Frankie is an eight-year-old schnauzer poodle and a rescue. She is a certified emotional support animal for a single retired educator. Together they have traveled and visited places far and wide. Over the years they have encountered and befriended many dogs and owners, from all walks of life.
Frankie thought it would be a waste not to share the lessons of life that she has learned from her many adventures as well as from other dogs. She created Dear Frankie as an advice column for dogs who would like a canine perspective, on their questions and issues of concern.
She also welcomes the advice of other dogs to the letters she has responded to in her column.
Frankie can be contacted at email@example.com, and welcomes your submissions.
One of my siblings who got adopted yesterday called and told me she has to sleep in a wire cage with a lock. She said her family called it a crate. They told her it was her safe place. Do all families that adopt dogs have crates? I’m being adopted soon and want to know what to expect. Are crates as scary as I think they are?
Best Regards, Buster
These crates seem to be getting more popular, so chances are your new family will have one. What I’m about to say will probably not be popular with most dog trainers and breeders. Their opinions aside, what I provide for you is not what humans think, but rather a canine perspective. Personally, I don’t like crates. I think they are the equivalent of an in-home, dog prison. This is my opinion and I offer it to you: dog to dog.
If your new family does have a crate, as I suspect they might, I would urge you to do everything in your power to avoid it becoming your go-to place for rest. If you don’t immediately resist being put in the crate, I fear it will be your slumber pad for life.
Your best shot for dumping the crate once and for all, is on the first night. Remember timing is everything.
When they introduce you to the crate, and give you the safe place rap, don’t fall for it. When they lock you in and leave you all by yourself, probably in the dark, you need to take a stand.
You must protest vehemently and give it everything you’ve got to communicate how upset and abandoned you feel. The goal here is to break their hearts when they hear your pleas. So, cry, whine, and bark. Do it on the very top of your lungs. You can also scratch the wire cage and bang your body against the sides. No matter how tired you are, you must persist.
If you do what I say, nine chances out of ten, your Mom or Dad will come, pick you up and take you to their bed. Once you get there, head for the pillows. Look for the softest one: when you find it, collapse on top of it. Then close your eyes and fall asleep. Even if you aren’t asleep, pretend you are; you might give a little snore to be convincing. They won’t dare take you back to the crate, because another strange idea humans have is they think you should always leave sleeping dogs lie. Don’t ask, just use it to your advantage. I have recommended this strategy to other pups, and it hasn’t failed yet. Let me know how you make out.
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