Little dude, I'm sorry I left you home with The View on TV.
Well we made it home. Oliver could not be much cuter. After a fun little trip to New Orleans, he's been doing what most of us want to do after a trip to New Orleans - he's slept. A lot. He almost has us convinced that he will be this super docile, super chill, super adorable forever. Except, oh wait - I should have been more specific. During the day he sleeps. At night, he barks. And barks. And barks.
When we say that a puppy is like a newborn baby, it is not an exaggeration. I thought I was in the clear because I told my husband that, since I was up at night feeding our two daughters when they were first born, I paid my dues and he was in charge of Oliver during the night. Well that blew up in my face the second this little fur-ball let out his first howl. We are clearly in this very much together. We are crate training Oliver, which is important. Most dogs won't soil their crates so it's a helpful tool for house training. Also, if you want to keep your house in one piece when you're gone, having a safe place for puppy when you leave is important. Lastly, dogs need a safe space that you can use when say, someone comes into your home and is afraid of dogs, if your dog is afraid of them, or if you generally just need him out from under foot.
Crate training is NOT EASY, and not for the faint of heart. If you are given the luxury, crate training should happen very slowly. One step at a time, armed with some treats and some strategy. In reality, though, we need to leave the house and go about our lives. And at night, well we just wanted to get this party started. My husband and I were 100% in favor of the "Cry It Out" method for our girls. It's painful, but very effective. Now 3 and 5.5, they are no worse for the ware from it, and they are bang up sleepers. So we figured we were ready to go when it came to Oliver in the crate.
This little fella tricked us into thinking this would be a breeze the first night. He yelped and barked a little upon going into the crate, woke up at 1:30 to go out, then slept until morning. He was exhausted from his adventures. Well, he slept and slept the following day, so when he went in the crate for Night #2, things were a bit different. He barked, and cried, and HOWLED. Every hour. On the hour. The hub pretty much slept on the floor that night. It was unbelievable.
Night #3 went a little bit better. I covered the crate with a sheet and moved it so he could see me better in bed. We each put in a shirt with our scent to make him more comfortable. He still whined but there was less true barking, and it lacked the same fervor. Each time he made a noise, I snapped my fingers and very calmly said "Nuh-uh," to which he actually seemed to respond. First half of the night was lots of that, but after he went out at 1:30, he mostly settled down and slept until morning. Night #4 was worse than Night #3 but not as bad as Night #2. And now I'm so utterly tired that I don't know which was is up anyway so who cares.
Today was the first day I needed to crate Oliver and leave him alone during the day. I was gone for 45 minutes, and he barked the entire time. By design, I left the TV on when I left. When I got home, I realized that The View was on. I get it little man, I would be pissed too. Sorry dude.