September 07, 2006


You know what's scary about parenting? I think sometimes you can do everything you're supposed to do, and things still don't turn out the way you want.

I've spent the last month playing Gregory House to our dog. When we moved here, we decided he was old enough to start trying to sleep out of his crate. He loves being under our bed, so we started letting him sleep there. He began throwing up occasionally in the middle of the night, but I read online that this can be normal if it's not too frequent. I didn't think too much of it until I started feeling like it was happening too often, so I started marking the calendar every time he threw up. Turns out it was happening every other day. Our dog trainer suggested switching to a sensitive tummy food, but that didn't do any good. Finally I made a vet appointment, but the earliest we could get in was in a week. We decided we were tired of getting up at 0400 to clean up puke, so we put him back in his crate. No barf for a week.

Today was our vet appointment, and though the vet was super-nice and super-cheap, I don't feel good about the visit. I wanted tests run and MRIs and sonograms and pushing 100 cc's of something. Instead, the only thing we can come up with is that we crate trained Charlie so well that he is neurotic about sleeping elsewhere.

I really think I did a Houseworthy job of diagnosing the pup. He can't be allergic to the carpet because he naps on it all day and only throws up at night. I know he's not getting into anything because we sleep with all the doors shut, and anyway I'm such a light sleeper that I wake up every time he rolls over and his collar jingles. It doesn't seem likely that he has acid reflux or something that only affects him at night because he would've gotten sick at least once in his crate. So that leaves us with two possibilities. One, he's allergic to something or has a stomach condition, but there's no way to figure out what it is without a major investigation that the vet didn't seem to think was necessary, and so he can't sleep with us. Two, we turned our dog into a nervous wreck and now he can never sleep with us. Either way, I don't like the way this turned out.

We did everything we were supposed to do. You're supposed to make the crate a happy place for your dog. You're supposed to crate train them until they're responsible enough to be left alone. And now that we want to feel close to our dog and let him sleep with us, he yaks every night. How utterly sad.

How could we not want to sleep with this stinker?


Posted by: Sarah at 10:07 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 He might be allergic to something in the box spring. Why don't you try letting him sleep somewhere else during the night, like the kitchen on a blanket or something. If he still pukes then you know it probably isn't an allergy. I am feeling very House-like right now too. By the way, watched a great episode of In the Actor's Studio: Hugh Laurie. Did you know he used to be on Black Adder?

Posted by: CaliValleyGirl at September 07, 2006 10:23 AM (deur4)

2 Having him sleep in his crate is still a good thing. If you have to leave him with someone he has his "room" to sleep in. It's OKAY. My sister had a Yorkie who was so comfortable with his crate he got in it for naps. When he stayed with us he was a very easy dog to sit with. On the other hand our old Yorkie is terrified of being put in a crate and people who babysit her have to have her bed next to theirs. She is too old to get on the beds and we are afraid she might fall off!!

Posted by: Ruth H at September 07, 2006 11:04 AM (eWQeg)

3 It could be that the movement of a human bed is too much for his stomach and that's what causes him to be sick. (motion sickness type of thing) Whereas his dog crate is nice and firm and doesn't move at all. I will agree with Ruth on him sleeping in his crate - when you do have to leave him with someone at some point in time, having him sleep in his crate will make everyone much happier. Because not everyone wants a dog in their bed. *grin*. For our dog we had a travel crate - when she was old enough to sleep "uncrated" we took the top off and she had her own bed to sleep in. She never slept with us because she would get far too warm - even in the winter. Now that I think of it - he could be getting over heated being in the bed with you and that may cause him to be sick too.

Posted by: Teresa at September 07, 2006 01:22 PM (o4pJS)

4 What about letting him make the choice? Leave the crate open--if he gets insecure and wants to sleep there, great, if he wants to sleep with you, great. Maybe he'll be more comfortable with a choice. Good luck!

Posted by: Lara at September 07, 2006 01:52 PM (qNwer)

5 I feel like Lucy is going backward...she used to sleep in her crate willingly and was also very good about doing her business outdoors. NOW, however, she has started leaving messes in the house and spends hours each night scratching, yelping, and clawing in her cage. I wish I was the "Dog Whisperer"...

Posted by: Nicole at September 07, 2006 02:49 PM (nTCFk)

6 He's such a cutie! Your vet *may* be right. I'm no pro when it comes to animals, just someone who has raised and rescued more dogs than I can count. You did everything right, but all dogs are different - just like people. Some dogs are more sensitive to their surroundings than others and for some dogs their crates become their dens, a safe haven. Charlie has had a lot of changes in the last few months, he's been on a plane, he's been without his people, but his crate has been a constant. He also knows it's *his*. Heck, we have a Heeler that gets mad when we take his collar off for a bath, and goes and gets it for us as soon as he's done, it's HIS and he wants it right now! All of our dogs have been crate trained, some continued to sleep in their crate with the door open until old age took them from us, and some left their crates as soon as they were old enough to be trusted on their own. Didn't matter the breed or age that we got them, it just depended on their personality or how strong their "den" instincts were. Good luck to ya, you're a very caring person, I'm sure you'll figure what's going on with him. (sorry for the loooong comment)

Posted by: Tink at September 07, 2006 03:31 PM (WyoPk)

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