As I said in my most recent post, the dogs’ crates have been moved upstairs into the front office. I was sick of my dining room looking and smelling like an offshoot of the SPCA, so I took action (very unlike the Catrow family) and instigated the upward migration. Ross predicted that Shooter and Zapp would go absolutely insane. The one thing that we are truly consistent with is the command “Get in your crate.” We can say this in any tone, at any volume, at any time of the day, and in they go. We were a little nervous that changing the location of the crates might disrupt this.
Well, moving the crates really separated the men from the boys. Or the smart from the stupid. We’ve always known Zapp to be, shall we say, vapid? It’s pretty clear that Shooter is smart considering he is able to make generalization, such as knowing that ALL remote controls fall on the floor and make loud noises, or anything made of metal will give you a shock. The crate migration just gave us another example.
After moving them upstairs, I gave the usual command, and Shooter went to his corner of the dining room, saw that his crate wasn’t there, and went to go find it. He had been watching me move them, so he trotted up the stairs, into the office, and stood in his crate waiting for me to shut the door. Meanwhile Zapp went to *her* usual corner, walked around in circles and looked at me in utter confusion (while Shooter had been watching me Zapp had spent her time doing headstands on our bed). I enticed her to go upstairs, which she did so with the same enthusiasm that would have come with me presenting her with a steak dinner. But, when I told her to go into the office (where Shooter was still standing in his crate, even though the door was wide open) her body went rigid and she pressed herself against the wall. I didn’t understand. She loves the office! It’s the only part of the house that gets direct sunlight. She will contort herself into the most obscene positions to ensure that every part of her is grazed by a sunbeam. But when *asked* to go in there, she assumed an entire veterinary staff was waiting there to euthanize her.
I gently wrapped my finger around her collar and tried to coax her into the office. You would have thought I was trying to coax her into a cauldron of boiling water. She straightened her front legs, cemented her bottom to the floor and would not move. Finally I had to use the unbeatable “carry her like a sheep” technique to get her in there. Once she saw her crate and the love of her life (Shooter) she went in, but not after gouging every part of my upper body with her tallons.
This routine was repeated several times this weekend (even once at 5:00am during which Ross and I kept yelling at each other, “BE PATIENT WITH HER!!!!”) with the same response. It was my job to get them in their crates this morning, so I set aside an extra 15 minutes in preparation. I blocked off all escape routes, put Shooter in place, and gave the command with a slight wince. She looked at me, wagged her tail, and trotted on in. Consistency my friends, consistency.
I AM GOING TO BE THE BEST PARENT EVER.