Remind me never to do this again.

We left home today to head to Purina Farms for the UDC Nationals. Laev was in her ex pen for a couple of hours prior to departure, during which she of course screamed her head off, and she’s become a great little traveler, so of course she slept all the way there with only one pit stop. Wonderful dog.

Then we arrived. And now she’s not at all tired.

Shakespeare has always traveled with me and, I think, enjoyed staying in the motel rooms where he gets to sleep on the bed (a privilege he has only when traveling), etc. Now this little monster, whom he has previously completely ignored, is cutting into his lifestyle. I let them together for a few minutes, knowing he ignores puppies if possible, and she tried to harass him into playing. He didn’t. She tried to take his treat ball. Bad idea; she saw teeth and was smart enough to back away.

I crated each dog and took turns taking them out to play tug. Nope. All that did was frustrate the other one (which I anticipated) and I got mediocre tugging (which I did not — motel room space not conducive?).

I did some basic position work with her, but the attention span was nil. Tired puppy, despite the sleep in the car, I assume. She has sit, down and stand hand signals pretty well now, no verbals yet, but is really struggling with eye contact. Does she just not realize that I have a face? That I’m more than a pair of knees and hands?

Potty break.

She wants to harass Shakespeare, not even really playing, just harassing. I crated her, thinking a few minutes was more than enough and she shouldn’t die yet at so young an age. She barked, she screamed, she bit at her crate door. Shakespeare, honest, looked at me and rolled his eyes.

She screamed in the crate. I winced and thought of the neighbors. But I can’t take her out of the crate while she’s screaming, and she won’t take a breath so I can get her out…. Tried downing in the crate to open the door, but we don’t have any duration yet, so she’d lie down and then charge the door, screeching. Yikes.

Ooh, an instant of silence while she noticed a chew stick under the crate mat. Pull the puppy! Wear out her brain somehow! I ran water in the tub until it was just covering the shallow end, scattered kibble so it floated, and set the puppy in the tub. Ooh, look, socialization! Wet paws! Water! Snorkeling! And maybe, just maybe, it’ll stress her brain and tire her out!

She didn’t like the tub. Wanted out. Funny, she didn’t mind puddles outside. I stood in the water with her, encouraging her to eat the kibbles. Good Laev. We finished, I let her out, watched her sniff the puppy in the mirror, and I put her in the crate.


Finally I managed to distract her somehow and took advantage of the pause to open the crate door. I put her on the bed with me, informing her solemnly that this was only to calm her down ’til she went to sleep. “You’re tired, I know you are,” I said. “You’ll be stone asleep in a moment.” Wonder if Laev appreciates Monty Python quotes?

She wagged, looked over the edge of the bed at Shakespeare, who had his back to her in a definite expression of mood, and promptly peed on the sheets.

/sigh/ She’d gone out twice already…..

I stripped the bed, wrote a note of apology to housekeeping, for whom I will leave a healthy tip, and shoved the puppy back into the crate. At least her bladder’s empty, I thought, so she’ll go to sleep now, right? Um, no.

So I put the crate on the stripped bed, which hushed the whining a bit. Then, thank God, she finally realized she was sleepy and she passed out.

Shakespeare and I have an agility trial in the morning. I’m not anticipating great things, unfortunately, but I think I’ll tell him that if he runs well, I’ll arrange a puppy-free vacation for him.

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About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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  1. Gosh, that was funny! (maybe not for you?) Nothing like travelling with a new pup, forget about with her plus a mature (knows-better) dog — it’s like travelling with a human baby — thank goodness they grow up!

  2. Is this a separation anxiety thing, or obnoxious puppy? I have never had a pup take this long to acclimate to a crate.

    I wish you luck with this puppy. It sounds like you have high hopes, just don’t wear her out with too much early training.

  3. Laura:

    You will do fine!!! Pretend she’s a chicken 😉

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