Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Back in the Box

My dog is suffering from separation anxiety. What this means in technical terms is she gets upset when I leave her alone in the apartment. What it means in literal terms is she destroys anything she comes in contact with every time I leave her alone to the point where, today, she squeezed her way out of her crate, chewed up the rug in my room, knocked over a lamp and chewed on the top of it--including the light bulb.

This brings the total amount of things she's destroyed in the past month-and-a-half to
  • 2 standing lamps
  • 1 set of sheets (because of the broken light bulb on it)
  • 2 pet crate trays
  • 1 pet crate
  • 2 towels
  • 1 dog bed
  • 1 box fan
  • 1 area rug
  • 1 autographed book

Needless to say, I'm upset about that list, but I'm more concerned about her freaking out and potentially hurting herself. Here's a picture of her in the crate after destroying her dog bed:

My dog weighs about 50 lbs and her shoulders stop just before my knee. In other words, she's not small. The first time she broke out of her crate, she kicked the pan out then squeezed through the gap it left. That gap was about an inch tall.

My dog's tail is the only thing that would fit through that gap.

She stretched it out. After she escaped, the gap was 3 inches tall, the crate permanently distorted.

So now I'm trying to re-crate train her, part of which is this post. I have to reacclimate her to the crate and to the idea of me leaving. The vet suggested doing it in 15-minute intervals where I lock her in the crate and do something else. Thus the blog. I'll be updating daily while she's locked in the box.

Lest I come off as making light of locking her in a crate (words not chosen accidentally), it's a situation where I don't have any options. I've tried letting her run free in my room while I'm gone and she did all the things I mentioned. I came home from giving blood today and she hadn't only escaped the crate and destroyed the lamp, there was also the issue of the compact fluorescent bulb that had formerly been in the lamp. Her freaking out when I leave is the problem, not that she doesn't like the crate.

To end on a lighter note, here's a clip from last night Colbert Report about dogs:
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Steve King's Dogfighting Defense
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