I didn’t want a dog. So when I was approached by someone to take on this sweet pup who had an abusive owner, I deferred to Señor via text while at work one day. After shooting off a text asking if he was interested in a dog, I forgot about it and went about my day since I was certain he would say no and then I could blame it on him. My phone buzzed, and all I saw on the text preview was, “Yes.” Well, damn.
Our dog came to us as a 1 year old pup who was not housebroken or trained. We had a roommate who had a similarly aged German Shepherd, so when we went to work, we used his cage for our dog and his dog was left out since he was better behaved. Unfortunately, Houdini discovered how to get out of the cage after just a few days and we were dumbfounded. I considered one of those nanny cams to record him during the day but then realized he would probably just chew up the sweet teddy bear it comes in. So we bought a new cage instead. This one was of the plastic variety that came in two pieces and screwed together with a wire door in front that hooked into the top AND bottom of the cage. Take THAT Houdini!
He chewed a hole in the plastic. He chewed a HOLE through the HARD PLASTIC CAGE. This dog was 100% determined to not be kept in a cage during the day. Unfortunately for him, we 100% did not care what he wanted. So off we went to the pet store, yet again, to buy another cage for the escape artist. We settled on a metal Kong brand cage that was big enough for himto stand up in and move around a bit, but was also reinforced so he couldn’t escape.
Houdini and his Kong cage
[Funny note about that picture: This is what he does after I tell him it’s time to take a bath. He would rather be in his cage than take a bath. Dirty dog.]
So we brought the Kong cage home and set it up and gave him a blanket and said good bye the next morning when we went to work. We came home… and Houdini was still in his cage! Halleluyah Baby Jesus thank you!
However, my readers, the story does not end there with all the joy and happiness brought forth by the Kong cage. If you’re thinking, “There’s no way he got out of that cage!” then, treasured reader, you are wrong. So. Very. Wrong.
The Kong cage worked for about a week. Then one day, we came home to the mess we had known so well before the Kong cage but had forgotten so easily. Poop. Trash. Torn up things. I almost pulled my hair out, but I was paying a lot of money at that time to make it many lovely shades of blonde so I quickly scrapped that idea.
After cleaning up and eating dinner, we went to Ace Hardware in search of mini u-bolts. That’s right. We were going to put bolts on the cage. It turns out that he was squeeeeeeeezing himself through the sides of the cage that weren’t reinforced. Not only was this ridiculous, genius, and slightly humorous (you have to admire his perseverance) – it was dangerous. He could hurt himself badly. And despite him making me want to pull out my expensive hair, I loved the scrappy beast.
And so, we bolted our dog in his cage. He sat there with that curious dog head tilt while Señor used his power screwdriver to attach so many tiny u-bolts all over the cage.
A week later it was the same mess a different day. Poop. Trash. Desire to pull out golden blonde locks.
Dear reader, please look again at the picture of Houdini in his cage. Look at what is hanging on his cage. That’s right, a lock. The smart little f%&^*! figured out how to open the door. So, we padlocked it.
And that is how Houdini came to be crate trained. By sheer will power and force from his humans. Wily dog.
Now, nearly 3 years later, he is my sweet boy and I can’t imagine not having him around. Even when he still makes me want to pull out my hair.
Houdini & Momma time at the lake trails.