You know by now that Jelly is not to be trusted. She is a counter surfer, a laundry basket raider, and, up until fairly recently, a toilet paper thief (thankfully from the roll more often than from the toilet). These are but a few of the reasons we confine her to her crate when we go out. We’d have no idea what we’d come home to if we didn’t.
We were actually trying to move toward not crating her when The Break In occurred last year. I was glad Jelly was in her crate while the robber was in the house because her confinement may have lessened her trauma and kept her safe. Since then, I’ve been reluctant to leave her uncrated when I go out.
Over the past few months, for reasons unknown, Jelly has started resisting confinement. In fact, rather than racing into her crate to await her treat, as she’s always done in the past, she’s been running in the opposite direction to hide. I have been trying not to resort to begging and pleading, so I throw her
bribe treat in her crate and, so long as I leave the room, she’ll wander in to fetch it. I then close the door to her room, leaving her in a smaller area with fewer opportunities to wreak havoc.
She was trying to tell me something with her behaviour, but I wasn’t catching on, so she instigated a mother-daughter chat. It went something like this:
Jelly: Mom, I’m going to be six soon, and I know I’m still full of P & V, but I think I’m old enough to be left out when you’re not home. Heck, kids my age stay home alone after school and make themselves pizza pops for dinner.
Me: I don’t trust you.
Jelly: But mom, I promise to be good. I’ll stay off the counters and out of the toilet and I’ll leave the dirty socks in the laundry basket, I promise.
Me: I still don’t trust you.
Jelly: All the other dogs get to. Why can’t I? It’s not like I’m asking for a bigger allowance or a later curfew or anything.
Me: I don’t care what the other kids are allowed to do. You are not trustworthy.
Jelly: You’re my mean mommy. My favourite mommy would let me stay out. When will she be home?
Me: Stop trying to play us off against each other. You know that won’t work. Your mother and I always agree on all aspects of parenting. And quit the puppy dog eyes.
Jelly took our conversation to heart, and slowly became less resistant to her crate. Perhaps she again decided the good bye treat would be worth the crating. Meanwhile, I am impressed with her maturity and am again considering letting go of the leash somewhat, so to speak.
So imagine my surprise the other morning when I realized I could not hear the pitter patter of little doggy toenails on the hardwood floor. Jelly was nowhere to be found. I searched high and low, only to locate her resting calmly in her crate of her own volition for the first time ever. Maybe she’s now realized that parents act only in their children’s best interests. Either that or she’s accepted that I’m more stubborn than she is.