I realized that I haven’t given an update on Zekie in a while. I wish that I had more progress to report. Because it would be great if he suddenly became a normal dog. But I know that is not going to happen. I’ve been told, and I quote, “You are not happy unless you have a crazy dog. You should be fulfilled.” There may be some truth to this. Although I don’t go out looking for crazy dogs. They just seem to find me. One with problems comes along and I feel like they need me. And I do like to be needed. And also to solve a good problem.
Zekie is still doing the disgusting drooling thing in his crate when he is left home alone. When he is put in his crate for a time-out while someone is home, he is fine. He lays quietly with no drooling and little noise.
He also does not tolerate being separated from me well. When he is home with my husband, he will stay out in the pasture with the other dogs most of the time. But once I get home, he escapes from the pasture to be near me. He finds a way to squeeze between the gates and run to me. I don’t like to reward him for this so we were putting him in his crate in the house when he does it. He lays there and is good. Especially if I stay in the house. Sometimes I give him a second chance. I tell him, ok, you stay in the pasture or you are going in your CRATE! Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes when I go to put him in the house, he tries to sneak back into the pasture.
He comes running to me with such joy on his face when he makes his great escape that it is hard to be mad at him. I also don’t want to ever yell at a dog that comes to me. This may make him not want to come to me one day when it is necessary. So rather than yell at him, we end up with just calmly putting him in his crate without comment. He shouldn’t be rewarded with freedom for his escape.
I figured out that he is pushing the two gates apart and getting through them. He hurt himself one time doing this so we are trying to come up with a solution. The gate is fastened at the top with a latch. It is the bottom where he makes his escape. So my last attempt involved fastening the two gates at the bottom with a leash. This worked for about 20-30 minutes. I didn’t see Zekie coming after me so I thought, well that’s taken care of. Ummm, no. He figured out that he could chew threw the leash. I thought about using a chain leash to fasten the gate but I’m not sure that is a good idea either given his penchant for breaking teeth off.
Back to the drawing board!