Buster Goes Crate-Less

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Buster has definitely gotten bigger. When he came to us almost a year ago, we were told he was 4 months. Neither the groomer nor I are so sure. He may have been older. Also, as time has gone by, it’s become increasingly obvious that Buster isn’t a Jack Russel/Chiweenie mix. We now believe he is a Jack Russell/Pit Bill mix. Our first clue being the tell-tale pink splotches & freckles.

But, besides altering my opinion of the Pit Bull in general, Buster has challenged many things I thought I knew about dogs. I believe he is a gift from God & no one can convince me otherwise. Not only has he encouraged me to be increasingly mobile, he’s been my companion & friend when I needed one most. Affectionately, I’ve dubbed him ‘Bussy’ and he readily answers to it.

So, when friends are not acting right, those closest to them need to be aware of clues- whether or not those friends are human. Two nights ago, I noticed a drastic, non-Buster mood with him. Now, to preface, this May has brought PA our unwelcome visitors- cicadas. As they’ve been hatching, Buster has decided they are like fruit snacks & can’t seem to stop eating them. When night came, I was concerned that perhaps he’d indulged in a few too many of them. A quick internet search assured us they were safe (gross, but safe) to eat.

With the enormous amounts of goodies I feed my ‘baby’, I have NO earthly idea why he’d want to eat bugs. Yes, he’s a boy, but geez! I digress. He seemed to me to be bothered. He was agitated, lethargic, & snippy. He growled at everybody in the family. Buster has never growled at me. Never. The biggest kicker was that he lifted his leg on my bed. My bed! The person who cares for him, feeds, babies, & pampers him. Yes, I was pretty indignant about it, too!

It was then I decided something major was bothering him. The very next night, Buster refused to sleep. We (he & I) were up all night. I tried countless ‘potty’ trips for him, food, water. He wanted nothing. He also refused to go into his crate. Truth be told, Bussy is a very emotional soul. He expresses himself clearly through sound & expressions on his face. He grunted and pushed off that crate like nobody’s business. There was thrashing & I can’t believe that no one heard his commotion. Finally, desperate, I took him to my room & told him we were going to sleep. That little bugger curled up under my comforter & was out.

At daybreak, I searched the internet once more, but this time I looked up emotional things for dogs. Numerous times, the same thing jumped out at me. Buster was done with the crate. On one hand, it’s good. The thing is unsightly & cumbersome. He was definitely outgrowing it. On the other hand, I worried about him disturbing everyone, tinkling, etc. Boy, did he surprise me.

When the husband got home yesterday, we took Bussy’s bed part out of the crate. I’d told my husband that if the dog fussed, I was wrong. In actuality, Buster got happier. He jumped, he was curious, he was pleased. We just looked at each, without words communicating how dumb we felt. We took his stuffed Wookie (he can’t sleep without Chewie) and put it on the bed. Buster took a look, laid down, & streched those long horse legs. Then, he jumped up & went to play.

As we began our day today, we found Buster, sound asleep on his bed. No crate. No fuss. Curled up with his Wookie in his paws. I may be no novice when it comes to human kids, but obviously, my fur baby taught me a lot. What we thought was a digestive issue (EW!), turned out to be Buster stating his independence.

Today, he’s incredibly happy, playful & the Buster I love.

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