Oh, Happy Day!

I must say, ever since the New Year, Ryan and I have seen a world of improvement in Happy’s temperament. Not to say that she was horribly mannered or out of control in the first place, but as I touched on in a previous post, she was timid and barked quite a bit around strangers (especially men). She doesn’t do this nearly as much anymore, as she now understands we often share our house with guests.

Her obedience training probably has a lot to do with this change in temperament, too, but I also think she is maturing. On Monday, she will be 9 months old!! I seriously cannot believe it…

When we first got Happy, she would nearly keel over from excitement when either of us got home from work during the week. She would bark and yelp her little heart out as if she were trying to express all of the thoughts that had gone through her head while she was sitting at home alone in her create. She has gotten much better at controlling her squeals and anxiety, but she still tends to be the most rambunctious right when we walk in the door.

In the past few weeks, Ryan and I have been toying with the idea of leaving her out of her crate while we are gone. Three weeks ago, we set up my laptop next to the washer/dryer directly in front of her crate so that Ryan could watch Happy via Gmail video-chat in her crate while I was out on a run.

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The setup

Needless to say, it was not a pretty site and it broke Ryan’s heart. She was throwing a fit, whining for 20 minutes and digging at and gnawing on the bars of the crate.

Crate

This bites

Ryan was finally able to see her calm down (before he accidently Xed out of the screen), and when I got home about an hour later, she was sound asleep in her crate. Regardless, though, it left a big impression on us, and we are trying to figure out a way to give her a little more freedom.

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Don’t leave me…

A few days after that little experiment, Ryan and I decided to try out another location. I isolated Happy in the kitchen with a baby-gate and set up the Gchat video on my laptop to “babysit” Happy while I went out on a run. Things went a little better, but she still threw the same temper tantrum…this time where the neighbors could undoubtedly hear her if they were to walk by. Not wanting to get written-up, we’ve decided it’d be best to leave her in the crate until we figure out another option.

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Aw, c’mon... you can trust me. I’ll even do the laundry while you’re gone!

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Let’s be real, I just want to be close to you guys…

Does anyone have any advice for us to help Happy get through the day when we both have to be gone? Does anyone else feel sad leaving their pup when they go off to work? Fortunately, Happy only has to go about 4-5 hours/day during the work week without either of us home, as I go into work during the afternoon and Ryan get’s home from work between 6PM and 7PM.

Does anyone else wonder what their pups are trying to say to them when they bark and yelp?! There are days when I wish Happy could speak English, just so I could hear what goes on in her little head… with her personality, I bet she has the funniest things to say!

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Oh, Happy Day!

  1. oh gosh. It breaks my heart every day. We had a pug a while back that passed away from heartworms (his previous owner gave it to him, we had no idea, was 1 week away from getting him treated and he passed away – in his crate/bed) in his bed and my heart hurts everytime we have to put our new pug in his bed

    But Presley loves his bed!! He has an extremely comfortable blanket in there…actually has two so it is really fluffy…and has water. He gets a treat when he goes to bed and he is content.

    We sometimes leave him out of his bed and have to make sure he can’t get into anything!! When we come home he is always in his “bed.” If you want to try that I suggest doing it for 30 minutes to see how Happy reacts and up the time.

    I kinda rambled. I hope you find a solution!!

  2. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas

    We keep my pup crated during the day. We got a crate pad for the floor and then put a fluffy blanket on top of that. I think what makes the biggest difference is that we put a blanket over the crate that covers everything except the door. I’m not sure if I’m right, but I think the fact that he can’t look around and keep scanning the house for us he stays much calmer. Like Alex’s comment above, my dog just goes right in there now and if I leave him out when I go to switch out the laundry he’ll go in on his own. It took a little adjustment but it seems to be where he wants to go now. I hope Happy gets comfortable in her house soon. 🙂

  3. I think this post totally shows what a great pet owner you are. You obviously care about Happy so much! (SO cute that you tried video chatting with her while you were away). I wish I had some good specific advice for you, but I do know it can get better, and I hope you guys find something that works for you soon!

    • Aw, you are such a sweetheart! This past week has actually been a lot better with crating Happy… we put her bed in there and now she actually walks on in there on her own when she sense I am going to work! I am truly amazed…

    • Aw, you are such a sweetheart! This past week has actually been a lot better with crating Happy… we put her bed in there and now she actually walks on in there on her own when she senses I am going to work! I am truly amazed…

  4. My cats chirp and meow at me all the time. Often, I think they are trying to talk to me!

  5. Some ideas…
    Try getting the next size up crate… really, it can make a world of difference. As long as Happy isn’t having accidents in the house, there is no downside to having a larger crate.

    Also, get one of the crate beds (PetSmart and Petco both have them) that fit inside perfectly. For Lilly, we have two different sized crate beds nested inside of one another, and then covered with a sheet. We also then have the top and sides of the crate covered with another sheet. At night Lilly likes the sheet pulled down so that all sides are covered; and during the day we pull it up in front, so that she is still covered on three sides. It’s like her own little cave.
    She honestly loves her crate!

    Also, try getting or using a “special” toy that she only gets when she is in her crate… get some Kongs and freeze nonfat plain yogurt or peanut butter in them, with a few crunchy treats mixed in, and then give that to her when you crate her.

    I have to say, Lilly is awesome when it comes to her crate. She knows the command “kennel!” and goes in there immediately. Usually if we just grab our keys she goes in there without us saying anything. Tristan taught her that when I was at work one day. It didn’t take much at all.

    Good luck!

    ~

    • Ahhhhh all of your tips are SO amazing!!! This past week has actually been worlds better with crating happy when I go to work. We put her bed inside, and she now walks to her crate and climbs inside *by herself* when she senses we are about to head out the door. It’s like a complete 180…

  6. I keep Chloe crated all day when I’m at work. 😦 It makes me so sad, but friends come and let her out and feed her for lunch.

    She has a towel I’ve slept with in her crate so she has something that smells like me. I’ve heard this does wonders! She also gets the TV left on if I ever have to leave her alone at night. 🙂 I do believe they get used to it and learn to LOVE their crate. My family’s previous dog sure did! She would elect to go into her crate to lay down when she got older.

    I swear Chloe is yelling at me in the morning. Her barks take on a rhythmic pattern, and it seems like she’s saying “WAKE. UP. MOM. LET ME OUT!” over and over again. Not so nice for me at 5 a.m. 😉

    • Funny thing is now happy voluntarily goes to her crate when she thinks we are about to head out the door. We put her bed in her crate, and I think that did the trick!

      And oh my goodness. Thankfully Ryan doesn’t mind waking up to take care of the 5AM barking calls when they happen (he is seriously such a saint… he ‘s gonna make such a good dad someday!)

  7. Rice! It’s your g-little, Abby. So happy I found you in the blogosphere, I just started one, so I’ve been looking to see if I know other people with blogs. Yours is great! I focus on my pets too in my blog, they bring me such joy!

    • Ahhh!!! Hi Abby!!!! That is SOO neat that you found my blog, what a small world!! And I totally agree, I love my little furbaby so much… I can’t believe I’ve only had her for about 5 months now, i couldn’t imagine my life without her!!!

  8. Oh no! I am not an animal person, but I really hope you figure it out. Maybe getting Happy really tired before going into the crate?

  9. We used to crate Clyde all day, but gradually started leaving him out in the house for longer periods of time until we finally tried leaving him out all day and now he’s totally fine to be out. I think you kind of have to gradually give them freedom and if they do something to mess it up, back up and take some away. We’re pretty lucky though, Clyde is not into chewing on our things or getting into stuff, so our biggest thing was making sure he didn’t “go” in the house when we were gone. We basically have to make sure he does his business before we leave and then he’s fine for quite a while.

    • That is so amazing!! I hope we are able to get to that point, soon. I’d love to be able to just let Happy have free roam of the house… she is still a puppy, though. And she has yet to enter her chew-phase. I am scared that if we were to let her have free roam, she’d enter that chew-phase in an instant just out of sheer boredom! But maybe not? I’m too scared to test it out just yet… so for now, it’s the crate or the kitchen!

  10. Pingback: Oh, Happy Day! | Happy Tales

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