Cinder’s travel crate arrived this week. She didn’t take it well. Having lived a portion of her formative months in the “system,” Cinder is wary of any sort of enclosure. Before I’d even unpacked the enormous plastic contraption which will serve as her in-flight containment, she’d retreated to the bedroom. I decided to put the two pieces together so she’d get used to seeing it. My plan was to buy a bed for the crate, and then over the next month she’d get comfy in there and be totally acclimated by travel time. I’ve already begun having panic attacks about everything that could go wrong, picturing her alone and frightened in the belly of the plane with only Samsonite and Tumi for companions.
But if I thought I could assuage my guilt by trying to acclimate her early, it took less than a day to see that this plan is not going to work. Cinder has taken to glaring at me and at the crate from her usual position on the couch. I’ve begun nonchalantly tossing cheese cubes to the back of the crate to at least get her to go inside, but she’s a wily one. She manages to put one large weimaraner paw in, then executes an elongated yoga stretch to retrieve the cheese without fully entering the crate. Not to be outmaneuvered, I’ve tried attaching the cheese to the back wall of the crate. This too she manages to grab without going in.
So today I took the top portion off and put a blanket inside to see if she might be more interested. She did walk in and turn around. Although, I think it was only to make sure she hadn’t left any cheese crumbs behind. When her bed arrives on Tuesday, we will see if I can get her to lie down in there and eat a pig’s ear. Those are her favorite, the big guns, which I usually only bring out on bath day!
I’m not holding my breath that this will work, but at least she is getting used to the crate being in the house. Well, she can’t really avoid it as it takes up half of the living room.