Gratitude journal: I was wrong. I’m so glad.

In our ongoing efforts to improve our dog’s behavior comes this minor miracle: Following the advice of our outlandishly affordable behaviorist, I set up a crate yesterday in hopes of crate training our nine year old Lhasa Apso. We’d like to be able to put the dog in the crate when little kids are visiting, since her ongoing back problems cause her to have little patience with unsteady, untrustworthy children with big feet and limited coordination.

We were also extremely happy to hear that when Kaleigh snaps at these children, Clara included, she does so without the intent of biting them.

According to our behaviorist, if a dog wants to bite a human being, it will bite a human being. People do not have the reflexes to avoid being bit. Snapping is a dog’s way of warning a person to stay away, and it does not mean that the dog will ever follow it up with a bite.

And since our dog is nine years old and has never bitten anyone, we are most likely in the clear when it comes to actual biting.

This was a great relief to us, but still, it would be nice to be able to put the dog in a crate when friends are visiting with their little ones.

Growling, snapping and barking all suck, even if the dog doesn’t plan on biting anyone.

The behaviorist told us that 95% of all dogs will accept and ultimately embrace the safety and security of a crate.

I didn’t think there was a shot in hell.

The dog is nine years old and stubborn. I didn’t think she’d even enter the crate on her own.

During the first week of training, we were told to set up the crate in a spot where should would normally lie down, place a couple treats inside and leave the door open.

Allow Kaleigh to enter at will.

Less than 36 hours after setting up the crate, with no coercion on our part, this is the result.

Damn that behaviorist is good.