If you remember in my last blog about Shady, I was desperately trying to figure out what to do about her destructive anxiety prone behavior. She has always had the same anxious, destructive nature but what used to be a once a year "OMG, I can't believe she trashed the whole bathroom/kitchen/whatever" has turned into to a once or twice a week destructive spree. When we left off last time she had just chewed her way through the cedar siding and the insulation on my house in order to make her way back inside the house after being left in her dog pen. Spending time in the dog pen was a last resort after she trashed most of the rooms in the house and bent up her crate so badly that leaving her in it again was hopeless. Here's the evidence:
I called in the pros and got a couple of estimates on replacing the cedar siding and repairing the damage. After evaluating the options, we decided to replace the siding with concrete and rock which she hopefully wouldn't be able to chew into. In preparation for the process, the siding was removed and replaced with Durock a concrete and webbing product. We were sure she wouldn't be able to tear it apart. Here was the result when she was left for a couple of hours in the pen:
In the meantime, following the advice of friends I had purchased a thundershirt, a dog behavior pheromone spray, started giving her Benadryl and leaving the television on for noise and company. I returned to work and started leaving her in the house again. Every day I would enter the house in anticipation of scenes of destruction but I had about a week or so of respite and thought I might be on to something. Maybe the thundershirt was a miracle cure!
I took her to Blairsville for the weekend while I launched a new venture with a friend at an antique shop. While we were gone, I left her in the basement, in her thundershirt, doped up on Benadryl and with radio playing country music for company. We weren't gone long but by the time we returned she had started scratching and tearing up the door frame.
I again called on the advice of friends and we decided to forget about the looks of the dog pen. What could we do that would be cheap and durable? Sheets of one inch plywood are now nailed on the entire wall of the house where the dog pen is, including the door frame. She spent about a week outside in the dog pen while I worked and things seemed to be going well. Of course she tore up other stuff in the dog pen, her dog bed, the laundry basket full of dog toys (but not the toys..).
Yesterday I arrived home from work to find that she had discovered the Achilles heel of the plywood. In the corner, near the chain link fence post, she discovered a section where the plywood ended and another board had been bolted to the wall. Somehow, she managed to rip the board out as well as extend the damage higher than before, tearing as before into the insulation.
We are now in the process of replacing that area with a plywood board. Will it work? I don't know but it does continue to provide me with lots of material for the blog. As before, I'm open to ideas.
Want to share your dog story? I'd love to hear it.... Bet you can't beat this one though!