Does this look like a torture device to you? Given your grown-up size, it may indeed be too small for your needs, but realize that the intended resident of this cozy little den is 22 pounds soaking wet. She fits.
She even curls up into a sweet little cinnamon-coloured ball on her green mattress and snoozes quite nicely of an evening. She knows she fits. She even likes her little den at night.
During the day, however, this cozy little dog den evidently transforms into a cross between a medieval Iron Maiden and a windowless solitary confinement cell. Now, mind you, I have no eyewitness accounts of this transformation. What I do have, however, are clues:
–blood smudges at nose level inside the den, from wee cuts on the nose of its denizen, received while she tries to chew her way out of what is obviously a painful environment
–odor, or, more frankly: stench. It’s what I like to call “the stink of panic and poop,” since that is what she does in the kennel when we’re not home. She panics, then she poops.
–drool, sometimes foamy. Granted, this is not in the kennel but in a wee puddle on the floor in front of the gate to the kennel. Evidence of her slobbering panic attack. Whether the drool happens before, during, or after the poop, who is to say?
The wire kennel we tried at first was an unmitigated disaster. She busted out of it two or three times (even with gate reinforcements). Ditto the Exercise pen. Those contraptions, being metal, posed a pretty big threat to her continued health, so we opted (on advice of doggie behaviourist) to put her in this plastic contraption.
On the plus side, she can’t bust out of it, so she can’t potentially impale herself in the attempt. Her wounds are just wee scrapes on her soft nose (poor doogie) and she isn’t really hurting herself. Also, her panic is contained and she isn’t tearing things up and pooping all over the house. Cleaning out the kennel beats cleaning carpets (or beds, or sofas) every day!
But dear sweet Bella: get a grip on yourself!! We always come home! You get to go on runs! You get training time (good doggie, yess, a treat for you! nice sit, nice stay! yesssss goooood doogggiiieeee) and tons of positive reinforcement. You get oodles and oodles of snuggles on the couch and scritches behind the ears.
You can do this. You can handle being on your own for six hours. I just know you can. Please!