Sunday, July 8, 2007

Baby, It's Hot here!

With the temps at almost 100 degrees today, I was worried about the Pupsters outside and thought this would also be a good time to begin more formal crate training.  Yesterday I had added various shade items to their paddock including the cardboard refrigerator box (which they discovered makes a fine chasing tunnel, in addition to a shady place to lay down) and they seemed to have found cool places to rest or gone into the pool to cool off, so I wasn't too worried.  Still, after finishing the last of the mowing (nothing broken yet, either!) and cooking myself, I thought it would be a good time to bring them into the house to "chill".  First, we went for a walk up to the kennel and back so they could all stretch legs and potty before going inside.  Next we got a nice drink of icy cold water. Then, I placed two in one kennel (Diablo, Danica) and two in another (D'jango, Doc) and Dark by himself.  I figured of all the pups, he needs the self control of being alone.  The others fussed briefly and then promptly went to sleep, but Dark continued to protest about five minutes longer before giving up.   Now all of them are snoozing peacefully.  It is nice and cool and I have a fan on toward the crates and I'm sure it feels as refreshing to them as it did to me.  

I'm going to take a cool nap myself, and when I hear the pups start to fidget in the crates, will get them immediately outside to potty.  That way they learn not to mess in the crates and to become housebroken.  And that they don't die in confinement!  They have been doing a great job with the crates in their night time box, with no messes inside.  However, the picture changes to a puppy when the door shuts and they don't have the option of walking out, so it was a different experience to find they had to remain in the crate.  I haven't had as much fussing in the brief car rides, possibly because it is a bigger crate or the movement makes it unusual.  Also, here in the living room (yes, we really have gone to the dogs!) they can see me, Jinx and the cat and are quite certain that they deserve the same freedom.

Each of the pups has a medium sized "greenie" in the crate, in case they wanted to play or chew for awhile.  There is a caution with "greenies" as in any other chew toy; never let the puppy play with something that is either small enough to swallow or that they can reduce in size through chewing and get lodged in their throat.  I have never had a problem with Greenies, but I do not leave my dogs unsupervised with them, either.  Just be aware.  The size of the ones in their crate at the moment make it impossible that they would be chewed to a nub in the near future.

Ahhhhh, the sound of.....nothing!

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