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Yesterday I took the kids to Highrock Park to go "rock climbing". This just means letting them scramble over any rocks they want to, but it really is an easy way to convince them to go up to the park. The goal was to get Heart out for some exercise.
We had a good time up there, and I think I got some nice pictures. Of course while I was taking pictures and watching the kids, Heart disappeared on me. I soon learned she had made her way down to the field where other dog owners congregate and retrieve.
After collecting Heart we started making our way back home. Once we got out of the park, the rain started and poured for a few minutes. Good timing!
Happy Birthday Heart, today is your 6th Birthday! Hard to believe you've been with us for over three years already, but it's true.
By now we all know Heart is a garbage hound. She is normally pretty loud when walking around in the house, unless we are upstairs and she has access to the kitchen. In this case she can be super stealthy and not make a sound.
A few days ago she came upstairs and was skulking around. She had a guilty look on her face and she was acting very submissive (tail tucked, bum close to the ground, ears down).
He mouth had that "I'm hiding something" shape to it too, and when I took a closer look I found the heel of a loaf of bread. Darn dog.
Of course I took a picture before I forced her to drop it (which is a pretty difficult task). I just don't get her sometimes. She knows it is wrong to go in the garbage, she does it anyway, and then the slinks around the house bringing attention to herself and showing us what she has done.
I'm thinking I might submit this picture to Dog Shaming, one of my favorite websites these days.
Over the past two years we have had Heart, she has been getting more daring with her destructiveness. At first I blamed it on us not cleaning up enough before going out. Then I thought it was perhaps due to her not getting enough exercise. That thinking has all changed though.
One day Heart had spent the entire day with me while I worked from home, then I took her for a walk. Near the end of the day, in the 45 minutes I was out of the house to pick up the kids, she went on a rampage.
Another day I know the house was dogged down, but she still got into a basket and a bin of toys. The bin she figured out how to get the lid off. The basket she somehow pulled out from under a low shelf and wrecked a pair of Sue's riding glasses.
We had finally had enough. We started crate training her. At first it was small steps. We had the assembled crate in our living room and she ate meals in there. For the first meal in the crate, it was hard to convince her to go in, but she eventually did. Now she eagerly heads in.
We did the meals in the crate for a couple weeks, then one afternoon I saw Heart sniffing around the house looking for treats. She even went in the crate looking for one. I gave her lots of praise for that.
We decided to step up the training a bit, but first we had to get something comfy in the crate for her. The kids and I went to Bosley's and managed to find a bed that was cushy, and fit in her crate perfectly.
It seems to be working. One night I was sitting in front of the tv after the kids had fallen asleep and noticed Heart wasn't on her bed. I checked all her usual spots in the house to flake out, but she was nowhere to be found. I even checked the office in the basement, but nope. Sure enough she had made her way into the crate on her own and had curled up.
Since that night I have seen Heart in the crate many times, she has even slept in there all night instead of on the couch like she usually does.
The next step is to leave Heart locked in the crate while we leave the house for short periods, gradually making our time out f the house longer. A long process for sure, but hopefully this will eventually curb her destructiveness.
After a nice sleepin and another lazy morning we took Heart for a walk at Colquitz. This is a great place for the kids to go since they can run, walk, ride bikes, or even ride scooters there. And Heart gets a walk too.
Today was lots of fun. Amy was on her bike and Elliot was running after her. Heart mostly kept pace with the kids. Sue and I got to enjoy our coffee and tea and got to walk hand in hand for a bit. We took several breaks around the park which allowed Heart to stop and sniff everything. The sun even tried to come out. At one point Amy was down to her skort and a t-shirt. It's November and the kids can still wear a t-shirt?
A few pics from today.