Voodoo The Ubermutt had to hang out at home alone for three days last week. I put her in the kitchen in a large metal exercise pen with her favorite toys, nyla bone to chew, water, a towel, and her blankets. I leave the television on so that she has some noise in the background.

Lookit that cute face!Day one, she knocked the x-pen over. I guess that was just silliness on my part but I really haven’t ever seen her try to escape it before. It hadn’t dawned on me that she’d want to escape based on experience with Dazy (now known as Miss Perfectly Behaved Pooch) who walks into her x-pen every morning and stays there until a human opens the door to let her out.

Day two, I weighted the xpen down on three points – two corners with roped clips tied to heavy toolboxes, and tied a third corner with roped clip to the locked back door. Not to be denied, she figured a way to jimmy the bottom door latch open and squeezed out.

Day three, I did the same setup as previous but reinforced the door latches with carabiners. She chewed through the roped clip that was connected to the outside of the xpen then knocked over the opposite side. I have no idea how her little snout got out to the rope, let alone how she could move her jaw to chew it… baffling.

She is nothing less than determined.

Once out, she becomes a berserker of destruction. She chewed the METAL venetian blinds on the front window in three places (luckily didn’t cut herself), ripped the cushions off the couch and filled the void with all of our shoes, chewed through a laptop cable, ate my camping sandal (smells very much like my sweaty feet), attacked a plant that was WAY out of her reach but left the floor level plants alone, danced on the kitchen table however didn’t eat the hamburger patty we’d left on the counter, took all the books out of the bookcase, knocked over everything on the coffee table, shed hair like a terrified dog… we keep finding other oddities as the days pass. Like, where the HECK is my other red shoe?!? We can only believe that she’s having mass anxiety attacks while we’re gone because we get home, she greets us in a panic, then immediately settles down to Status: Angelic and chews appropriate things like her bully sticks, nyla bone, toys.

It’s lovely to think that she’s escaping in an attempt to save us from whatever horrors she imagines happens to us when we leave. Is she preparing to rescue us from disaster, upset that we’ve gone out into the world without someone to protectively slobber in our ears while we attempt to drive? And if preparing, how does eating every right sandal help? Really? Sandals?

Jay is turning our back porch area into a dog safe jail today (we hope it’s Voodoo-proof now that we know she aspires to be the dog version of Houdini) and we’re going to attempt to webcam her to see what she does when we leave.

If we watch over the web as she escapes, rings up some doggie friends and holds a kegger, I can’t say I’d be overly surprised.


3 thoughts on “houdini

  1. Boy does this sound familiar.

    A buddy at work had a similar issue with his dog when he went to work. At first he reinforced the kennel, but that didn’t work. Then he tried plywood around the kennel, but that didn’t work either. His Houdini managed to escape every time, and cause hundreds of dollars worth of damage to their house each time. His Houdini tried to eat his way through the door jam of their patio doors. It was a lovely renovation to their new house. Again, as in your case, his Houdini was angelic when they were home, but a terror when they were away. To save their home and the dog, they put their pup in doggy daycare while they are at work. It may be a bit expensive, but they consider it worth it. Some people may say that this dog just needed better training, but the funny thing is, this dog is well trainied. In fact, it is a search and rescue dog, but, when it is away from people, it has massive anxiety attacks.

    Good luck

  2. It’s things like this that remind me to ignore the semiannual urges to have a dog, because the vicarious stress I get just thinking about days like that far outweigh the benefits I’m able to imagine for myself… sort of like how some people occasionally think they might want children but as a general rule think it’s probably not their cuppa tea.

  3. Friends of mine and my aunt-and-uncle have used the large carrying-kennels that folks use to put pups on planes (“Pup on a PLANE!!!). It may seem too small and/or cruel at first, but apparently, and according to some dog expert, the pups’ behaviour improved when they were kenneled in an ‘ekscape-proof’ pod.

    This kind of thing

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