It’s A Lifesaver! – Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Have you heard? We’re fostering a puppy.

She’s a very good puppy. She’s a very smart puppy. But she’s a very active puppy.

An Australian cattle dog puppy to be precise.

Thank goodness I’m equipped with my foster puppy survival kit. And two items are my lifesavers.

Puppy Lifesaver #1

The best dog purchase I ever made? An exercise pen (affiliate link).

We put it in the kitchen when Honey was a puppy so I could cook without her chewing everything in sight. I’ve used it to protect our Christmas tree from playful dogs. And it’s great for blocking off those large entry ways in my living room designed by someone who obviously never had to contain a puppy with baby gates.

But when it comes to acting as a puppy condo for Zoe? It’s magical.

Zoe the foster puppy sits in her exercise pen.

Why are you calling it an exercise pen? I thought it was my puppy condo.

If Zoe is loose, Zoe is active—jumping on Honey, running up and down the stairs, looking under the couch for stray rubber bands and dog hair to swallow.

It doesn’t matter how tired she is. She has to GO GO GO.

Put her in her exercise pen puppy condo and she quietly chews a bone or takes a nap. Which means I can get some work done (at least until she’s ready for her hourly pee break). And Honey gets some peace. Thank goodness.

Lifesaver #2

After an active day that involves two to three walks, wrestling with Honey, lots of play time, and a few training sessions, Zoe needs her rest.

She doesn’t mind her crate. But she likes to know where we are.

Unfortunately our bedroom is small. And the only place we had room for a second crate blocked us from her sight.

The solution? Stack Zoe’s crate on top of Honey’s crate.

Zoe the foster puppy sits in her crate.

Enough pictures already. Let’s go to bed.

I’ll zoom out so you can see Zoe’s penthouse.

Honey the golden retriever sits near Zoe's crate.

Honey: I’m just sitting here so you can see the scale. Don’t zoom in; I haven’t put my face on yet.

Honey doesn’t mind having an upstairs neighbor.

And none of us mind having a puppy settle down quietly at bedtime.

Are you starting to understand why we call these very important items lifesavers?

Your Turn: Any dog items in your house you consider lifesavers?

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  1. Love the puppy condo. I agree gates are lifesavers. My second choice are treat dispensing games. These can keep Jack occupied for days if it’s a particularly hard one.

  2. A crate is a must for puppies. And antler chews.

  3. I love that she has her pen on top of Honeys!

  4. A puppy condo sounds like a lifesaver. I used the tether method with Harley. It worked fine, probably because I didn’t know any better BOL. Will definitely have to invest in a condo of sorts next time.

  5. Over the years, I have seen Honey be a super tolerant foster sister but I think having an upstairs puppy might be tops!

  6. Lol love the “penthouse”!

  7. I can’t imagine raising a puppy without a crate. It makes it all so easy!

  8. I shudder to think back when I got my first puppy Shadow and didn’t know a thing about crates. I finally bought one and it was the best thing ever!!!

    I remember being able to tell when Linus (the foster puppy) was overtired – he’d be really out of control, so I would excitedly guide him to his crate and give him a Nylabone to chew on. Usually he’d pass out mid-chew. It was wonderful.

    The only things in my house now that are lifesavers – are really for the benefit of Blueberry’s bad hips and those would be the stairs and ottoman I have situated near the sofa and bed so she doesn’t unnecessarily hurt herself.

  9. Kongs. Kongs are our friends. They are good for when one dog has to go somewhere that the other one can’t and they are good for the night time snack. Kongs. Kongs are our friends.

  10. A doorway gate was a lifesaver for me! I have a tendency to do some damage in some of the rooms when left along, but I am rather nondestructive when left alone in the kitchen with my bed. Makes it much easier when the humans have to step out for a bit.

  11. Zoe is adorable!

  12. It looks like you have it all covered to give your foster pup a good experience about being a family dog. Good luck!

  13. Cool bunk beds, but I hope the little one doesn’t pee in the night, that would be bad for Honey!

  14. Exercise pens are awesome!

    I think the most important lifesaver when I had my last foster dog was KONG toys. Star was a high energy Aussie mix and she ate most of her meals out of KONGs or other puzzle toys!

  15. Crates are must haves in my house! Unfortunately it looks like Theo has become Houdini. He got out once last week and helped himself to Nelly’s expensive joint supplement (that we had to make him throw up.) Today he tore open new bags of dog food and cat food. All our weight loss efforts right out the window.

    Zoe is adorable! How lucky she is to have landed a foster spot in your house.

  16. The crate was our lifesaver with Luke. If I put him in there, most times he would then nap, and I could finally get something done without worrying about where he was. And the kongs filled with kibble that went in with him were a big help as well.

  17. With Ducky, DEFINITELY the crates!! Since she was used to being in one at the shelter — for those few short weeks that she spent in someone’s office, alone — she was very happy to spend nap times and the whole night in her crate, right from the start. I wish we had used crates for Callie & Shadow, but Sam wouldn’t hear of it. Thank goodness they still grew up to be well-behaved seniors!

  18. The stacking of the crates was a terrific idea for the dogs! And oh, how I miss the days of my old dog Tidbit and her two or three walks per day. My shelter dog, Valentino, a redtick coonhound, walks me a dozen times a day, and many of those are runs! I keep saying he’ll make me look and feel young again or he’ll be the death of me!