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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you are single and cannot set your dog up in your own kennel or with dog sitter service (none available and too expensive) you HAVE to keep to a schedule because you HAVE to get the dog out. You can NEVER stay late at work unless you know ahead you will have to and can make arrangements to LET THE DOG OUT.. you can NEVER do any impromptu socializing after work because you have to get home and let the dog out... If you live 40 miles from work like I do, you can't go home, let the dog out and come BACK...

A dog is a lot of responsibility.. not so much because you spend hours training them and not so much because you spend hours walking them.. but because you HAVE to be there to LET THE DOG OUT to GO TO THE BATHROOM.

.. and if the snow comes and a crust forms on top of the snow, getting the dog to GO to the BATHROOM can be an act of devotion and time that can drive you right UP the WALL (especially when you have to GET to work in the morning and you have to meet your car pool!! dogs do not recognize these schedules and some dogs need to find the 'perfect spot...').

Even tho I researched the whole thing and really spent about 6 months analyzing the responsibility of owning a dog.. after nearly two years I doubt I will ever get another dog. Dog ownership is extremely confining for a single person.

Fact is, in spite of the danger from Dog thieves in the area, when spring comes the 10X10 kennel goes up.. I will do my best to secure it. I justify this for the dog's sake (I leave at 6:15AM and come home at 4:30PM most days.. so dog is crated all that time 5 days a week). She can go to the bathroom outside during the day when she wants to or needs to if she has a kennel. I can put up a small shed and a heat lamp over her sleeping area in cold weather. If some impromptu meeting suddenly pops up at work and for work, I don't have to sit there wishing it would hurry up and end because I have to GET HOME and LET THE DOG OUT.

If it is REALLY cold I can still crate her indoors and hurry home.. but the kennel and small shed will give me options.

I have not done this kennel option yet due to the dog thefts here, but it has reached a point where I may have to just risk it.. secure it the best I can and hope for the best...

Maybe this is a rant.. and I am just sick to death of winter, snow, cold, dark and all the rest...

Anyone have other ideas?
 

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I know how you feel, dogs are a HUGE responsibility, even with other people in the home. All through highschool I had to come home straight from school to take the dogs out. I passed up countless hang outs with friends and other things...I was bitter at first and thought the same thing "I'm never going to have a dog when I leave the house." But I can't imagine living without a dog, so I'm glad I learned early on that owning a dog = sacrifices.

If you can set up the kennel and feel it's secure for Atka, maybe add some "dangerous dog" sign or something to deter people from dog napping (unless they're targeting aggressive dogs). If you can bolt it to the ground or something, and add a bunch of padlocks around the door, that might be good enough. Or, could you set up an electric dog door that open into the kennel? The electric dog door will only open for Atka (because of the sensor thing you put on her colour) so you wouldn't have to worry about people breaking into your home.

I'm sorry you're feeling the winter doldrums. It will be sunny again soon...well..maybe not sunny, but not snowy.
 

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You know...I saw the coolest kennel set up I have ever seen the other day...

Someone took a big old chevy work van and gutted it down to just the shell and the front bench seat. They painted it and reupholstered the seat. they took off the end doors and fenced in and topped a good sized run as an extension of the Van with the fencing welded to the van itself. the front passenger and driver doors were left as the only way in.
they put in a fountain for a water source. it was pretty cool. Gotta love those crafty guys...whole thing he said cost two hundred bucks...and that big old GSD looked happy as a pig in poop lounging in the sun in the front seat of a car...

not much help but I thought it was cool..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh I know animals are sacrifices.. absolutely.. years of being a dairy farmer and a horse owner and a dog owner taught me that much. This dog is the first one I got being single and not near any family that could help out. I thought it out completely b4 doing this too.

I have thought about a dog door but due to the configuration of the house a small shed with a heat lamp in winter would work better.

Dogs here are being targeted for their supposed breed aggression. They are stolen to be bait dogs.

Oh I can lock it and the rest.. it is just pretty easy to break into a kennel. I will put it out of easy sight for sure.. and put a top on it etc.

If the housing market were better I would just sell the house and get one closer to work and work this all out that way.

You got a picture Zim? :)
I can't put up a van because of Deed Restrictions.. but I can put up a nice looking little shed.
 

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If you want to make the kennel secure... I would definitely recommend going with a custom build vs. buying a kit of kennel panels. If you have a Tractor Supply Co. store near you, you can go there and get 16' long, 4' tall cattle panels for about $20 each (9 guage steel, these things are STRONG and can't be cut through). Stack these to be 6' or 8' tall, bolt or staple them to wood posts sunk in the ground. You could even make a roof out of the panels because they are so sturdy, and then put some sort of covering over it for shade and rain protection.

With the kennel my husband and I built for Willow (which was built into our existing deck), we have the only entrance open into our garage. That way, in order to just break in without cutting through the wire fabric, someone would have to break into our garage, THEN into the kennel. If you have a place on your property where you can open the kennel into the house, you might want to look into that option.

Good luck with the kennel - I hope it works out well for you!
 

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Thats the set up I have. I have a shed with a porch with chain link around the porch with a doggy door to the heated shed. with a dog door out the back of the shed to a grassy area for a restroom(chainlinked also). I do work away from home early in the morning but I am usually home no later than noon. I have a 6 foot fence around 6 acres that is locked so I dont have to worry about dog theft too much. Also there isnt a moment that they are out without someone here on the property. Whether it is me, son or employees. We have very mild winters so it is a good thing year round when needed.

Dozer has his own 10x15 kennel for daytime use.

Everyone was crated for quite some time here.. Until I heard a story of a dog dying in a fire because it couldnt escape its crate. I had to build something for them to get out during the day because the worry of something bad happening inside outweighed what could happen outside here. ever since my fiasco with Digit..I have become a compulsive worrier...so many options run through my head. I like to think of my place as a fort knox because of the dogs. And I am still tweaking things here and there to make it more and more secure.

Good luck Elana~!
 
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