We’ve had Kasey for a few months now, and mutual adjustments are still being made. The latest challenging area really hits home, because it’s disturbing our precious sleep.
I don’t know how often Kasey had slept in a crate before she arrived at our house, but I do know that she spent some time in a crate because she came into the family from the Erie County Humane Society. At first, when she slept with Penny, Kasey was quiet at night. Then she began to get restless, and we decided to get a separate crate. She figured out how to escape from the crate, and we would find her in the morning in some odd location. When we then returned her to the crate, the night-time barking began.
Kasey’s bark is not loud, and it is pitched at a sound register that is just barely distinguishable from the sounds you might hear through an open window. But it’s like the beginning cries of a newborn who you are trying to train to sleep through the night. Once you hear it, your brain focuses on the sound, and you can’t ignore it. It works on your consciousness like steel claws scraping against a blackboard. You toss and turn, exhausted yet wide awake, eyes dried out, fretting about the fact that you’ve got to get up in five hours — all against the backdrop of that incessant, nerve-jangling barking. It’s infuriating, and being furious at your dog is not a good thing.
We’ve tried knocking the crate with a baseball bat and giving a stern admonition, which worked with Penny when she had a nightly barking period long ago. We’ve tried waiting for Kasey to give up on the barking, but she is a stubborn cuss. We’ve tried returning her to the crate with Penny. None of those efforts has worked — because, I think, Kasey just doesn’t want to be in a crate.
Now Kish has decreed that we put Kasey in the crate that she can escape, in a nod to Penny’s finely honed sense of crating fairness, recognizing that Kasey will escape and then roam the house (with most upstairs doors closed) until she finds a place to sleep. That strategy is fraught with peril when it involves a dog that obviously is still getting adjusted and has the ability to leap up onto tables and jump from table to countertop — but last night it seemed to work. The other option is technological: we have a device that is supposed to emit a high-pitched sound that only dogs can hear whenever barking begins. If the current strategy stops working, the dog whistle will be deployed.