Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning to Be Alone, Part II

In my last post, I explained how Tess learned to love her crate.  But this isn't to say that she likes to be alone.

When I moved into my new house, I didn't think much about Tess's separation.  She had learned to love her crate, right?

Nope.  When I tried to put her in her crate my first day away from the new house, she refused to go in.  Not wanting to marr her feelings of the crate, I didn't force her but left it (and her) in the spare room that had not yet been furnished.  How much trouble could she get into?

Tess managed to chew a pitbull-sized hole through my spare room door.

After a few days (and a broken crate), Tess settled in and figured out that this was her new home.  Now she gets it, right?

Nope. I took her to my mom's house while I was there for a wedding.  She managed to break out of her crate, crew through a stack of books, and tear up the door frame.  She did something similar at my aunt's house. (Note: I was so embarassed, that no photographic evidence of these events exist.)

Several crates later, we've learned our lesson: unless at home, Tess does not get left alone.

While on our trip to Florida, Tess and Ed spent alot of time in their crates in "their" room.  One day we were out and Sam's parents were home.  But when we got back, we found they had gone out, too.  My stomach dropped - I knew we would come home to a mess.

We ran back to the house and I reluctantly opened the door - nothing!  Tess was curled up in her crate! 

So what did we learn?  1. I think Tesla does a lot better having Edison around.  2. She spent a lot of time in her crate while we were home.  And when we did leave, she didn't see us and no big to-do was made.

I'm still not quite comfortable with leaving her in new places, but now I know that it can be done with a little foresight and planning.


  1. Our situation is similar...except Lainey has never figured out how to get out of her crate. Instead, she would pull anything she could get her paws on "into" the crate and chew it. Her crate sits up against a window in our bedroom and she ate 3 sets of curtains before we went and purchased some plexiglass to put in front of them. She would also eat her bed or any blankets that we used to line the crate. After we moved Stewie's crate into the same room, this seems to have solved the problem. I think there is some comfort in the fact that they are in the same room and Lainey doesn't necessarily feel "alone".

    1. I think the addition of Ed has done wonders for her! Since she's comfortable at the house, she really doesn't have any issues there, but I think she's gotten even more comfortable with it - and obviously in strange places. The times she broke out were pre-Ed days!

      Isn't it funny how we put of one thing that would have made our lives so much easier?!

  2. Hades seems to have "panic" moments when we leave but he unleashes this anxiety on plastic bags of all things so not much harm done.
    Your door hole scares me! Our pups have to be separate when we are gone because they have "panicked with each other," so they have their own space when we are gone to make sure everyone is safe. Now I see they could claw down a door! BAH! I actually don't think they'd ever do that though...
    Poor little Tesla. She has the eyes of a worrier.

    1. I never thought Tess would either! she just get SO. WORKED. UP. Although Tess is much more relaxed at home (now that she knows this is really ours), the pooches are always both crated...just in case.

      Isn't she so pathetic?

  3. Melvin had the same issues. He had separation anxiety when I first got him. We solved it. We moved houses, it came back. We went through the process again. When we are at my parents house, he gets antsy if I leave (even in my parents stay) so I'm like you -- nervous to leave him there while we are visiting. We aren't there long enough to desensitize him so we just do the best we can! Never a dull moment, right?!

    1. Wow. You just described us to a "t"!! Ugh, it's always something, right?!