Last night, Dave and I took a big leap of faith. We gave both dogs the run of the whole house last night when we were out.
Cooper Joe didn't cause any problems.
When we're gone for short periods of time, we'll usually let him stay out. We keep the dogs in the downstairs only. But Cooper tends to still have accidents when we're not home. He tends to grab paper off the table. He tends to open closets (with the help of Gracie) and pull out shoes, and chew them.
So he spends almost 8 hours every weekday in his kennel. Since we've had him for the last 1 1/2 years, we haven't minded too much locking him up each day because Cooper Joe loves his kennel. We say "kennel time" and he runs up the stairs and into his kennel. Still, the guilt creeps in. It just doesn't seem fair when his older brother, Otis, gets free run of the house most of the day.
Then I got to thinking...maybe part of the reason why he gets into trouble when we're not home is partly because he has no access to his kennel at all, because it's upstairs. He doesn't have access to his space and that gives him anxiety.
So today, Dave calls me on his way to school. "Yeah, I decided to let Cooper stay out of his kennel again."
"What!?!?!" I'm thinking to myself. "This is unchartered territory! He's going to be free in the house for 6 hours!"
Dave explains that today is as good as day as any to see if he'll behave. And he assured me everything was picked up, so the dogs couldn't get into any mischief.
This afternoon when I got home, I carefully inspected every room. Not a single mess anywhere!! Hooray!!! Yeah!!! Yahoo!!! Woo Woo!!!
Now let's just hope that my theory about Cooper needing access to his kennel is right and today wasn't just a fluke.
Guess we'll find out tomorrow....