May 24, 2005

Puppy Proofing.

While organising dog beds I also started to think about puppy-proofing areas of the house.

My bathroom / kitchen / laundry area is tiled with a dog door to a small garden. So puppy can be left alone here when necessary. A baby gate to the dining area will let her see Thommo while they sort out their relationship - I have four weeks leave after I collect her so she won't be unsupervised for long periods of time. With this area it is just a matter of tying cupboard door handles, and ensuring nothing is left on benches that might attract attention. My kitchen tidy is tall and has a secure clasp, so it will be fine, but I'll take tempting smelling garbage straight out to the bin in the lane for a while. I had a collapsible laundry basket but Diesel would leap on top and grab an item before it flung him off, so I had to get a more secure model for him - and leave out a t-shirt or sweatpants that he could take into his crate.

The garden is secure with fences that can't be climbed or dug under. There is a dog window onto the lane for them to check passing foot traffic. I'll have to cover half of it until her shoulders are too big to fit through - though this means only Thommo's nose will fit. I have quite a few potplants at the moment - cuttings I'm striking for a friend. I'll have to get them to their new home. Thommo would bring in plants from out of their pots and play with them on the carpet when he was around twelve months, so I had given up on potplants.

The living area is where the dog crates are, she can be in her crate if I am reading or watching television or during meals, and come out when I can give her my undivided attention. One of my few dog rules is that they have to lie down at a distance while I'm eating. At night she'll be in her crate beside my bed. I'll babygate the stairs so she can't climb them unsupervised.

The study is probably the only area where I spend much time that is a potential puppy disaster area; with books, cds and dvds on accessible shelves, power cords, and things that can topple off shelves. In here I'll use a Dog Anchor so she has some freedom to move about while I am working, but not to get herself into trouble. (My dog anchor is not so nifty as this one - it looks remarkably like an ancient weight from a barbell set.)

Of course once she comes home I'll find a few things that aren't indeed puppy-proof, but that's part of the fun.

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