White Dog shook her head in agreement. "Quite a quandry. Glad YOU are the momma!" Puff just looked up at me with deep knowing eyes.
It was Opera Night. Late afternoon we would leave to drive to Santa Fe, more than an hour away, to have a tailgate picnic and watch the Opera. It was a Mozart piece of three acts which meant we would be returning even later than our normal midnight. Normally, Candace would be here to feed the WDA at their normal time and to check in on them throughout the evening But she had been asked to work and would leave at six and be gone all night.
The plan was for us to feed the Army before we left at 4:30pm and that she would let the non dog door users out before she left at six. We promised to let her girls out when we got home and give everyone a VERY late night treat.
A workable plan...except it was just yesterday that Zsofia ate a huge hole in the carpet...and that was only being left unattended for less than two hours.
I am not a crate person; it has been a hard adjustment to use one in training Zsofia but my fear of her escaping in the night helped me overcome my reluctance. The idea of locking her in her spacious kennel for seven hours or more left me feeling too much like a jailer; besides her comfy mattress would be torn to shreds in relatiation I was fairly certain.
She of course is too limber and tall to babygate in the kitchen (our usual solution for WDA members in need of a bit of restraint). Zso would simply jump over, or worse, batter the gate down possibly injuring a sibling standing at the other side.
Earlier in the week, we saw a friend's photos of what her pup had done in trying to get out of the bathroom after accidently closing herself in...she ate a hole in the door panel and ripped up the door frame. Although she is a great dane, I had no doubt that Zsofia could be just as determined if we simply closed the door on her and left her in the bathroom.
I held my darkest white dog's face in both my hands and forced her to gaze into my eyes. "How about Zsofia? Can I trust you? I am going to give you a HUGE vote of confidence although you have not shown me you are ready. Can you get through tonight without destroying ANYTHING? I believe you can. And I trust you will. Do not disappoint me. Please, Zso, do not let me down."
One-by-one her brothers and sisters moved to stand by her side. "We will be here to help her keep your trust, momma," they promised.
We drove off and I purposely put my fears away. Did not think about the hole in the rug or fret about what was potentially in danger. We enjoyed a lovely evening.
At a bit after one am, we walked into the cheering throng of White Dogs. I glanced around the living room. Everything looked fine. The kitchen seemed all right. Steve dd a tour of the house."GOOD GIRL!" was the signal I was waiting to hear.
I wrapped my arms around my Dark One and lavished her with praise and thanks. "I knew you could do it! I am so proud of you!" To the others, I added "Thank you WDA for helping Zsofia achieve this wonderful goal. Let's celebrate with some chicken!"
Steve brought the chunks of chicken we had cut cooked and cut up earlier in the day for this late night snack. We had a few bites each then headed out to the yard...then we returned for the final bites and lights out. My final words as the WDA drifted off to sleept were, "Zsofia you are SUCH a good girl!"