I’ve come to realize that puppy-raisers have to be able to stomach locking up joyful little fur balls that are bursting with life. Maybe there are puppies so sleepy they just lie at your feet and snooze all day. But we’ve never had one of those. We’ve had lively, inquisitive puppies who, unconfined and unrestrained, will learn all manner of bad habits.
Over time, we’ve refined our confinement strategies. We have kennels of various sizes, and several puppies ago, we acquired an “X” (for “exercise”) pen. Since it’s just a fencing system, with no bottom, I didn’t set it up for years in my wall-to-wall-carpeted office. But with our last puppy (Dionne), I began experimenting with ways of protecting the carpet from any accidental deposits of puppy body waste.
I tried heavy-duty vinyl…
But within a few hours, Dionne managed to puncture and rip it.
Next we got hold of some linoleum-type flooring material…
…but that too quickly fell victim to her teeth and claws.
So last summer we replaced the carpet (it was time) with ceramic faux-wood tiles. The experts at Home Depot insisted that’s toughest flooring available for homes. It’s been working splendidly.
As fate would have it, Kyndall has never had an accident within it. She’s inches away from my desk, and she can play with toys or nap. Of course, she also enjoys playing outside of it. We allow that too, and we’ll gradually do more, as she gets more and more adept staying out of trouble.