In Which Casey Gets a New Nest

28 Apr

When we brought home our little Casey we were pleased to learn he had been crate trained. Since we both work full time away from home and since puppies have small bladders, we knew a crate would be necessary to help with Casey’s house training and to keep him safe. We have a dog walker who comes in twice a day, but it’s really much better for everyone if Casey stays in a crate during the day in between walks when he’s all alone.

The only thing I didn’t love about the crate-trained puppy was the actual crate. Those things are not cute. They serve a purpose, but that purpose is not beauty.

Casey's original crate. Functional, but not so pretty.

Because we had been planning for Casey for a long time, I had already pinned a few things I liked for our “one day dog”. Among them was a an awesome dog tag reading, “If you can read this, I will lick you.” But most of them were cozy little bed ideas.

Like this one:

 

And this:

 

Also this:

 

As it turned out, despite all that planning and research, we found a dog much sooner than expected and we had not purchased a crate. We were pleased to learn, however, that Casey was already crate trained, even though he was just 10-weeks old.

We hopped on Craig’s List and found a good deal on a wire crate in the first couple of days Casey was home and he seemed to like it well enough. But, as you can see above, wire crates are just not very pretty.

So we kept looking on Craig’s List and, a few days ago, a listing appeared for a large wooden crate, suitable for use as furniture.

Our next Craig's List score was this wooden crate used for just a few weeks by its previous occupant. It was half the price of getting one like this brand new.

The crate had barely been used, but the dog who had it first was much larger than Casey. A golden doodle it would seem. This is sort-of a problem because when crate training a dog you only want the crate to be long enough for the dog to lay fully extended, tall enough for him to stand and wide enough for him to fully turn around. This crate is big enough for Casey to have a party for all his puppy friends.

Even though the large size is not ideal, we jumped on it anyway because this baby was half the price of getting one brand new.  Plus, Casey likes his crate and he’s never given us any indication that he might soil it. So we figured as long as we put in a bed big enough to cover the whole bottom we won’t have a problem.

We brought it home on Thursday night and on Saturday I went out in search of a bigger bed for Casey’s new nest. That was a lot harder than I expected. Sure, there are lots of big dog beds out there, but Casey likes to sleep with his head propped up on something. His small dog bed has sides that he uses, but most of the bigger dog beds are like big, cozy pillows. Finally I found one that looks like it has an arm rest on one end – perfect for a puppy head prop.

He seems to like his new nest and I’m much happier with the way it looks.

Casey in his new nest. See the head the rest in the back? We might move it to the front at some point, but for now it's too tall for him to climb over.

The old wire crate went up into our bedroom where we had been using what I called Casey’s sleeping bag – a soft-sided number that we found hard to zip up and contain him. Every morning he would get that bag moving across the floor and sometimes we’d find he had managed to move it about a foot before we let him out.

I have plans for getting the wire crate out of our bedroom at some point, but it’s really ambitious.

For example:

Source: homedesignfordogs.com via Susan on Pinterest

Or this:

Source: houzz.com via Susan on Pinterest

Another nice one:

Source: atticmag.com via Angela on Pinterest

And this one, which is possibly my favorite:

Source: atticmag.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Our bedroom is on the second floor of a Cape Cod style house so we do actually have some space in the eaves that would accommodate such a house for Casey. In fact, during the remodel we talked to the contractor about making that space usable. Unfortunately, like so many other things with that project, he failed to follow up and the walls were closed in. Handy Don will be able to open them up in the future though. We’re just not eager to start remodeling again so soon.

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