Daisy’s Crate & Other Tales

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks around here.  The most exciting was the demise of Daisy’s crate.  Daisy is absolutely terrified of thunder; there’s not a doubt in my mind anymore.  One night I heard Daisy scratching around in her crate; wasn’t really sure at first what the sound was, just that something was amiss in the living room.  Upon inspection via flashlight I found the noise was Daisy staring, glassy-eyed and panic-stricken at me.  Her nose and mouth were dripping, her mouth was open and she was making a huffing noise.  I was shocked because I didn’t have the foggiest idea what was going on.  I spoke to her gently, softly….then I heard the thunder far, far away and I knew what was going on.

I got her out of the crate and kept her with me for a while until the noise subsided then I put her back in her crate for the night.  I went back to Facebook or email (whatever) and put the incident out of my mind.  It was raining but not hard; I never thought there was still an issue.  A few minutes later I heard Daisy bouncing her crate around again.  Ignore it, I thought.  She’ll lay down and go to sleep if I don’t intrude on her.  But the noise got louder and I couldn’t ignore anything about it.  I walked back into the living room and Daisy was in full-blown panic.  She had bent the back off the crate and was squeezing herself out the top of the crate.  I snapped on the light, opened the door to her crate and alternately called her to the crate door and told her, “No, Daisy!  No, Daisy!  Come to Mama, Daisy!”.   But she was beyond hearing or following my command.  So I pulled the crate away from the wall to give her enough room so that she didn’t injure herself getting out of the crate.  She was much better after she got out.  She wanted to be held and I accommodated her.  She paced, whined, looked at me with those big frightened eyes and neither of us knew what to do next.

I went out to the garage and brought in a container of cable ties because I didn’t know any other way at 1 AM to put the crate back together so that when the storm blew over it would still provide a place for Daisy to sleep.  It took about 30 or 40 ties to get it secure though you can’t tell from the picture below.  This is what her crate looked like at that point:

Daisy's Crate post panic attack

Daisy’s Crate post panic attack

With 9 dogs of too many sizes in the house I have to be able to keep all of them safe.  I have to be able to crate them to keep them apart at times.  I cannot stay awake 24/7 and watch them yet I do not yet trust that they are safe if out with Daisy.  There are too many variables.  For the most part, Daisy is good out running around.  She doesn’t get into much (except the trash can in the office sometimes where she chews up Kleenex).  She has only peed in the house once and that was during a thunderstorm when she was scared…and only happened once.  She uses the dog door religiously and even in panic she will only pace, cry and try to find a safe place on the couch or loveseat.  She will sleep under our desks even when the other dogs are out with her.  She is good about wearing a muzzle although she has taken them off occasionally.  The problem I have for the most part is Daisy with the other dogs.  Mimi will chase the big dogs out the dog door; she always has…she doesn’t handle stress well and believes that dogs should be seen and not heard, it’s not okay to play in the house.  Mimi’s always been that way and she is single-minded about it and will not back down from her self-appointed chore of ridding the house of noise/play between dogs bigger than herself (at 8 pounds).  Jolie doesn’t like anybody; 2-legged or 4-legged; she’s the only one who has bitten me.  She growls at all the other dogs and holds the distinction of being the only Lindsey dog that has ever got into a physical confrontation with Daisy.  No blood was shed but Jolie pooped all over the kitchen and herself before we saved her and put her in the bathtub (yuck!).  She is old and sick and pitiful but she is a bitchy little dog who wants her way or the highway. Dusty at 6 pounds will bark at Daisy if she sniffs him sometimes, not all the time.  If the little dogs jump on Daisy, I have no doubt that she will jump back and that’s where the problems lie.

So, I went the day after the panic attack and bought Daisy a new, stronger crate.  I slept on the couch with her for 2 or 3 nights because the weather was still bad and she could not/would not/was not able to sleep in her crate.  She was chewing on the new crate, too.  So I told R on the phone that we needed to get some hardware cloth or something to line/reinforce the crate or Daisy would repeat the process.  He just happened to know of some material at work that had been abandoned that might work if he could get permission to take it.  They approved his request and now Daisy has a crate lined on 3 sides with industrial plastic paneling.  It’s smooth to the touch and she cannot chew the bars.  There are no sharp places on the inside to injure her because R and I bolted it on from the inside (which took hours!!!!!!!!).  Of course, by the time it was done the weather cleared up and all has been much better for her.  We now have prescription medicine for thunderstorms and a calming aid she takes every night at bedtime.  I have been able to sleep in my own bed for 4 or 5 days now and life is beginning to calm back down.

Which brings us to Diego, who is a sweet little 5 pound dog who loves to play more than just about anything else.  The bad thing about Diego is that he has no sense when to leave the big dogs alone.  That is how he got between Bandit and the food bowl and got nipped on the ear.  He never knew when to just be still.  He’s a sweet little boy who craves attention and really needs to be the only dog in the house so he could have all the attention lavished upon him, but that’s not this house, so we had to give him back to the lady we got him from.  I’d never forgive myself if one of the big dogs severely injured or killed him, and my stress level was way too high trying to watch them 24/7.  I miss his little face but I have to admit that the entire house is quieter and the stress level has dropped immensely both for me and for the other dogs.  It’s easier to control the canine population without a tiny boy trying to rule the roost and instead constantly putting himself in danger.

I have now woken Daisy with my typing so I’ll get off here and hope she’ll go back to sleep so I can go to bed.  Surgery is Thursday so tomorrow is the last day I have to run errands/prepare prior to getting the big, ugly black boot back.  I need to go to bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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