Crate Training

I didn’t always sleep on the bed. It actually took a long time before Mama and Daddy allowed me on the bed.

When I first started living in the house, Mama and Daddy left me in the family room because it had tile flooring. They were worried that I would have an accident in the house. At night, they baby gated me in the family room, said their good nights, and went upstairs to their cozy bedroom with carpet flooring.

Of course, five minutes later, Mama returned because she couldn’t sleep. So the next thing you know, Daddy went and got the sleeping bags from the closet and we all slept on the floor.

The next night, Mama’s back started to hurt from sleep on the tile flooring. Daddy and Mama were both young at the time and they didn’t have enough money to furnish the family room. In other words, they couldn’t afford to buy a couch for the family room.

Also at the time, Mama and Daddy never went camping before. Later, we went camping once. But at the time, they used the sleeping bags as cheap blankets.

Since they never went camping or have any prior experience with sleeping on hard surfaces, they didn’t know about a nifty invention called an air mattress, which is a good thing because I got to sleep in their bedroom since Mama didn’t want to sleep on the floor anymore. Of course, they still worried about me having an accident in the house so they decided that they were going to buy a crate.

Mama and Daddy went and got a crate.

The first night, Daddy carried me up the stairs. At the time, I was unable to climb up the stairs. They moved a baby gate from the family room and blocked the stairs from the top — just in case I fall down the stairs. They also closed the master bedroom’s door at night but with Daddy, you could never be too safe.

Daddy placed the crate next to the bed. Mama put me inside the crate and they went to bed.

Of course, I cried since I never been inside a crate before. Mama would have none of that. Mama told Daddy to ignore my cries — she read somewhere that it was the best to ignore a puppies’ cries.

I kept crying. Daddy, being the weakest link, felt sorry for me and said “maybe, he is crying because he can’t see us. Let’s move the crate to the top of the nightstand so he can see us.” Mama, who was torn between following the rules and craving in to my cries, said, “Okay.” So they got up, turned on the lights, released me from the crate, moved the crate on top of the nightstand, and played with me for a little bit.

I cried immediately when they placed me back inside the crate.

Frustrated, Daddy moved the crate back on the floor, got the sleeping bags from the family room, and Daddy and Mama slept on the carpet.

This was our sleeping arraignment when I was a puppy. The next day, Mama placed me in the crate at night but she left the gate open. Mama and daddy got into their sleeping bags and slept next to my crate (of course, Mama’s back started to hurt the next day).

Years Months weeks one day later, Mama  removed the gate from the crate and we converted the crate into my toy box and I slept on the bed with Mama and Daddy.

Enjoy the Moment

One of the things that I learned from adopting Michelle and Ickey is that there are no certainties in life. One day, you are living in a guard-gated golf course home with a family. The next, you are abandoned in the backyard. Scared. Hungry. And wondering where your family went.

At the same time, however, you learn the kindness of strangers. The neighbors next door would drop by with food and water. Sometimes they would bring a toy and clean up the feces in the backyard. But the most important part is that they came over to pet you and tell you that its okay — “this too will pass.”

For this Christmas, enjoy the moment and cherish life.