Dear Meeshka: Crates

Dear Meeshka,

My owner is very upset with me. I'm a young husky and I LOVE ripping things to shreds.
Today I tore up a wonderful couch, it was very squishy, full of foam and I had loads of fun ripping it up while my master was at work. Unfortunately, when she came home and I showed her how hard I worked today, she was not pleased and mentioned something about "shelter" and "bad dog" and some other words I didn't understand, but were probably very bad.

What can I do?


Couch Shredding Husky

Dear Couch Shredding Husky,

Your master apparently doesn't know a lot about huskies if she's letting you just have the run of the house. Oh yes, there are some huskies that are completely trustworthy in the house alone, but they aren't being very good huskies.

We huskies get bored VERY easily, and we find things to do when we get bored. Shred couches, tear up books, eat cassette tapes, rip back wall to wall carpeting. You name it, I've heard it all (and done it all). Once, as a puppy, I completely obliterated an entire huge cardboard box in about 30 seconds. It was great fun!

It can also be great danger! Power cords, poisons, medicines, even a simple dish cloth can mean peril, surgery, and even DEATH!

I have a crate. It is MY crate. My step-brothers also have crates, and because I'm the alpha of the house, I can go into their crates when I want, but NOBODY dare get into MY crate. I love my crate. My crate is my sanctuary, where I go when I want to get away from it all (meddling step-brothers), or just when I feel like it.

During the day when the humans work, we all wait with anticipation while the human woman makes our kong treats, then rush down the stairs and get in our crates and wait for the treats. We spend about 4 hours at a time (max) in our crates, then we get out for lunch and a romp in the yard, then more kong treats, and another 4 hours until the humans come home from work. Usually we nap in our crates, or chew our kongs.

We're safe in our crates too. If someone would break into the house, we can't escape. If a fire broke out in our house, the firemen know EXACTLY where we are and come straight in and carry us out in our crates (our humans left detailed plans with their neighbors on where we are). We also don't get into trouble in our crates. We can't tear up the furniture, or pee where we want, or hurt ourselves by chewing on things we aren't suppose to chew on.

Some humans think that crates are cruel, but if our humans left us to rip things up, or allowed us to get into things that might kill us, I think that's even crueler. I've heard that a lot of huskies go to the "shelter" because they rip up things in the house. "Shelters" are bad, because there are so many dogs in "shelters" that most of them don't ever find good homes, and they are sent to the Rainbow Bridge before their time, through no fault of their own, mostly because the humans didn't understand that something as simple as crate training would make their dog happier, healthier, and the human happier because they wouldn't have to spend all that money on getting new furniture.

So, Couch Shredding Husky, tell you human to buy a book on huskies, or join a husky list. What you do is perfectly normal for us huskies, and as denning animals, buying you a crate is perfectly normal and acceptable (as long as you aren't left in there for too long during the day), and that a tired husky is a well behaved husky!