Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Escape Artist

He looks so sweet and innocent! :)

Last night when I got home, Kim had let Skeletor out back to use the bathroom. I looked out to check on him and he wasn't around. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that he had completed his digging project and burrowed under the gate.

We all armed ourselves with leashes and flashlights, then set out to find the little rascal. Ian and I were going to jump on bikes and Kim, on foot.

Before we could saddle up, Kim had already found him. She yelled and he came running from down the street.

He was covered from head to toe with dirt. Ian gave him his first bath. (photos of that later) He wasn't thrilled about it, but he behaved very well.

This morning, I planned on fixing up the gate. Naturally it had been raining all night long, so the hole he dug was full of rain water and surrounded by mud. Yippee! I filled in his hole with what little dirt I could find (our yard is mostly grass.)

We happened to have a 2x6 board that fit perfectly across the bottom of the gate. I laid it down when I first noticed him trying to dig, but had not bothered to fasten it in place. When he escaped, he had simply moved the board out of the way and went to town digging. It was clear that I had to fasten it in place. I looked around the house and garage for some kind of "L" brackets. Nothing.

The best thing I could find was a piece of sheet metal. I busted out the jigsaw and cut out a couple brackets. I took the rectangle pieces of metal out back with a hammer and beat them into "L" shapes. I quickly learned that you should avoid hitting your thumb when performing such acts! After the brackets were bent, I drilled a few holes and voila!

I positioned the board, installed the brackets and the security measure was in place. I hope it works!

Escape artistry is a skill that was ever-present in our pit bulls when I was a kid. Apparently it runs in their genes. All the more reason to get this little guy crate trained.

He's been doing very well sleeping in his crate. I wish I could say the same about his potty training. He seems adamant about spreading his urine around the house. I wonder if it's related to his not being neutered? I think I'll call the vet today to ask about that and his nails.

Nobody ever said dog rehab was an easy job, but who knew that it was practically a full time one!?

Frustrated but staying positive,


  1. This Siberian is furry proud of his efFURts!

    BUT we are also khwite proud he khame when khalled - I'm not furry good at that!


  2. Hey Wesley
    Skeletor must have Sibe' in him - judging by his escaping skills!(So the Sibe owners have told me) You guys are really doing an awesome job - again I say - Doggie Angels! Hang in there...Im sure everything will eventually fall into place. Having taken over a dog myself (Tommy)and dealing with all the obstacles, I find the best advice is: "Always keep the original intention in mind!"...Its not easy but it keeps you on track.
    All the best and lotsalicks

  3. So timely, BadRap just had a post about fences. We had a problem with male dogs in our home that they just wanted to pee everywhere they smelled a remnant of another dog. I bet the intact thing might be making it worse.
    Keep up the good work; it does sound like a full-time job, but he's already looking so much better. I think he picked you on purpose.

  4. Hang in there! Just like little kids they have to test their limits and your patience.
    He is going to be an awesome, amazing dog.
    Are ya'll sure you're not going to end up keeping him? After all the time and love you give him I could not imagine letting him go.

  5. Uh-oh Skeletor! Come on dude! You have a great thing going there....stick around!!!

  6. Mem..ries...LOL
    They don't call 'em Houdini dogs for nuthin' :)

  7. Oh, goodness Skel! Stop that! A little food in your belly and off you go?!

    He's probably lifting his leg because he's intact and then there's the little problem of Sophie. That's HIS girl. Are you using something like Nature's Miracle when you clean up his urine? Hopefully it will neutralize the urine smell and he won't want to mark in the same spot over and over. Once you get him neutered he should eventually get better inside.

    He is awfully darned cute... :)

  8. I knew that he'd start the old escape routine. I just didn't think it would kick in this quick! The upside is that he must be feelin' mighty strong and healthy :)

  9. Hi

    Oh what an adventure for Skelly! Not so for you though! Oh dear. But it does show that he really is gaining in confidence! I like that he came running over to Kim after she called him!

    I think the neutering will definitely calm him down and stop him marking his territory so much! Good luck at the vets.

    Take care

  10. Neutering will help with the pee issues, but it can take months for the marking hormones to get out of the system. Sometimes it becomes a habit and can be hard to break them of it. Hopefully, he will learn. Lots of treats and praise when he pees outside!

  11. So he went on an outing....the peeing thing is him marking his territory. It will get much better when he is neutered. Positive training is the ONLY way to go! Praise, Praise, Praise!

  12. One of my little chihuahuas likes to mark everything too. Drives me crazy because I try to make sure he goes out every couple of hours to do his business. I want to get him fixed one of these days. I've heard that will help immensely.

    I'm glad Skelly came back. He knows who loves him and takes good care of him!

  13. Wow, we had no idea that dogs could really do that whole digging to get out thing - we had heard vague stories, but not known any that actually did it.

  14. The leg lifting and spreading his territorial markers is due to him being intact. He should be neutered as soon as possible. Also, what another commenter said... having a female dog around him is also inciting that behavior, whether she's spayed or not.


If you don't have a google account, you can use this guest account to leave a comment.

Username: skellybull
Password: skeletor