
She had a hard time bending the bars, (she only weighs 20lbs), so she was forced to lick and drool on them until they rusted for easier breakage. This crate also lasted 6 months and had to be wired back together several times after Houdini escaped.
I always feel guilty locking her in such a small crate. Even though that is the size the vet recommends she has and says it's perfectly fine. To ease my guilt, hubby suggested we buy a gate for the downstairs "closet" and she could stay in there. The "closet" is the full length of the den and 6 and a half feet wide. I felt much better about this. I could envision her playing with her toys and having a gay ole' time while we were at work.
On day one, she figured out how to work the gate latch, which is pretty impressive considering it's 4 feet of the ground and she is less than 2 feet high. We then used a clip, like you would see on a dog leash, to secure the lock. She ate that on day 2. We then wired together the latch. She couldn't quite figure that one out so on day 3 she just ate a hole right through the chain link fence material on the gate. It isn't plastic either.
Hubby wired the hole closed in the brand new $75 gate and we tried again. Nothing happened for several days. It was then that we noticed dry wall dust on the carpet and took a look inside the crate. She had been scratching at the wall to try to open the door. Luckily our new wired latch seemed to be holding. About 2 weeks in she figured out that if she tried hard enough, she could jump over the 4 ft high gate, so hubby secured a piece of plywood over top to keep her in.
At this point I'm just frustrated. I love the dog dearly, but am terrified that she will eat the whole house when we're gone.
Last week I left work early because Fia had a vet appointment. I opened the front door and there she was, tail wagging, with a big, excuse the expression, shit-eating grin. I went down stairs to see the destruction and it turns out she had become frustrated with trying to escape through the gate and decided to eat her way through the wall. She had eaten through not one, but TWO layers of drywall. There was a little pile of drywall dogie puke sitting on the carpet, and her feet were covered in dust. Good thing we were going to the vet.
I was already running late and didn't have time to clean her up so we jumped into the truck and rushed over. The vet looked at her drywall caked feet, and looked at me as if to say, "what the hell have you been doing to this dog!" I carefully explained the entire story, including the reason for the crating. Halfway into the story he started to look sympathetic. By the time I was done he was shaking his head and his mouth was hanging open. "What should I do?" I asked. He looked at me, scratched his head, and said, "normally I would never suggest this, but have you thought about tranquilizers?"
Not excited about having a dog who was stoned all the time, I went home without the drugs. Hubby went to Home Depot and bought some plywood to cover all the walls inside the crate. She is continuing to eat holes in the gate and escaped again today. Hubby will go back to Home Depot and find something to cover the door.
It started out so nice. A pretty little gate, and a nice clean kennel. Now it looks like Dr Frankenstein bought a house and this is what happened.
Note how she somehow managed to eat the edge of the carpet, and bend the little Simpson's Fence sign from INSIDE the kennel. Suggestions, anyone?
She doesn't LOOK like Houdini, does she?