Recently I read that dogs love nothing more than getting into a rut. There is a calm and secure feeling in knowing when we get up, when the people come home, when we eat dinner, and when we chase squirrels. Rut, rut, rut. There is no danger, and no insecurity.
Last night we celebrated a big milestone. When Lolita and I came home from the evening walk and went to her room, she voluntarily entered her crate and sat down, calmly waiting for me to place her dinner bowl in the corner so she could dine on her evening snack.
Before this point it had always taken a gentle nudge to get her in there, and sometimes some serious antics. Try to picture a grown woman jumping around on a bed holding, and pretending to chew on, a squeaky toy. She leaps through the air and theatrically tosses the toy to the back of the crate, desperately hoping that Wonderdog #2 will be fooled by her charade and bound into the crate after the orange stuffed toy. All the while, she is talking animatedly to Wonderdog #2 in the high-pitched, excited voice generally reserved for cartoon characters and over-enthusiastic parents. More often than not, the woman is wearing rainbow-striped leg warmers and a sweater with holes in it and wondering if perhaps a red cape would help the situation, or at the very least, look good with her outfit. And more often than not, Wonderdog #2 is sitting calmly on a pillow at the head of the bed, wondering what in the world this woman is doing.
In any case, last night we donned our rainbow leggings and celebrated the fact that a routine is emerging, and it’s plain to see that it makes Lola feel relaxed, happy, and secure.