This past weekend, for Mother's Day, my parents were visiting with their dog, Emmy, and we decided to try something new. While we ran out to run some errands, we left Clover, Paisley, and Emmy free in the house with access to the dog door. We'd been curious how they would do with no one around. When we got home, as far as we could tell, they'd done just fine. Nothing was destroyed, no messes on the floor, no evidence at all that they'd been left to their own devices.
On Monday, Dan texted me in the early morning to see what I thought about leaving our girls in the house instead of crating them. I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Clover's been doing great with the dog door, and my only real concern was her deciding one of the couch cushions looked tasty or barking incessantly at the neighbors without me there to stop her. I figured I'd come home to sticks and bean pods from the yard all over my living room carpet, but that happens almost daily anyway. So we tried it. I was amazed to come home to a clean carpet and two happy pups, still warm from their sunbathing. So we tried it again Tuesday, and got the same result. I was happy that we could give the girls more freedom and not have the guilt of crating them all day.
And then I came home yesterday. Paisley greeted me right away, but Clover was nowhere in sight. I went to the yard to see what she was up to, and called for her. Nothing. I thought maybe she was being stubborn - she tends to hide when called because she still thinks that "come here, Clo" means "get in your crate and get locked away for hours." And then I heard whining. And scratching at the bedroom door. Uh oh. We know how this ended up last time. Ugh. All I could picture was my comforter in shreds and Clover accidents everywhere. So I took a breath and opened the bedroom door, and... nothing! I searched everywhere for evidence of an accident. There was nothing. No wet spots - trust me, our carpet is so plush that her wet messes sit on top without soaking in. I'd see them very easily, and there were none. My comforter and pillows were intact. Clothes within reach of a bored puppy all had their buttons. You seriously couldn't tell she's been in there alone for 8 hours. Well, except for the fact that she made a mad dash to the yard to go potty and then drank a whole bowl of water (poor puppy didn't have any in the room since the bowl had been moved from the crate to the kitchen). Dan later found a ripped up package of iron-on hem under the bed, but if that's the worst of it, I'll take it. As it turns out, Dan had seen Clover in the yard when he was getting ready and thought she was outside, but when he gathered up his keys and lunch box, she'd apparently gone to hide under the bed to avoid crating and was accidentally left in the bedroom.
So I don't want to jinx myself, but I'm cautiously excited that we may have fiiiiinally achieved house-breaking with Clover. Yes!