Friday, March 13, 2009

The Lion Cage

Roya is a very clever dog. She knows how to open doors. She climbs and must be kept in a covered kennel. She manipulates barriers and locks with teeth and paws. When she was in the house previously, we resorted to keeping her contained when necessary in a welded aluminum crate purchased from Active Dogs, which we dubbed "the Lion Cage". It is no wonder she has not much for teeth left, because in her insistence to be OUT!!! she bit the aluminum bars, leaving very clear indentations, and tore off the lock. When Tom brought the crate back to the company for repairs (and a strike plate was added to protect the lock) they asked what kind of wild animal we were keeping in there? Oh, just a 45 lb dutch shepherd bitch!

On this stay in the house, son Cooper (whom I wanted to nip in the bud of his escape antics when he immediately tried pulling the doors off the airline style plastic crate) is already housed in the Lion Cage, so a second crate (fortunately purchased this past summer at a schutzhund trial, and from the same company) was pressed into service. I thought this one would be better, because it has only slats in the crate, not bars. How wrong I was! Although she had not yet escaped, you can see the damage she did, somehow biting the vents and pulling it in.

Being loose wouldn't be a terrible problem except that we had to install double cylinder dead bolts on the inside of the doors to keep her IN the house. Otherwise, she would let herself out but not close the door behind her, also allowing the cats a taste of freedom. Luckily, they do not like being outside (ick! grass!!) and did not follow. She will open the door to any closed room. Why? Apparently just because the door is closed. She doesn't chew up or damage anything. On one occasion she ate approximately 6 6-month packages of heartwormer for 100 lb dogs, and we spent the midnight hours in the driveway with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Doubtless she will be worm free for years to come! Mostly she just likes to explore. Being curious can be a good trait when it applies to work. In the hands/paws of a bored dutch shepherd it can only spell trouble. And that trouble is spelled R-O-Y-A.