Dam it, Hoover! / Damn it, Alma!

Last week, I went here (together with a couple other locations also closer to the equator than the frigid hellscape I call “home”):

Name that landmark.

While I was away – and while the Husband also away working – the dogs got shipped out for some sleepovers.

Moses got to hang out with his First Wife, Juniper.

Moses & Juniper

And Alma spent some time with her pal, Dion, as well as had a one-night stay at a super awesome local boarding/walking/daycare facility.

Alma & Dion: Christmas Wine Sentinels

Unfortunately, Alma was not on her best behaviour and was not the greatest houseguest during her stay at Dion’s.

"Who me?"

“What ever could she have done?” you ask.

Well… she ate – not one – TWO loaves of bread.

And – yes, there’s an “and” – AN ENTIRE BAG OF BROWN SUGAR.

Yeah, that's only like 3,500 calories. No biggie.

To the best of my knowledge, she didn’t get sick from it, and I’m surprised they didn’t kill her themselves, considering to top it off, she had the audacity to enjoy her snack ON THEIR COUCH.

To say the least, we were pretty shocked by her behaviour.  And will be paying to have some furniture dry-cleaned.

I mean, that’s not to say a few items of our own haven’t met the wrath of Alma.

For example, she and Emma, the kitten, have formed an Alliance and occasionally wage war on the paper products of the household.


Alma's successful hit: Kleenex.

Emma's successful hit: Cottonelle.














There’s got to be something to the theory that female pets are more troublesome.

So even though counter-surfing has not been a training focus in our house (nothing gets left out; the cats will likely get to it before either of the dogs even acknowledge the opportunity), we have come home to the evisceration of too many items, regardless of their worth.  And, needless to say, the house-sitting experience was the last straw.

We need a way to prevent Alma’s destructive habit (which definitely escalates when she is stressed and/or left alone), and they almost exclusively happen when the humans have left the house.

Enter:  the crate.

Alma and her new house.

We never did crate train Moses.  Our crate-free house training method (a doggy door with constant access to the outside during the summer) worked famously.  Despite the odd shoe or two when he was a puppy, he’s never really destroyed things, and I’ve written previously about how he keeps his toys is pretty good condition.

But I think we’re doing okay so far with Alma, ensuring she associates time in the crate with good things like food and toys, and her time in there is limited to the workday when no one is home.

Most importantly, it ensures the next time she’s got to go for a sleepover, her crate can accompany her and she’s comfortable spending time in it.  And there’s a firm barrier between her and the brown sugar.

Alma's not the only one comfortable with the crate.

About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

14 Responses to Dam it, Hoover! / Damn it, Alma!

  1. 2browndawgs says:

    You must have to have a gigantic crate for Alma. She looks so sweet and innocent, and yet behind that sweet face is a bread and brown sugar thief! I would have never guessed.

  2. Oh, counter-surfing….we know you well!! It’s a hard one to beat, but it’s good a crate works for Alma.

  3. Leslie says:

    I was thinking the same thing as 2browndawgs – that’s gotta be a pretty big crate. But the first thing that struck me was: how big a door would a Newfie-sized doggie door have to be? Wouldn’t that just be like, you know, a door?

    I can’t believe she ate a whole bag of sugar. Talk about the sugar-rush! 😮 Glad she didn’t get from it all, though.

  4. Uh oh Alma,

    Did you get busted from your Mischief – you know you gotta hide the evidence buddy!! Did your Mum forget to leave you some food? Tee Hee – I’m glad you were ok though 🙂

    Hope you’re having a fun weekend,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  5. 47 says:

    I crate all of my dogs when I’m gone. I don’t have accidents. 😉

  6. Kristine says:

    Wowzers, a whole bag of sugar! That even beats the entire tray of cupcakes Shiva ate once, papers and all. I am so glad it didn’t make Alma sick!

    The crate is something we know all too much about. It’s great you could find a solution that works for both of you. After almost three years, we can finally leave our dog alone at home for an hour without putting her in. But I still won’t trust her for longer than that. Baby steps, right? 🙂

  7. lexy3587 says:

    crate training sounds like your best option. She isn’t bothered by the fact that Moses isn’t in a crate? Gwynn isn’t bothered when we bed him down at night in his crate, with my cousins’ dogs in the same room, though he does whimper for the first few minutes of “not allowed to play with the other dogs” time. Crate training is definitely handy for travelling with the pup, that’s for sure.

    • thatjenk says:

      No, she doesn’t seem to mind that Moses isn’t crated, and he sleeps by the crate when she’s in there for the most part anyway (cue: awwww). However, when she’s in the crate and we take Moses with us? Well, that’s a different story. She’s not ready for that yet.

  8. i can’t believe she ate a freakin bag of sugar! that’s crazy. how does that even taste good after like, four tablespoons? wow. thank goodness she’s OK.

  9. Pingback: Crate As Training « Back Alley Soapbox

  10. Pingback: My Audacity | Back Alley Soapbox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: