Sanity Steps

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions on crates and kennels. I went looking at Fleet Farm and the crates are about the same price as the kennels. I guess you are paying for having something inside and being able to fold it down and take it with you. However, the kennels are bigger, of course, and allow the dog to be outside.

The question is whether being outside is good or bad. I don’t think Java will bark very much. I can put the kennel on the cement under the deck so even if I don’t buy a cover, she’ll be completely shaded and somewhat protected from rain. Most people seem to worry about the cold of winter being hard on a dog, but I worry more about heat and humidity. In either case, I did manage to gate her off in a hallway for five hours the other day so that may be an option in either extreme cold or heat.

I can put her current crate in the kennel for sleeping as she does like to cuddle up in there, at least until I can find a cheap dog house. Although I’d like to put something soft in the kennel for her to lie on, putting a blanket or her pillow in the kennel will probably lead to her chewing them up.

I’ve narrowed my choices down to two options:

A 7 x 5 x 10 kennel with cover for $260

dog kennel

Or a 6 x 5 x 15 kennel without a cover for $219 (additional $70 for cover which I could buy if and when I need it). I’m leaning toward this one but I need to measure the space I’m putting it in to make sure it’s not too long.

target=Hey! Look! There’s two dogs in there! Maybe… Oh, never mind.

I need to go back to Fleet Farm with the truck to actually buy and pick up the kennel. The thing weighs about 185 pounds so I’m hoping someone will load it for me. I figure I can drag it out of the truck when I get home.

I would have picked it up today but I’ll have to unhitch the horse trailer and I wanted to wait until after I go trail riding tomorrow in case I have problems hitching the trailer back up again.

The temperature is changing drastically — dropping down to 48 degrees tonight and only reaching the upper 60s tomorrow, plus it’s supposed to rain in the afternoon. So I’m hoping to get ready tonight (might have to get out long johns) and go trail riding early in the morning.

I’m planning on taking Luke to Crow-Hassan, a park we’ve never been to before. The place to park your trailer is somewhat hidden and easy to drive by so I’m hoping I don’t mess it up. I kind of have a circle of roads picked out that should bring me back around if I do pass it by.

I’m hoping that the cold won’t prevent us from having a good ride because I sure need one! Maybe I’ll get in a ride on Sunday too because Labor day weekend H is taking the truck for four days to go camping.

Most everyone I know is going out of town for Labor Day weekend so I need to come up with a very ornate schedule of activities to prevent myself from crashing and burning. The trails are my sanity steps and relaxation roads so I fear going too long without hitting those playful, powerful paths.

trail riding

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  1. I am so happy that you are thinking of going the bigger kennel route. I think this will work well for Java. She can be outside and not be able to dig or chew anything! I also like your idea of putting her crate in the kennel so she can go lay down. Great idea!! Does she chew dog beds? They make dog beds for crate sizes. But if she’s a chewer, she’ll chew through almost anything! I also love your idea about keeping her in a smaller section of the house during colder weather. I don’t like my dogs outside in the cold either, and they have eskimo fur!
    One more thing I’d recommend, but I am sure you already know this! When you get the new kennel, while you are home, put Java in it and leave her in there, to get used to it. I would also slowly increase her time in there, while you are out working around the yard, riding your horses. It’ll help her adjust to her new living quarters, without upsetting her too much. Some dogs can react to situations differently. Eventually leave your house for an hour, or two or more. She should adjust just fine!!
    Enjoy your rides this weekend!

  2. It looks like you are coming up with good solutions. The good news too for you is that You and Java still get the opportunity to do a lot together when you are there and she’s still getting lots of exercise. What kind of breed mix is she? Some breeds by nature just need more to do. Reguardless, dogs sleep a huge ammount of the time and you can be sure that while you are gone that’s what she’s doing a lot. As she gets a little older too she’ll calm down. Both of our labs were out of control when we got them. As they’ve aged though they are much calmer and more comfortable just hanging out. My dog’s would kill for all the opportunities Java has to do stuff with you. Luckily my dogs get to play with all 60 of the kids and adults who come wandering in and out of my house for music lessons each week. I do like the idea of the crate in the run so that she has a “den.” They do make beds too made out of pvc pipe and canvas that I see out here a lot, that keep the dog comfortable and off the ground for sleeping but are less likely to be chewed up. keep us posted. 🙂

  3. Ahh yes, the how to contain the dog conundrum. I know Java is your honey, but man, cats are so much easier. just a thought for the distant future. 🙂
    If it makes you feel any better I’ll be working all labor day weekend.

    It’s so awesome how you’re forcing yourself to explore and expand your boundaries. You’re an inspiration!

  4. The kennel looks like a great solution! I’m so glad that it has a top, so you can cover it and Java will be totally safe from predators (always thinking of that here in lion country).

    Enjoy the trails! As you know, I love them too.

  5. Hey Mary….no grass is growing under your feet. I like the larger kennel too. Sounds like you have a great place to set it up where she will be protected, and having her crate with a bed in it will be perfect. I believe Java will like it better than the crate and will adjust quickly. You are a very thoughtful person. Happy Trails and keep makin that kick ass coffee. You are really doing well…really!!!!

  6. PG – Thanks for the tips on getting Java used to the kennel. I’d been thinking of starting with short periods but hadn’t thought about some trial periods while I’m home.

    RFRW – Java is mainly German Shepherd and Golden Retriever so I do think that makes her a working girl. That’s why I want to get her a pack to carry some water on our walks and get a harness to teach her to pull me on a bike or skis. I think she needs a job. Thanks for the info on the dog beds. I’ll have to check it out.

    Sue – Yes, cats are certainly easier but it’s hard to make a real buddy out of them. As for inspiration, I’m just trying to keep up with you!

    KB – The kennel I bought doesn’t come with a top, although I can add one. There shouldn’t be any predator problem here as I don’t think coyotes will come so close to the house. I might just put a tarp over if I think it’s necessary.

    Lori – Thanks. The animals – caring for them and playing with them – are great healers.

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