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I know I'm posting a lot, and eventually Merlee and I will live through this 2-month mandatory crate rest situation. However, the more I read and try to utilize advice, the more confused I get. To recap, she's a 5-mo-old, 10-lb Norwich Terrier who twisted her back left leg/knee and is on crate rest in the hopes that the whole joint heals on its own (growth plates scare vets, I've noticed) and doesn't require surgery of some sort.

Q1: Keeping her interested/busy/challenged. The dilemma I'm having is that while she's usually (pre-injury) somewhat interested in food and treats, she's not ga-ga for them. Just today when I went home at lunch to let her out, I discovered she hadn't touched the frozen stuffed kong or the tripe stick with cheese I'd left for her. I mean, the stuffing sticking out of the Kong and the cheese in the tripe stick hadn't even been licked once - they looked exactly as I left them this morning. While this isn't the end of the world, I felt bad that she had NOTHING to do all morning for 5 hours and had eaten no breakfast before I left. So obviously food puzzles won't be much of a challenge either, and now even her favorite chews aren't even catching her attention.

Q2: I've read some suggestions for keeping the crate covered and dark to promote sleep and other suggestions to put by a window or busy place in the house to provide entertainment. The past 3 days have been by the window, but after seeing the untouched Kong and chew, I wondered if maybe she'd be happier sleeping, so I put her in her plastic-sided (darker) sleep crate for the afternoon work shift. I'll see how that went when I get home in a few minutes. Which option do most people find better in terms of keeping the dog content for long periods of time?

Q2A: Pad or no pad? Because she's not 100% housetrained yet and the wire crate (by the window) is just roomy enough that she could pee in one corner and avoid it, I had not put any pad in it at all. So she's been on hard plastic all day. Is it better to put a pad in for comfort and wash it in case she decides that makes it nicer to pee, or should I leave it hard plastic so we don't backslide on housebreaking during this mandatory crate rest? [In the past week of crate rest, she has not had an accident in it on the hard plastic, but her 3 accidents in the past month have all been on her big brother's cushy dog beds, so that's why I'm reluctant.]

Q3: Keeping her interested in treats when she's not interested in them, or more importantly keeping her happy in her crate when I'm right there? Even the high value "puppy crack" bits of Nature's Balance beef rolls aren't interesting to her anymore. Teaching her crate tricks or any training at all is really tough when she turns her nose up at any treat (human food included) that I try. We had also been successfully sitting on the couch in the evenings with her in a carrier and me beside her feeding her little treats now and then to keep her generally quiet and relaxed. If she's no longer interested and would rather paw the carrier door, move around, and whine to high heaven, is that just what people put up with? (I've had dogs before but never done crate rest after surgery, just sort of let them lie around on their own, but they were adults and were housebroken and trustable, so this is totally different)

I know I sound desperate, and I probably am. She's doing okay and I'm projecting and feeling miserable for her. The worst times are when I get home and let her out. In spite of all our work on sit, stay, settle, etc., she just goes BALLISTIC in happiness, pees all over me, herself, the deck, herself, me, on and on because she can't stop letting me know how happy she is long enough to squat and let it out - LOL! And that's a whole bunch of excited jumping around that she's not supposed to be doing. If she were just more treat driven so I could get her to focus and work on training more successfully...

Okay, vent over. For all of you who have done crate rest, did you have a not-food-motivated, very active, young puppy? I have yet to try leaving on the TV to animal planet, getting some calming diffuser stuff to plug in. But would love to hear stories, suggestions, pretty much anything. Thanks very much!!!
 
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