Master of Destruction

Remember how Cooper escaped his crate the first weekend we had him, and decided to do some redecorating?  After that, we tried leaving him out of his crate, with Oscar as a calming influence, during the day.  It worked like a charm!  At first.  But, remember how, after a while, we discovered some incontinence issues?  We tried a belly band, which worked great for a few days…until he learned how to rip it off of himself while we were gone. 

Well this dog sure is lucky he’s cute, because how can you stay mad at him??  Answer: you can’t.  Physically, it is not possible.  Even when this started happening again…


…we knew it was only because we hadn’t yet found a routine that worked for Cooper.  We had thought that we had thought of everything…Exercise – check.  Frozen Veggie Kong to keep him busy while we were away – check.  Trip outside right before we leave the house, and back outside during a quick run home from work at lunch time – check.  There was only one option we had left to exhaust.

Sorry Coop, but it’s time to reintroduce The Crate.  And we’re not taking any chances this time.

I don’t want to count my chickens yet, because little Cooper has out-witted us before, but for now I’m going to go ahead and say “so far, so good.”  He hasn’t escaped, and he’s had a couple accidents, but overall we seem to be doing quite well (even if we have been through several doggie beds).   I don’t know if Cooper will ever be able to be fully trusted to have run of the house, but he’s still just a young pup – so anything is possible. 

Cooper may not be perfect, but he will love the absolute crap outta you.  If you’re interested in giving Cooper his furever home, please fill out an applicaiton with Agape Animal Rescue.



Filed under Our Foster Journey

19 responses to “Master of Destruction

  1. Don’t worry he will grow out of all of this. My most sweet John Henry completely redecorated the inside and outside of my home. All the way from a hole he chewed behind the dryer that was big enough for him to hide in (he was a doberman!), to the excavation in the backyard the resulted in a small cave for him to hide in, I think I’m seeing a hiding theme here. To the one night when I heard a big splash and he had jumped up on the bar area to take a swim in the FISH TANK! But like an alarm went off in his little head at 2 years old he woke up one morning the model citizen that I had with me until he was 15 years old! When people share their puppy stories I just laugh and think of my John Henry. Cooper is just a very curious and fun seeking young boy!! Hang in there!!


    • Thanks for the encouragment, Diane. I think you’re right, and Agape agrees – Cooper just has a serious case of “Being a Puppy.” When we pulled him, we didn’t really know how old he was. The shelter guessed 1 – 2, but the more we get to know him the more it’s clear that he’s under a year old. And estimating a dog’s age is tough anyway – when we took Chino to the vet to check for a microchip, they guessed he was 2-3 years old. When we returned him to his owners, they said they’d had him for NINE years!! Just goes to show ya, never know!


  2. zoki

    oh boy, what a stinker!


  3. What an adorable little mischief maker he is!

    Hope things improve soon!


  4. Beth

    How about doggie daycare a few days a week? Always helped w/my fosters…plus they come home tuckered out.


  5. Cooper looks like he is super “busy” when you’re away from home! I went through the exact same thing for what felt like a decade with Mazzie, my Black Lab/GSP/Hound mix, whose energy level was (and remains) off the charts. She’ll be with me 3 years in October 2012.

    She decimated nearly every piece of furniture in my apartment, several 8×10 and 5×8 area rugs and rug pads, countless pillows, remotes, candles, picture frames, garbage cans …. and the list could go on and on. And she would not be crated (and based on your Tweet, looks like Cooper has the same inclination).

    While some of her behavior was certainly due to being a puppy, the bulk of it was due to anxiety (separation and otherwise). I was extremely fortunate to find a fantastic behaviorist, who saved both of our lives and sanity. The behaviorist gave us a real game plan to follow (which was tweaked as need be along the way).

    One of the biggest things I learned from the behaviorist was to leave your dog with WAY MORE food and mind engaging toys and bones than he/she could ever get through. I would leave Mazzie with several Kongs, Twist n’ Treats and other foods toys (all with different types of food and treats), as well as raw, frozen marrow bones from the butcher (raw and frozen only, NEVER cooked and large enough so that the dog won’t choke (for Mazzie, that means a bone roughly 5-6” in length)).

    To this day, I rarely feed Mazzie from a food bowl… the vast majority of her meals are still eaten from food toys (albeit far fewer food toys). I now leave her 1-2 large frozen Kongs filled with her home-cooked food when I go to work in the AM and her walker leaves her 1-2 large frozen Kongs filled with her home-cooked food and a raw, frozen marrow bone after her afternoon walk. To give you an idea of how long this keeps her occupied, I leave for work around 9:30 and her walker comes at 2 for an hour walk, after which Mazzie is usually home alone from 3 to 730-8.

    The other big takeway from the behaviorist was to make any departure/absence from home a non-event. During the weekend and evenings, I would leave Mazzie home alone for little spurts all of the time (went to get a coffee, walk around the block, chat with the doorman, run an errand, etc.) and gradually increased the time during which I was away. I also never say good-bye to her when I leave, never make a big production when I come home and don’t greet her immediately (I take a few minutes to myself and then go back to greet her).

    While I’m in no way a dog trainer, dog behaviorist or dog expert, I wanted to share what I learned with you so that you don’t feel like you’re the only one with a dog with an issue that needs a little bit of work, know that you can conquer this with time, work and patience and know not to give up until you find what works for Cooper (and you WILL find what works for him, of that I’m certain).


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