Since we don’t want to crate him the whole time we are at work and cant trust him as yet to have the run of the house, we cleared out the tiny shed at the side of our house that leads into a fenced in backyard. We left his open crate with comfortable bedding inside it, his favorite toys (a shredded rope toy, a long, rectangular stuffed toy with a dog face that we call "baby" and a big, juicy bone), and food and water bowls in the shed. We hoped he would be all right - after all he could play, eat, sleep, run around the garden if he wanted to, and come into the shed when he wanted warmth and rest, when we were away at work.
Instead we came home last evening to an absolute scene of disaster. The moment Pico saw us, he started barking angrily and indignantly it seemed. The shed looked like a slum. Pico had overturned the food and water bowls. Dog food lay scattered all over the shed and the water was everywhere. He had dragged all the bedding from his crate and left it on the mud outside. The crate itself seemed slightly lop sided. Worst of all, there were big, long chip marks on the door, where he had scratched furiously. Nanu and I groaned in horror.
It took us a while to clean up the shed and retrieve things he had merrily thrown all over the backyard. We figured that was the end of it. But it had only begun.
About an hour later, Pico started making strange sounds and puking all over the carpet. He had apparently tried to eat the dog food he'd thrown all over the shed and since he had chipped the door, he had eaten the wooden chips as well. So out came mushy, smelly vomit with wooden chips and dog food he’d just swallowed whole. He even threw up a wooden twig.
Gosh! We were worried and wondered if we should take him to the hospital. But he seemed all right after that and started acting normally, when he began to chase the cats! So we heaved a sigh of relief.
Today we locked him up in his crate, inside the house when we went to work. He was fine when we got back home to check on him at lunchtime and seemed okay when we put him back in and released him after 5pm. Looks like the crate may be the solution after all, even though I personally feel it’s a bit cruel. A lot of people use a doggy gate and cordon off the kitchen area – so that their dogs can be confined to a space. But the design of our house does not allow us that liberty.
And right now Pico seems to prefer being crated than to being left alone in the shed and fenced in yard. So that’s how its going to be for a while I guess. Thankfully his crate is way big – so he has all the room he needs to stretch out comfortably and move a bit if he needs to.