Josie does great on Prednisone – with one exception – she drinks a lot. This is a common side effect. The last time Josie was on Prednisone, in December, it was 20mg a day. It was easy – I was on vacation most of the time and didn’t notice the increase in requests to go outside. However, once I went back to work, I would come home to at least one accident a day if I left her alone longer than 6 hours. And it wasn’t tiny accidents. It was as if she had to go the moment I left and held it for as long as she possible could before just couldn’t anymore. I didn’t hold it against her, as I spent my evenings using baking soda to soak up the pee.
This time had to be different. I did not want to come home to random accidents – all in different spots. Also, she’s starting chemo drugs – which means extra caution. Accidents at this point aren’t an inconvenience, they are a hazard. And along those lines, if she starts having a bad reaction to any of the drugs, I want those accidents contained as well.
So I picked out a spot by the back door for her and prepared her area. First layer – 4 mil plastic sheeting to protect the floor. Second layer – blanket to protect the plastic sheeting from her claws and soak up any liquids. Add in a small bed and pee pads and she has a pretty nice set up. Better than a tiny crate.
Josie has never been hard to confine – she’s pretty content wherever she is. You may recall the cardboard box/sofa confinement during her surgery recovery.
Bear, on the other hand, is a completely different story. When I first got him, I would put him in a crate when I wasn’t home. I didn’t trust him, especially since he was new to the house and new to Josie. It wasn’t long until I was came home and was greeted by a free dog. Upon inspection, I found the crate to be in perfect condition. Scratching my head, I just assumed I hadn’t locked it that morning and it was a one time thing.
I decided to try the crate again – but I had to figure out what he was doing – how was he getting out. So I locked him in the crate and sat down to watch while he slowly had a panic attack. He flipped out being so confined, but in the midst of his panic, he pushed up on the top of the crate and I watched as he separated the top of the crate from the front of the crate – creating an opening. I’m smarter than a dog, so I got some carabiners and zip ties and secured all the loose spots on the crate. Surely this will keep him confined.
But I decided to be proactive. I knew he hated the crate and I hated to see him have an anxiety attack in it – so I decided to go to Lowe’s and pick up a chain link fence kennel. Although they are meant for outside, my basement was unfinished and had plenty of room for a 7 x 13 six foot tall kennel.
I was gone for only 3 hours while I ran to Lowe’s. When I returned, Bear was free again. How the…? I turned the corner and found the crate on its side – bent and broken. How he escaped, I still don’t know. How he didn’t hurt himself I have no idea. But I never put him in it again.
He did enjoy the kennel – lots of room for him. No panicking, and no escaping.