June 11, 2024

Ava Needs A Crate

Ava has lived here a little over two months. She has been the best puppy I have ever lived with and I have raised a few in the past 37 years from 8 weeks old. She is easy to live with, she gets along with the other three. She has never needed to be crated at night to sleep and always whines at 5:30am to wake me so I can trot with her to the patio door so she can go out for a quick trip. Then back to bed she runs and we might sleep for another 30 minutes to one hour.

Still, she is a puppy. Puppies like to explore, get into things and I can't tell without my iPhone staying behind and recording a video ... but I have a feeling she is leading Henry, Watson and possibly Walter into minor crime. Ha Ha.

This is going to long with a lot of pictures. I like to talk but also when I write "a story" like this, I need to add a lot of photos to bring more detail to the story. There will be enjoyable reading today, photos that will make you gasp, possibly laugh or cough on your drink ... but it's all good, it's not something I have not experienced before .... so here we go. 

A long story with a LOT of photos.

It was an about three weeks after her arrival I noticed she had a taste for my palm tree. Some lower leaves were showing signs of "nibbling" so to combat that and keep her out of trouble a whiskey barrel showed up for sale in Facebook Market Place and I wasn't even looking for one. Up went the palm tree ... everybody is happy.

A few weeks later more signs that puppy growing pains might be coming a little strong. The urge to explore and taste what you have found was becoming evident. Remember ALL of these things and photos happened while I was gone. Good weather means open patio door so they can run the yard, the house and whatever. It has worked perfect for Henry, Walter and Watson ... and Ava.

But a few weeks ago I came home to this.

I put the Pothos back in its pot, added some new soil and moved it first outside on the porch. The storms and hot sunshine was a little too much for it so I moved it back inside on half of my kitchen table. Don't be alarmed. We don't have a lot of dinners with guests here so that table is a multipurpose table more or less. The Pothos stayed safe on that table until yesterday, June 10th sometime after 1pm.

May 10th I come home from the store to see this .... "Houston we have a problem ...." It is a sturdy plant so I found a pot, added new soil babied it but currently it is have a hard time making a recovery. I was happy to see there was no evidence of chewing on the plant or roots.

With a broom first and then my high powered Bissell vacuum it was an easy clean up ... the plant is now sitting in a different room and out of reach.

What I found interesting at the time, Ava has plenty of stuff to get into, drag off the shelves, my desk, and table with my printer on it ... but hadn't really touched nothing but plants. Just in case, I started closing my computer room door whenever I was leaving the house. The bicycle room door is always closed. 

Yesterday though was a HUGE wakeup call ... and PuppyHood had arrived in full force. She is a little over a week from being 5 months old.

I had an appointment 9am and was puppy proofing my house. At the same time there was concern that Watson might get in trouble barking at any men from CenterPoint Energy or AT&T, that might stop by unannounced to fix what they say they are going to fix from the storm damage on May 26th.

Instead of leaving the patio door open like aways, I wanted to make sure Watson could bark all he wanted inside the house but not 5-6 feet away from them just on the other side of his fence. It normally isn't a problem, I have done that before on days it is raining ... but something happened. I have no idea what the trigger point was for Ava ... but it was an ugly scene when I returned home an hour later.

As I walked into the mudroom from the garage I see this .... and I KNEW I was in trouble ..... I knew IMMEDIATELY what had happened and WHAT I FORGOT TO DO !!!

With the great weather all the windows are open 25/7. To keep her out of trouble I shut all the windows in the greatroom, pulled the blinds up halfway and put the rope to pull those blinds up all the way on top of the blinds ... out of reach. I closed the lower living room windows to prevent any chance of escape because with all the stuff to be worked on, I don't know who might show up at the front door while I am gone.

I was gone 1 hour on the dot ... back at 10am.

I didn't have to yell, because as I was walking through the kitchen ALL 4 went sprinting outside to the backyard. In fact Ava ran all the way to the far corner of the fence towards the neighbors barn/shed. Is that a sign of guilt or what ??? LOL I closed the patio door so they would not witness me cleaning this up while talking to myself. One good thing ... cleaning and vacuuming always seems to keep me calm ... it's like hosing down the driveway, or vacuuming carpet ... so I guess that's a good thing.

I was speechless with more of a feeling where I had been "kicked in the gut" ... shock and awe as they say plus a few other things I cannot put in this post. One good thing .... my aunt's table had not been damaged. Ava and mostly likely others, were only into dirt and the plants.

I know it sounds strange but I was relieved to see so many leaves laying around. I found out later the Croton is toxic to dogs. There is a milky sap that is poison to dogs. Many years ago I saw some of that sap coming from the steam of a broken leaf ... Yesterday I saw two chewed stems that had been hauled over by the patio door and both stems had been chewed on like a bone. Rest assured, 24 hours later none of the hounds and dogs have shown any signs of being sick from whatever they may have ingested.

Clean up was going faster than I could imagine. I was thinking though ... what to do with Ava. I knew as a puppy, stuff like this came with the job and that she had fooled me into thinking she was different than all other puppies. She is but at the same time she is still a puppy.

I looked at my watch and 20 minutes after I got home, things were back to normal. Clean floors, hounds and dogs were not sick and were playing inside and outside the house like nothing happened.

To me it looked like just one less plant to water and one less plant to get Ava in trouble. By noon I was NOT even thinking about a crate ... are you wondering what changed? 

Well, if I were to tell you ... you wouldn't believe me. You'll see though ... I'd be telling the truth.

With the house clean, the patio door opened so they could come and go as they please ... I hopped on my mountain bike and went up the street to visit my friends, grab a cup of good coffee while telling this story and the other story from my 1 hour away from the house.

I lost track of time ... I am not sure what time I left and am not sure how long I was gone, maybe between one to two hours ... but this time INSANE YELLING WAS INVOLVED. Not to them really but to myself ... the "it cannot happen again" theory was totally destroyed and now I am really really wondering if me and "puppyhood" is meant to be. 

I mean I am old some tell me. Too old for this kind of excitement and a sudden increase of heart rate and blood pressure exploding off the charges.


I parked my bike in the garage, closed the garage door and walked inside. As I stepped into the kitchen I might have lost my breath, skipped a heart beat or two or even lost consciousness (kidding) for a few seconds.

The Pothos was obviously not high enough on the kitchen table. The Croton would not have been safe sitting there either. Ava IS getting taller and I caught her at the counter the other day standing on her back legs checking out what kind of things I had up there. A loud "NO" and she has never done that again. 

But I wasn't home and she did it here ... the thing is I just watered both plants on Sunday night so the potting soil was between more damp than wet. 

This time I wasn't happy. Thoughts ranged from yelling at myself for thinking I wanted a puppy to raise to the point of emailing the young lady I got him from and telling her I was bringing her back. But remember, cleaning calms me, makes me think about stuff and that is what I did.

While cleaning I remembered back to all the destroyed stuff over the years from when Bertha, and Sadie were bloodhound puppies 10 years apart and those times where Stella whom I rescued at 6 years old ... it was a LOT worse than cleaning up some dirt off the floor ... and I never gave them away.

So the other option was ... Ava needs a crate to stay in when I run to the store, or in bad weather where the hounds and her cannot stay outside nor would they want to. That way she is safe, not shut up in the bedroom. She would be away from plants, electric wires and my stuff.

I have crate trained every hound or dog I have ever had ... but I gave my two crates away last year. I sat the one I bought for Walter in February 2020, he was too big for it, out front and it was gone in 15 minutes. The large heavy built crate for bloodhounds, had bent bars from Sadie squeezing them with her jaws and rusted in spots were the paint had been chewed up ... that crate was also sitting out by the street in less than 30 minutes before someone picked it up.

When Walter had heard I had bought a crate online at PetSmart and it would be delivered for free by Door Dash between 7:30pm and 9pm, he was panting with excitement. He LOVED his crate as a puppy but once he was house trained and not into chewing stuff when I was gone, I took the crate out to the garage and let him roam the house.

I wasted some time waiting for the delivery. With the Reds having a night off from baseball, I played my recent addiction ... Block Blast!!! (puzzle game) on my iPad. Around 8:20pm I decided I'd open the garage door and turn on the lights so the driver would have it easier to unload instead of putting the large box on the porch like I had typed on the online order.

As I got up I checked my iPhone email and saw the crate had already been delivered at 8:03pm !!! Sure enough it was sitting on the porch and not one hound or dog had woken up to greet the Door Dash driver.

But .... there WAS and IS a problem .... which the photos will show.

Walter has claimed the crate as HIS !!! He jumped right in, snorting and digging, moving the two blankets off that hard plastic that he likes to sleep on. He didn't care ... he was thrilled he had a crate again. BUT I bought it for Ava !!!!

He grabbed one of his favorite REI bones and started chewing away with a sound that only an English Bulldog will make. At first I thought Watson was wanting to join him but he was laying close to the crate for a different reason ... you will see why below.

Watson wanted the bone ... the one Walter was chewing on.

That is one happy English Bulldog there .... will he share the crate with Ava ????

This morning I needed to make a quick run to the store ... coffee filters, coffee, a few other things. I left Walter inside alone and the other three outside with the patio door closed. 66° and sunny is perfect weather and they had a fresh bowl of cold water sitting in the shade for them. When I got back, it looked like they had not moved off the patio deck but all of the water was gone. No damage either when I returned.

After lunch all four were taking their siestas ... I need a bigger pad to put under the crate. I will buy that thick rubber stuff that goes together like a puzzle and put that under the crate. As you will see ... Walter is in love with HIS crate even after I keep telling him I bought it for Ava.

All of the photos below were taken with my iPad and not edited, so they look just a little different.

Walter snoring loudly.

You might be wondering why I left the dogs out today when I was gone but didn't want to do that yesterday. No ... the crews did not show up to fix anything yesterday. I have a new plan for them coming back to complete their job(s) and to fix my yard and the neighbors yard, like they said they would do.

My new plan is "I don't care".

They have work orders for what needs to be done. I am retired. I'm not their foreman or supervisor. It's Watson's yard and fence and he can bark or bay at anyone he feels is too close to his property. 

They can fix things when they want or have it scheduled. If they want their AT&T internet fiber cables laying on my bushes and the ground then so be it ... as long as I don't lose my internet service. The fence ??? Well after my 3rd call to just get an estimate, I received one yesterday and did their 50% down before they do the job. I have not heard a word sinse (blogger needs auto spell check) since, not even thank you for my payment.

Again ... "I don't care"

Otherwise A BEAUTIFUL DAY in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana and I've had no disasters today. :)


  1. Puppies are a challenge and that old phrase "too good to be true" comes to mind with Ava. Love how Walter instantly latched onto the kennel, there may be another kennel in your future. It was amazing to see Walter smiling so proudly in his new kennel, Christmas came early for Walter. Thinking the smell of the damp soil in the pots may be what attracted Ava to them. Good luck and love your new attitude about getting things done.

    1. Walter was definitely smiling wasn't he. He was a happy bulldog. Thanks for the attitude compliment. It's the only way to stay sane. LOL

  2. Ava has been a stinker and you have been very patient with her new behavior ! Walter looks so happy to have HIS crate back and he smiled.
    Sounds like Ava was on a mission to wipe out your plants. Do you have any plants left ?

    1. I have the palm tree up high on the whiskey barrel and a small cactus in the living room but that will be moved to my computer room for its own survival. Walter definitely liked his new crate.