Some people think it’s mean to put dogs in cages. That’s no doubt true in some cases, but for most dogs crates are home, crates are warm, crates are secure, crates are a great place to be when you just want to chill, which for dogs is a lot of the time. Every night, when Mike orders me into a down-stay in the kitchen and says, “Let’s go to bed, Chlo,” I am always happy to get there. The bedtime snacks Mike brings me help, but that’s not why I’m racing there. I like it in there. It’s all mine.
So, please, take a look inside my crate, and tell me what you see. A soft, fuzzy pillow, a cotton sheet, the ever-smiling Mr. Monkey. And something else: a rumpled, faded, full-of-holes T-shirt featuring some over-the-hill rock star from the Sixties. (That’s the 1960s, I think.) Take a closer look.
Mike, god bless him, never wears this shirt in public, only inside the house, and normally just when he goes downstairs to exercise. Before he left on his last trip, however, Mike got this particular T-shirt all wet with his sweat and then threw it into my crate like it was a perfumed handkerchief. E’au d’Mike, one of my favorite scents, right up there with other dog’s butts.
OK, I get it: Mike’s stinky shirt was supposed to keep Mike in my mind while he was away. (Like I could ever forget that face.) But Mike’s been back a couple of weeks, and that shirt was still in my crate and getting pretty ripe. Even the dust was staying away from my corner of the bedroom.
Then I heard Mike say that he’s going away again in a few weeks to see relatives, and it became my fervent wish that he remembered to pick up this dirty shirt before he threw another one inside. Frankly, I didn’t know if I or Mr. Monkey would be able to handle two of Mike’s stinky shirts at the same time.
When a few more days passed with no movement, I finally had to take matters into my own hands, or in this case my own teeth. I dragged the offending intruder a few inches outside the crate and onto the carpet, where even Mike couldn’t miss it. Sure enough, within a few hours, away it went. Whether to the wash or to the garbage, I didn’t know, nor did I care.