DIARY OF A MIDDLE AGED PUPPY MOM – #CRATES

By Monday, June 15, 2015 46 Permalink

Twenty two days after bringing Jax home I knew I needed counseling, so I penned the first chapter of what I like to call Diary of a Middle Aged Puppy Mom.”  …

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I quickly found out – I was not alone after I posted chapters one and two. #Ilovemyfriends

Therefore I’m back again with another entry, hoping to find more friends to commiserate with. #wannajoinme?

So grab your favorite beverage and enjoy this latest revelation about the changes in my life compliments of one adorable puppy…

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Once upon a time I had to have been the biggest jewelry junkie ever! 

If it glittered or jingled, and I could afford it, I’d justify buying it – and bring it home. 

For decades jewelry was numero uno #24/7. That all changed when Jaxson arrived.

Don’t get me wrong, my heart still goes pitter-patter when I see that signature powder blue box on my kitchen counter, but right now there’s something else that takes my breath away.

And it’s a beautiful thing.

It’s:

  • shiny like silver
  • sturdy as gold
  • timeless – never goes out of style

I’m talking about a dog crate!

I’ve fallen in love with them.

So much so, I ordered a smaller version for the downstairs family room. I call it his “summer home.”

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great puppy, but a puppy just the same. And crates come in handy on those days when he’s a terror with a tail. 

Even Harley is doodlely grateful for a reprieve from the whirling dervish. 

Like those days when he’s demanding play time…

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Trust me, for his own safety, Harley’s sanity and my blood pressure – a summer home is pawfect!

I was loving life when we had two crates. An extra large one upstairs (affectionately called the “main house”) for over night sleeping…

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…and then his condo version downstairs when he fails to adhere to the mandatory indoor speed limit.

But that all changed the evening my husband came home and noticed Jax sitting in his summer home. He spoke to me like a psychologist would speak to one of his patients. 

You know – using that “special voice.” The one that’s low, soft, and slow. Barry White like :

Cathy, Jax is too big for this thing. His head is sticking out of the top!

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THOSE WORDS CUT ME LIKE A KNIFE –  

His airbnb was my security blanket. Did I really have to fold it up? Put it away?  

YES AND YES –

I knew he was right. I had been in denial for days.

As I wiped down the bars and folded the sides I hummed along to Barry White’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.

It just made sense since I listened to the same song when I pulled it out of the box months ago. #ahappierparty 

Of course I would continue to use the main house when we all went to bed, but my days of having a “back-up” were gone. #cryformeargentina

Dogs can be taught to appreciate their crates and Jax saw his private residence as a fun place. It was loaded with toys and dead center of all the action.  

This was by no means a hardship tour for this soldier, no sir! 

He was never left alone, and always had visibility of us. Some of his best naps were in that condo.

I am now searching for alternate plans when those fluffy legs require containment at different intervals throughout the day. 

Like:

  • when I desperately need to mop my floors…

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  • or when he’s so hyped up from a car ride, he plays “hop the seats” in the parking lot preventing me from getting his harness on as the lady in the Highlander waits impatiently for my parking spot. #moveonlady

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  • OR when he won’t stop riding Harley’s back like a carnival pony… #giddyupdoodle

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The summer home has been foreclosed. 🙁 We need another plan!

Since Jax only views the main house as his evening retreat, he’s been house hunting lately for someplace to nap. 

He seems to favor small quarters. He keeps coming back to this place. #gofigure

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As for me, I’m looking cross-eyed and crazy as I attempt to watch him while I blog, cook, clean, or try to make a freaking cup of coffee. #takestalent

Slowly he and I are finding our rhythm. 

When Barry White wrote “Just the Way You Are” I imagine he was thinking about a different kind of love, but it was love just the same. 

Part of those lyrics are applicable to Jax and I –

I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times

I’ll take you just the way you are.

Have an extraordinary week – be kind to someone and watch it make their day!

NEXT – DIARY OF A MIDDLE AGED PUPPY MOM DEALS WITH – MY DOG ATE A SOCK

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I am joining the Monday Mischief blog hop brought to you by Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies. The Hop that wraps up the weekend.

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46 Comments
  • Monika & Sam
    June 15, 2015

    Oh my gosh, that was too funny! You are one brave girl taking on a puppy. Whenever I ‘think’ I’d like one, I slap myself real hard and so far…it’s worked and I’ve come to my senses. My neighbor rescued an 8 week old puppy over the weekend and brought him by for Sam to check out. Like all puppies, he was adorable beyond words-a fluff ball of energy, then he started chewing on me and I realized I’m due for another forehead smack. Hang in there…he’ll outgrow it. Eventually. 😉

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      LOL – Monika I’m envisioning you in a V8 commercial (smacking the head), I would have never guessed in a million years that I would have a puppy in the house, but here I am and here he is… I never thought to smack my head LOL

  • Hawk aka BrownDog
    June 15, 2015

    Hi Y’all!

    I’m a big guy. My Human had to get a crate so big, to accommodate me, if she wants to put it on the back seat of the sedan she has to take it appart. I have crates everywhere. I have one the same size in the middle of the living room in the mountain house. It’s not an all wire one like Jax’ crate. It’s an airline crate. It’s ugly, according to my Human. It looks out of place in the comfy room. But I like it, so it stays.

    Did you follow me to http://www.browndogcbr.net. There is a link on http://browndogcbr.blogspot.com .

    Hope, if you haven’t already, y’all will come to my new home. I’m still workin’ on it. We need your input.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Hey Hawk – I’ve been to your new residence and I like it! I’m into the brightness of the white background and the clean lines. Very elegant.

  • slimdoggy
    June 15, 2015

    Trade up…buy a bigger one?

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      If I have to I will Slim Doggy. I want to first see if this causes any duress in his little life. Yesterday he hung out in the laundry room (which is off from the kitchen) while I cooked dinner. He even dragged a toy in there with him. Who knows, he might be ready to make an offer on a piece of real estate!

  • Caren Gittleman
    June 15, 2015

    OMG this cracked me up!! “You know – using that “special voice.” The one that’s low, soft, and slow. Barry White like “…….

    I sooo miss Dakota’s “crate days!!” I still have it, but one day he refused to enter it, letting us know that he was “over it.” Deep down, I think he misses it. He will often go UNDER the coffee table and sit there (I think that is, in his mind, his “crate”)…they say the crate should only be big enough for them to turn around and lie down in…….you could still get another one, just taller!!! Dakota used his til he was about 2 yrs old 🙂

    I hear ya about it being a God send….omg this Mama OFTEN needed him to have a “time out” there!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Caren, I remember you posted a photo of Dakota under the coffee table once. It was adorable. I think I’m going to hold off on another crate purchase for right now. Jax has the one upstairs and so far, he’s been leasing the laundry room area since his eviction from the condo. We’ll wait and see how he’s adjusting, we might not meed to get another one (paws crossed).

  • Amanda
    June 15, 2015

    I agree with the comment above and think you need a larger crate downstairs too so that Jax has a resting place, and you and Harley have some reprieve when needed! Our solution has been baby gates (the metal kind with swing open doors) on either end of the kitchen. When Piper needs to be contained, she has the entire kitchen, including her own bed and toy box. We are now at a point that we can generally leave the doors open so she has free range of the downstairs (with all bedroom doors closed). Funny thing is, even with the gates open, Piper often chooses to stay in the kitchen b/c it’s “her place.” But the ability to close those gates when needed has been very helpful!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Amanda, I envy the baby gate users, I would use them in a minute, problem for us is the walls. The way the first floor is configured, I always have one side open. Jax is doing okay w/o his condo – although it’s still early in the work release program LOL If he starts to look or act lost, I have no problem getting another crate, but for now, he’s loving the laundry room. So I’ll wait on another crate. By the way, how’s Piper doing?

      • Amanda
        June 17, 2015

        Yes – open floor plans are great but they create puppy challenges! Luckily we have a center beam that allows for a gate on each side but the whole thing is pretty silly! 😉 Piper is doing great. She is really adjusting well and now has many more “calm” moments than “puppy crazy” moments, so we’re getting there!

        • Cathy Bennett
          June 17, 2015

          Girl …. Isn’t those “calm”moments like Christmas morning in June? LOL 🙂

  • Elaine
    June 15, 2015

    I can’t believe how big Jax is in the third picture. No wonder he outgrew the condo so quickly, lol! I can’t imagine not having a crate with a puppy. We all need occasionally timeouts to rest and reset when things get crazy, even puppies.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Elaine, I’ve still got the one upstairs – and that’s a blessing – truly. I knew the condo was a smaller one – but I was banking on him being just a little older before he outgrew it. Jokes on me!

  • Nichole
    June 15, 2015

    I am LOL over here…… because, you know, I’m going thru this all over again as well! While we fostered puppies a few years ago, Penny is our first true PUPPY since Zeus came home at 7 weeks old (the rest of the gang were all a bit older – two 4 month olds, and a 10 month old). She is hell on wheels, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Nicole – we’re twins 🙂 The love we have for our puppies is understood – but that doesn’t help with the fatigue, insomnia, and extra wine in the fridge! I promise you – I drink more wine now than I ever did LOL Oh the stories we can tell….

  • Emma
    June 15, 2015

    Such a witty post 🙂 Mom hates crates, but our puppy doesn’t seem to want to grow up, so we still have Bailie’s crate in the back office and she loves it. We have a variety of sizes here from cat to huge dog, so there are plenty to choose from.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Emma, don’t ever get rid of the crates! Tell your mom to keep them close – when there are no more crates to buy from the stores, you all can get rich quick from middle aged puppy moms like me!

  • The Daily Pip
    June 15, 2015

    BAWHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHA …Oh my gosh, I thought was the only one’s who’s husband had “a special voice” for me when addressing something dog or cat related.

    Shame about the foreclosed summer home. Hopefully, you can soon find a new place for him to spend some of his free time.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      You live with a Barry White too? OMD that’s too funny! I can always tell when I hear “the” voice that I’m about to get a lecture of some sort regarding one of the dogs!

  • Talent Hounds
    June 15, 2015

    I adore your writing! It always makes me laugh. Jax is growing soo fast I can’t believe it. I think a bigger crate is needed!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Awe Thanks so much Talent Hounds. That means a great deal to me 🙂 Jax seems to be stretching a little each day. It amazes me each and every morning. For right now, we’re working with just the one crate for over night stays. So far, he’s behaving on the first floor w/o his condo, time will tell.

  • jan
    June 15, 2015

    Totally cracking up. I got all my dogs as grown adult dogs. Sometimes i wish I had an adorable puppy around and then I read this…

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Girl, that’s why I’m making my diary public. You want to think this through at my age… No regrets at all – just finding ways to laugh at myself 🙂

  • Ann Staub
    June 15, 2015

    Aw Jax! Maybe you should convince her to buy you your own mansion next. 😉 I think crates are fabulous for puppies, and I wish I had been strong enough when Shiner was a puppy. It lasted about 30 minutes with her, I just couldn’t take the whining any more lol…

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Surprisingly Ann, Jax wasn’t a whiner – he was okay as long as he had visibility of me. I don’t know how I could have survived those earlier months without it. I loved that little thing (the crate not Jax!) LOL

  • DZ Dogs
    June 15, 2015

    OH yes, we love crates!!
    I hope you can find a new one to help save your sanity, my pups love their crates too which is nice, especially Jack because his puppy brain tends to drive me nuts after a while. The crate allows me to give him a frozen goody and he chews it in there which allows me to get stuff done. 🙂
    Jax is getting soo big!! And what a cutie pie!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 15, 2015

      Hey DZ Dogs – I’m not sure if I will ever replace his “condo” – he’s doing really good following direction and staying under foot. So as long as he’s behaving, we will continue to keep him on his “work release” program 🙂 Yes, he’s getting big, seems like everyday.

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    June 15, 2015

    Gosh, he has a lot of energy to blow off. When Cole was young he wore out three playmates and took two 3 mile walks a day. I remember that energy. Needs to be drained off. He is so stinkin’ cute I don’t know how you can correct him! Harley, it’s not easy to raise a whippersnapper. Don’t worry Jax will calm down by age 4.

    You and I aren’t too far apart but it’s too far to puppy sit. Wish I could. Would Jax like to do agility? LeeAnna

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      We’re walking three times a day, and playing in the yard in between walks. He’s just a regular puppy, coming into his own, with a ton of energy. He did get some exposure to agility towards the end of puppy pre-school and he shoed some interest. I did it with Leo and for his size he really did well. Harley is ready for his CGC certification so agility would be a fun class for Jax.

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    June 15, 2015

    Poor Jax and you! I don’t think I’m brave enough for a puppy.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Mr. N. – here’s what I’ve learned thus far: Love really does conquer all 🙂 #Jaxislove

  • Jackie Bouchard
    June 15, 2015

    Had to LOL at the “special voice” and the photo of his curls sticking up through the top of the summer house roof. Maybe he needs something more like a reverse palapa. Ya know, how palapa’s have a roof and no walls? He needs walls and no roof. (We lucked out with Rita. Got her at 7 months. Never had to crate her once. She’s just such a good girl and doesn’t touch anything that’s not hers! On the other hand, her cousin Reg… he stays in a reverse palapa every time his pawrents leave the house!) 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Jackie, are brains are wired the same. I purposely stored the summer home vs. getting rid of it for that exact reason. Should he feel totally out of sorts OR should I start consuming more wine even earlier, I was going to bring it back out and remove the doors! So far, he’s not been too bad. I’m beginning to relax a bit more, and he just lays by my feet. So it’s all good. #thisweek 🙂

  • Claudette Pope
    June 15, 2015

    This is sooooo funny. My guilt has finally lightened up a bit. Ziggy is now 16 months old, but during our first few months whenever I would see you and you asked “how’s Ziggy doing”? I don’t know if you ever noticed my hesitation in answering….well, let me explain. In reading your Blog, I would always see 2 Beautifully behaved and very well trained doggies. Well, I knew that at home, I had a Real True Terror. I used to think, Gosh, I must have been given the Truent out of the bunch. I couldn’t do a thing with him. I was on-line constantly asking Why is he doing this, or will he EVER stop doing that???? Now along comes Jaxx. Lol lol lol. Like I said, I feel so much better now, thank you.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Claudette – I am shocked!!! You must have missed a few posts! Seriously you’ve got to remember, when I started blogging Harley was already two years old and Leo was six or seven months old. You’ve been reading about Jax since he was 9 weeks old! Leo and Harley had their moments, but they were older and no where near the destructive stage of a younger Jax. All puppies are going to try your last borrowed nerve. #trustme So go on, laugh at me all you want, I’m in the eye of the storm right now, but it’s all good. Take care, and bring Ziggy over anytime.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    June 15, 2015

    This cracked me up! Gambler for some reason after 4 years in his crate, hates it, he has been trying to destroy it to get out. The front door is all bent to hell and I have to use strong Caribbeans to hold the door shut or he busts out of it.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Jax doesn’t hate his at all. He’s very good about going in when I ask him to. He just grew a little faster than I anticipated #damnhim and the little crate had to go back into storage. He’s not getting into “too” much since his freedom, but then it’s still early LOL

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    June 15, 2015

    I still have puppy crates and I nearly put them out for our garage sale, but I know that we’ll have future puppies and I love our crates. We also have a ginormous one too. And baby gates, play pens. We’re ready for puppies all the time 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Girlfriend, I can honestly say, I believe my “puppy days” are behind me.

  • bailey unleashed
    June 16, 2015

    we never did go the crate route. when aoife was a baby we bought a playpen. it worked great until she started getting stronger and bigger and we were afraid she would jump right out of the thing.
    when bailey had her accident last year, we bought another playpen. (we donated the first one. how was i supposed to know we’d ever need another.) i can’t keep my eyes on her 24/7 and this was the safest solution for her and her delicate little head. i doubt she was raised in one (she’s a rescue, so who knows), so we weren’t sure how she would accept being confined. luckily it’s worked out pretty well.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      Playpens sound great, but I think Jax is way too big for that now. He’d turn that sucker over in a New York minute – LOL

  • Jan K
    June 16, 2015

    We did the same thing…when Luke got too big for his crate, we let it go. But we did keep two baby gates, so he could at least be confined to certain rooms when we needed him to be. We still keep them on hand, just in case!

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 17, 2015

      For a fleeting moment I thought about leaving it up with the doors off, just in case he wanted someplace to go. But he’s been doing really well – it’s me that’s a nervous wreck. I keep thinking I will find poop somewhere LOL or a torn sofa cushion, ripped carpet, mauled door frame. See, I need help – I’ve got issues 🙂 #nofaith

  • Pamela
    June 22, 2015

    OMD, aren’t crates the best? I can’t believe I thought they were cruel when I adopted my first two dogs.

    Now, I’m convinced they would have been far happier each having a secure place to rest.

    Isn’t it amazing how often our dogs will look for cozy and tight places to rest? Honey used to lie down under the desk when I was working.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 22, 2015

      I’m telling you Pamela – crates have become my new bestie! LOL

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