Oh, my goodness, this new girl is going to be a challenge!
Lolita is smart as can be. She is house trained. She is cute as a button. She is a lover and cuddles like nobody's business. When she puts her paws on my leg and I tell her "down," she gets down. She plays well with her new siblings, and if they get too rough, she tells 'em about it. I couldn't ask for a better New Kid in the house.
And she is going to be some kinda challenge!! I can't say that enough!
When I leave the house, I use baby gates to block The Kids in the kitchen/dining room. The floor is tile, so if there is an accident, the clean up is easy. They have a huge cushy bed, food and water, and I make sure they have toys. They can access the back yard, and it has worked really well. Recently I wasn't worried about accidents, but I continued keeping them there because Sammy, if given too much room and freedom, gets into all kinds of trouble. He is like a kid with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder). Given too few boundaries, they get into trouble. Sammy will chew things up or drag them outside. You would not believe what that little imp can manage to drag through the small little doggy door! So keeping them in the smaller area rather than allowing free run of the house, reduces the mess when I return without cramping them. Sammy seems to do better with less stimulation, fewer temptations. This has worked well for weeks. Everybody is happy.
And then I brought home Lolita.
A couple days ago I ran some errands, and I sat up the gate as usual and left. As I went out the door Lolita was whining, letting me know that she wasn't happy about being left behind and "cooped up." I figured she would get over it as the others have done, and I left. When I returned, Little Missy was on the front deck! She had gotten out of the penned area and out the front doggy door. When I came inside, I couldn't see how she had escaped, everything was essentially in place! Apparently her small flexible little body had squirmed through some tiny spot I couldn't see. I'd need to be even more careful in setting it up next time.
Early this morning before I opened the dog door to the front deck, I was doing other early tasks like making tea, putting food in the pups dish, etc., and I realized that Lolita was on the deck! She has learned to open the door herself! It is a snap-on type, and she has learned to hook it with her claws and pop it off!
Today I needed to return materials to the library, so I set up the gate, being every careful that everything was secure. Before I walked the 15 feet to the front door, Lolita was at my heels! I put her back in and watched to see what she is doing, and she almost jumps over the gate! She jumps, hooks her paws over the top, then scrambles up and over! I put some chairs against the gate so that she can't do that, and went on my way. On my return, she and all the others were running free! She had wiggled a corner loose and everyone followed her out, after she opened the dog door, of course!
Tonight I took Allan out to dinner for his birthday. I decided that I can't make myself nuts with all this prep. I closed all the doors in the house, blocked the front dog door, said a prayer and left. Nothing was destroyed on my return and only a few items were in the back yard. Between Lolita's ability to find an escape route and Sammy rearranging everything he can drag out the little door, I guess I'm resigned to dealing with life as I've created it with these dogs!
It could be worse. I could be living my life in order and boredom without these sweethearts. I'll keep what I have.