Because I was so little when I arrived at Skygate Farm as a nine-week-old puppy, the crate I was in was rather small. Still, there was room enough for me to move around. Being in it for more hours than I could hold my water, well, I was forced to relieve myself within its confines. No matter how I whined, the breeder delivering me ignored my pleas. I was forced to be a bed wetter.
Now I’m not telling you this because I’m proud of it. I’m letting you know about this because that crate left with the breeder, and a new crate was provided in the mudroom. That’s right, not even in the bedroom. Being in a strange place was absolutely no fun. I was frightened. That first night, well, yeah, I wet my bed/crate again.
Don’t think for a minute that I’m going to blame James and Ron. Still, it should be known that being shy of three months I couldn’t hold my water longer than three hours. Just sayin’. It was nice that James put a towel in the bottom of the crate to absorb my effluvium. [Yes, Ollie’s vocabulary has expanded over the years.] Unfortunately, it took a few days for him to notice how wet and sour the cloth had become.
Okay, enough about that. Suffice it to say that once that was taken care of, I came to actually enjoy the crate. James would put my food in there and I’d eat in bed. That was so nice of him. (Score! A tasty treat.)
There were also several toys allowed inside to keep me company. Of course my BFF Trek wanted to hang out in the crate and play with the toys. That was after I graduated to a larger, all metal crate.
That new crate made me feel as if I was exposed within a jail cell. At least when I got this new crate, it was moved into the hallway so I could look either into the kitchen or down the long hall into the bedroom. I didn’t feel so alone in this crate.
Once I was older, and what is known as “house broken” (what being broken has to do with not going inside the house is something I can’t explain), the crate was moved into the bedroom with James and Ron. Now I was finally happy and content in my crate. Oh, and once a quilt was flung over it, I came to have my very own burrow. Don’t ask me why James couldn’t put the crate in his bedroom from the beginning. I mean, I was small enough that he could carry me down the hall so there wouldn’t be any accidents, if you get my drift.
Speaking of drifts, here is the poem James wrote about my crate and me.
it was nice you arrived in a crate
as it meant you could travel well
even if wet when you disembarked late
your first night in a new place
was less than pleasant for you
seeing as you were behind a strange gate
over time you grew familiar
as within it you came to trust
and to appreciate your shelter
during the evenings you would wander in
and out almost as quickly
unsure whether you wanted to make it your den
each night after sup
an encouraging song was sung
“kennel up, kennel up, kennel up”
we pranced and danced down the hall
as I sang out delightedly with cheer
wiggling your nob you entered with nary a stall
I’d sing you into the heaven you’d found
with your own special blanket
laid comfortingly on the ground
you came to understand with age
when over flung with a multi-colored quilt
your bedroom as such was much like a cave
for you went in one night without prodding
urprisingly yet pleasantly understanding
it’s where you sleep without any longing
and after nearly a year together
you know where it’s safe
come fair or foul weather
I really did come to love that crate. It was my harbor in a storm, my security blanket when alone, and my peace of mind after a high-spirited day. Not that I miss it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in providing a crate for puppies and while at the kennel.
Something interesting about the metal crate was that it was adjustable. When I first got it, I was only allowed to live in about half of it. Supposedly, if it’s too large, there is the fear I might use a section where I would do my business. Hardly. I mean, why poop where you eat, right?
As I grew, so did the size of the area within the crate I was allowed to occupy. When I was around six or seven months, the entire area was opened up to me. It was so nice to finally be able to stretch out to my full length. Imagine trying to sleep in a too small bed every night. Yeah, that’s the story of my life until the crate was finally opened up completely.
Okay, James and I had a sidebar. He says I sound like he was abusing me. That is not at all the case. How was he to know what was truly going on with me when we were sending mixed signals? He thought I wanted out of the crate, when all I wanted was more room. At least today we no longer have that problem – either the mixed signals or limited room – for, you guessed it, I no longer sleep in a crate but in the bed with James and Ron. Sing Hallelujah!
Well, not so fast. In two weeks I’ll fill you in on the grooming an Old English Sheepdog like me has to go through. I still don’t understand why, but James says I have to be groomed every so often.
Well, there you have it. If you will, let us know what you think about my first year so far and the poems James wrote in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)