I volunteered to dog-sit this past weekend. Friends brought their Labrador over, fully prepared with leash, food, and toys. Very sorry, they said, but they’d forgotten his crate. He’d just use ours. I did the deer in the headlights imitation at them. Crate? I’ve never had a reason to crate train a dog. I’ve heard all the benefits of it, but it’s something I’ve never done. I was told that my dog-guest wouldn’t sleep without a crate, and of course, I didn’t own one.
My next order of business was to set it up, which I did with an almost laughable amount of ease. I’m not known for my engineering skills, but I didn’t need any to open the box, unzip a few zippers and pop it up just like a small tent. There was even a fleece-y pad to go inside. It wasn’t heavy, and the material felt like it would hold up well to thick nails. On closer inspection I saw it came with ground stakes, perfect for outdoor use. I got to thinking; Petmate’s Portable Pet House would be awfully handy on a camping trip. Much more convenient for a dog to have its own tent instead of taking over the human’s domain.
There were even pockets and roll up windows. My only concern was that the Velcro on the window flaps was placed vertically instead of horizontally, and I was worried that they wouldn’t stay up. They did, though not fully attached.
I was impressed by the portable home, but it remained to be seen if the visiting lab would find it acceptable. I tossed in his toy, and he sniffed around the door. I tossed in a treat, which he snatched out and ate over my carpet. Maybe the ‘new house’ smell was putting him off? I left him to his own devices and went about my business. When I returned, he was snoozing, half in and half out, ready for a quick escape. By the time bed-time rolled around, he was completely snuggled up in the back corner. I rolled down the windows, gave him his blankets, and as far as I know he never moved until morning!
When his owners returned, the angel on my shoulder told me to give them the Petmate Portable House since my dogs didn’t use it, but the devil told me to keep it. The devil won. Though I did tell them it's available at major pet stores like PetSmart, certain feed stores (call ahead to be sure) and online. I’m now working to convince my dogs that Petmate’s Portable Pet House is a much better place to sleep than in my bed. I’ll let you know how it goes!