Crates are lifesavers. No ifs, ands or buts   5 comments


After the past week, there is very little doubt in my mind that crates save lives–and not just due to accidents.  As discussed in a past post, puppies are balls of mischief, urine and teeth.  They are constantly underfoot.  They need constant supervision.  If you’ve ever read Harry Potter, remember the battlecry of Mad-Eye Moody–“CONSTANT VIGILANCE!”  You now have an idea of what life is like with a new puppy that you don’t want to lock into a single empty room.

We put off too long getting Castiel’s crate.  And thus we had no crate when he arrived.  We said “Oh, don’t worry about it.  We’ll just tether him to us 24/7 and it’ll be the same thing.  We’ll get his crate in a few days.”

Those two days took their toll on us.  We had him in bed with us.  He was tied to us 24/7.  By the time a day had gone by, we were exhausted.  We couldn’t eat–food prep was impossible with puppy teeth in our ankles.  We couldn’t sleep enough to have any meaning–puppy was bouncing on us wanting to play.  We couldn’t take a deep breath and sit at our computers for ten minutes to think–puppy wanted to know what these things were we were paying attention to when we should CLEARLY BE LOOKING AT HIM!

We made it five nights like that and both of us were honestly just about ready to pack it in.  Five nights of constantly needing to pay attention to the puppy with no ability to sit down, calm down and breathe.  We were exhausted.  We were fighting with each other.  We were getting short with him.  I’m not ashamed to admit this because it will help others.

Then we went out and bought his crate.  He’s never in there all that long–we want to take him out and play with him.  But when we are making food or eating, it’s so nice not to have a puppy helping.  We got sleep last night.  Actual sleep.  Hours of it.  It was brilliant.  I have never enjoyed a meal more than I enjoyed the food we ate with him in the crate for our first meal after CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

Anyone who might say to anyone that a crate is cruel and you wouldn’t cage a family member, I laugh.  You most certainly would.  If you had a baby who was just starting to crawl, wouldn’t you put that baby down somewhere enclosed, like a pack and play or a crib, in order to keep them safe while you did laundry or the cooking?  If you wouldn’t, then you’re probably wearing the baby on your chest or in some other way restraining it.  Puppies need restraint.  No one can, 24/7 be on alert.  You can’t do it.  It’s impossible.

If you had a colicky baby who required 24/7 carrying and soothing, you would eventually need to put the baby down for five minutes and walk away or you would go insane and do something unpleasant to yourself or the child or someone else.  Crates are the place you can put the puppy to nap so you can do something that doesn’t involve the puppy.

As I write this, Castiel is sound asleep in his crate, curled up with his pet pteranadon, Myfanwy and his Nylabone.  We had a late dinner and I decided to write this after eating.  He hasn’t woken up since we started eating–and he went in the crate when we started.  He hasn’t been in there long, but he’s totally happy to nap.  It’s no different than napping at our feet, except that we don’t have to spend the whole time watching for signs of wakefulness and worrying that we’re not going to be able to finish dinner.

And that, my friends, is what we call a lifesaver.

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5 responses to “Crates are lifesavers. No ifs, ands or buts

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  1. We had crates for our puppies, but there’s nowhere to put them now that we’ve moved. Plus they would whine and scream.

    Of course, NOW my parents are stuck sleeping with them every single night and we feed them people food and they generally run the house.

    • It sounds like your poor dogs could really use some help. A diet of pure people food with no eye to nutritional balance isn’t good for them!

      Them whining and screaming in their crates has little to do with the crates and more to do with the way their crates were set up and/or how they were treated when being crated. Castiel CHOOSES to sleep in his crate, even when it’s open. It’s his safe place, his den. It’s safe and sound for him and we don’t harass him while he’s in there. We don’t make a big deal of putting him in or taking him out. He whines sometimes when he wants out, but we refuse to take him out when he’s whining–we’ll wait until a lull in the whining and then let him out so that he doesn’t get the idea that whining gets him out.

  2. Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun and trying times with Castiel. Glad you seemed to have figured out a system… People often ask me when they pick up thier pups isn’t it hard for you to see them go and my anwser is always a resounding NO. because the puppy mischief that each person laments about after the honeymoon 48 hrs are up is what I have for about the last 3 weeks before the pups go home but mutiply the accidents and puppy teeth by however many are in the litter. Castiel’s brother Earl finally gets to go home today as his new family was in Germany traveling and return today and I am so excited to be puppy free for the first time scince September 30th. AFTER ALL i ONLY HAD A THREE WEEK BREAK BETWEEN LAYLA AND BRIAR’S LITTERS Don’t get me wrong I love having pups but I also like uninterupted sleep with no puppy hallelugia chorus and dogs that can hold it for longer then an hour.. hope all is well and don’t forget to send me some pictures.
    Cruiser has been a very busy boy and has bred two outside females and Briar is just thrilled to be a couch potatoe again.
    Love Grandma Dori

  3. By the way I love my crates… even for the adults.
    it keeps them safe and secure and out of the way when I need them to be. sounds like you are doing a great job getting him to like his crate. Cruiser loves his!!

    as for your commentor who feeds her dogs people food…..
    INTERVENTION PLEASE!!! dog chow is specially formulated to make sure that all nutritional bases are covered and if you are feeding RAW then you need to have a Mentor who can set up a balanced diet for your dog… FOOD is more then just keeping you full it is a healthy diet that the dogs body, bones and organs need to keep it long lived and healthy!!!

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