Life outside a crate

As many of you know, I am a mom to a wonderful beagle named Snoopy, who is now 1 1/2 year old. Life with Snoopy didn’t start out easy–potty training, chewing stuff up, and the infamous beagle bolts and the energy! But now, we have reached harmony. We have a routine we have been following since the day he arrived and dogs, as you know, live for routine.

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Snoopy

The routine
We wake up at around 5:30 AM and go for a walk or jog until about 7:30. After feeding him, he goes to his playpen and sleeps until lunch time when we let him out to potty. Then he sleeps again and becomes active at around 4pm though we get home by 5pm the earliest. Then we go for another walk or jog until 6:30 PM. Dinner is by 7:00 PM and then that’s his rest time until he has to potty by 10:00 PM just before bedtime.

Because of this routine, we have established rhythm and harmony. Snoop can be left at home without being destructive and without having any accidents. Of course, this relaxing lifestyle did not come easy–because having a dog needs time and effort.

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Having a dog means investing time and effort.

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Just the three of us.

Maybe in a sense, we thought it would be okay to add another one–so Snoop could have a playmate while no one is at home.

Meet Mushu

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Mushu

We recently adopted a nine-month old border collie. Border collies are ranked as the number one most intelligent breed, able to grasp commands in as quick as five repetitions.

Of his 5 other siblings, 3 were sold, one would be kept by the breeder, and one was adopted too. We were initially offered to buy him, but we couldn’t at that time. When we were offered if we wanted to adopt him, we felt like he was meant for us. But still, being ever so practical, I had to think about it for almost 3 months. I knew the frustrations that go with having a new dog–especially if it was an older one.

Mushu, as we called him, lived in a crate for nine months. He ate there, slept there, and peed and pooped there. The previous owners told us that he is a barker–barking all day and night. What was weird was he didn’t bark at all when we got him–except when we put him in a crate in hopes of crate training him like what we did with Snoop.

Frustrations and emotions

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Snoop sniffing Mushu the day we got him.

It was harder than we thought.

And very frustrating.

Maybe because we set the bar too high–he was a border collie after all. What we forgot to consider, was the fact that he had lived in a crate for nine months. People were new to him. Taking walks was new to him. Potty training? He probablu had no concept of “denning” thanks to those nine months.

Crate training was definitely NOT an option anymore. We had to think of other options. But we were up for the challenge. Even though we were frustrated, I repeated over and over that this dog needs us. We were chosen for a reason.

He took to us almost immediately. He craved for human touch and attention. It was painful. I felt so bad for him. He immediately barked whenever we left the room. So we’re reading up on separation anxiety now as well as experiences of other people who have adopted rescues.

It has only been a few days, but already there’s progress. He’s not as tense anymore, and he even settles down now. We don’t use the crate anymore. He still pees indoors when we’re not at home even if he just peed outside. That’s sepanx for you. However, he already knows how to sit. We see that he’s incredibly smart–it’s just that he’s shy, scared, and timid. We need to focus on confidence building and trust.

He has no concept of big spaces because he keeps bumping into furniture. Maybe it’s also the effect of being crated for a long time. But he’s extremely clingy and loves kissing us. So even though I was really frustrated during the first day, I keep thinking that this dog is just starting to experience a real dog’s life.

Snoop has been wonderful. No possessiveness and aggression. He even offered his Kong to Mushu one time, but Mushu was busy trying to catch our attention, so Snoop picked up his Kong and walked away. Hahaha. Mushu loves Snoop and always tries to get his attention.

There must be a purpose why he entered our lives. Maybe it was also our purpose to share the love to a living being who has not known love and care. I’ll try to continuously update you on Mushu’s progress. Maybe you can also share some tips if you’ve had similar experiences.

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Snoop now has a playmate for life.

Meanwhile, this is also a reminder to care for your pets because if done right, they will give you the best kind of love–unconditional and never judging. After all, we read somewhere that “in order to have a good dog, you must be a good owner.” Just give your pets what they need, and they will give you so much more in return.

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Part of our daily routine.

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