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.