So, we adopted this dog Zoe, right? She's been here for almost 2 weeks and for the most part, she is a really awesome dog. She is so sweet and gentle and lets Max do things like run his train on her and she'll sit still while he makes her wear hats which I would stop if it weren't so funny. She's the kind of dog that everyone likes, even our other dog Zoey, and Zoey doesn't like ANYONE including us most of the time. She is very attached to me and follows me around the house like a shadow and I can safely assume that if anyone tried to hurt us, she would take them down the best she could. That is a lot considering other Zoey would pretty much lead a robber to all the good shit should the situation arise. Traitor. Anyway, when we met with her foster family, they told us she was mostly potty trained and they would leave her in her crate when they had to leave home. No problem. They said her biggest issue was jumping on the table (wtf?!) and possibly digging in her food/water bowls and making a mess. Also not a problem. We could work with those. Welcome to the family!
The part about the crate, yeah, not so much. We bought her a big plastic crate like they advised and the first few times we left her, which wasn't for long, she did pretty well. I expected some anxiety and she was certainly glad to see us and get out when we got home, but nothing terrible. As the days have gone on, things have taken a turn. The plastic crate is now in the basement because over the weekend she ate it. Yes, that's what I said. Not only did she eat it, we left her in it in the living room and when we got home, she was about 10 feet away in the hallway, still in the crate. How this happened, I do not know. All I know is that she managed to literally chew through the side of this thing, I'm sure cutting her gums up in the process, to the point that we had to abandon it because she could put her head through the hole she made. The rescue lady told us she hated wire cages but at this point we had no choice. We bought a new wire cage and put her in it to test it out. We left for a bit and when we came home, she was sitting in it quietly chewing a bone and we pretty much thought we were dog geniuses.
We are not.
That was clearly a fluke because ever since, when we try to crate her, she flips out, literally and figuratively. I left her for a bit Monday and when I returned, the cage was on it's side, the plastic pan at the bottom was broken in two pieces and she was standing at the door with other Zoey waiting for me. When she flipped it, the latches slid the wrong way and she had no problem opening the door and walking to freedom. I decided to outsmart her so the next time, I used a zip tie to hold the door closed. FOOLPROOF! This time when I got home, not only was the cage empty but the zip tie was laying on the floor. She didn't chew through it but managed to get it off intact and I still haven't figured out how. Well played, dog.
I had to step up my game so the next time I left, I used THREE zip ties to hold the door closed. THREE. When I pulled into the driveway, imagine my pleasure as I gazed upon BOTH DOGS in the window waiting for me. WHAT THE HELL? I came inside and when I got to the kitchen where I had left her, the cage was still closed and the zip ties were still attached. This dog, who is not small and weighs about 30 lbs, had managed to nudge her big head through a 6 inch opening and squeeze her whole body through. To top off this feat, she decided to give me the dog middle finger by knocking down the trash can and spreading trash all over the kitchen. As I cleaned up coffee grounds, old food* and god knows what else, I realized this dog had beaten me. I contacted the rescue group who informed me that (surprise!) Zoe has severe separation anxiety. Perhaps informing us of this would have been helpful but whatever, it is what it is and we have to deal with it. At this point, I'm about to go buy a padlock for the cage door. The rescue lady contacted me and they implored us to not give up in her so they're sending in the dog whisperer (not the real one but A dog whisperer) to try to help. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So yeah, that's what happening. A goddamn dog whisperer is coming. Stay tuned....
* So, we had met Jeff for lunch this day and Max had some chicken nuggets left which I put in my purse to take home because I am cheap. When he woke up from his nap, he wanted the rest of them as a snack so I gave him one. A few minutes later he walked past me and I got a big whiff of garlic and last time I checked, McDonald's did not offer garlic McNuggets so I told him to show it to me and realized to my horror that he was not eating a McNugget anymore but a piece of garlic bread from the trash. Zoe must have hidden it somewhere when she knocked the trash over and I didn't see it. Not only was it from the trash and had been chewed on by the dog, but it was covered in coffee grounds, the remnants of the potato leek soup I made over the weekend, apple peels and what I had swept up off the floor the day before. DISGUSTING BEYOND BELIEF. I snatched it away and immediately took him to the bathroom to give his teeth and mouth a silkwood shower but that garlic smell lasted for hours. I shudder just thinking about it.