Charlie’s doing time. Big time.
We left him home alone for a couple hours and returned to find he chewed a couple holes in a couch cushion, then proceeded to defluff it. Yelling ensued. The cushion may have ended up across the room. Charlie slipped outside, and stayed there. For a long time.
Matt went downstairs. I could hear him pushing things around, and carrying something up the stairs. When I walked into the front room I saw it.
The crate is back.
Until further notice, Charlie no longer will be left alone. No more free-range roaming. When we leave the house, even for a short time, Charlie will go in the crate.
Despite our best intentions, this kind of destructive behavior cannot be coddled. Just as Charlie must learn to modify his behavior, Matt and I must change ours, as well. This is essential, if we’d like our furniture to remain in one piece.
We spent a good part of today getting him used to going inside the crate. And we made sure it was a comfy spot. Aside from the pad on the bottom, we put his favorite blanket in there along with the magical purple KONG toy.
It had been a few months since we tried using the crate, and I was wary. But this time Charlie easily walked in on his own, casually checking it out, plopping down to chew on the purple KONG. When we left for dinner, he walked right in, and curled up as we locked the front cage door.
When we returned a couple hours later, Charlie was whining. And it looked like he somehow managed to drool on the floor in front of the crate. Everything in the front third of the crate was soaking wet, with puddles beneath the mat. Clearly, the anxiety was back, but not nearly as immobilizing this time. Shortly after we let him out, and gave him big hugs and belly rubs, he sauntered back in to check out his treat toy.
The good news is that the couch is old, and needs to be replaced. The bad news is that we can’t replace it until we are sure Charlie will not destroy a new couch.
So until then, Charlie will dutifully serve his time.
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