Well, Claire and I have been living in our new house for almost two weeks. She has adjusted pretty well to this new living arrangement, which is great, especially since it's the first time I've moved since she has come into my life. However, in the past two weeks, Claire has managed to break out of her crate three and a half times. This is new for Claire. Normally she stays in the crate on the two or three days during a work week that she is not at Bark-O-Lounge (*) and when I get home, we go straight to the park for a few hours to run around. Claire has never had a problem being in the crate, though I'm sure it gets awfully boring for her. I try to make sure that she has one of her Nina Ottosson toys in there with her, but as great as they are, they do not ensure eight solid hours of entertainment. At first, I was bewildered by Claire's behavior... but then my roommate Lissa and I realized that we apparently have some guests in the house: mice. (UGH!!) Claire has probably been seeing them run by her crate, which prompts her to use all of her strength to squeeze all 50 lbs through the incredibly small space between the door and the frame of the crate. Either that, or she does some kind of magic trick following in Houdini's footsteps. In Claire's defense, all of the times Lissa and I have found her, she has been curled up on the couch or wagging her tail frantically as we come in the door. She has not yet (knock on wood) destroyed anything once she has gotten out of her crate. My fear is that Claire is going to hurt herself by pulling this stunt, and that I will be at work when this injury happens.
Given Claire's new skills at breaking free, Lissa and I - after much deliberation - decided to let Claire try and make it a whole day without being in the crate at all. The last time I tried this was when she was 9 months old and she chewed up my blinds, my couch, and two library books (one was entitled - and I kid you not - "The Well Adjusted Dog." The library manager laughed when I told her, though I was mortified.) I was experiencing so much anxiety about this that I didn't sleep much last night, and I prayed all throughout today. All I could imagine was walking in the door to see the house torn to shreds. However... I am happy to say that Claire did wonderfully during her trial run! My house is still in tact, our furniture is exactly the way we left it, and most importantly, Claire is in one piece as well! I was ecstatic! She's going to day care tomorrow and Wednesday, so let's pray that Trial Run #2 is great on Thursday, too!
(*) Note: Stacey, Sheila, and Rob are the BEST and there isn't anyone else I would trust to take care of my baby for 8-10 hours a day! Please check out their website, and then bring your dog there for day care - you will be extremely happy and so will your dog!)