No inside, no outside

May 21st, 2008

Another thing my dog showed me.

Just the idea of it had me pacing anxiously. But there it was in black and white:

Molly should be STRICTLY CONFINED for the next 2 months in an airline kennel, crate or equivalent.

All my doubt and consternation rammed up against this barrier. Say what? A dog? A big dog? A big running, jumping, happy-go-lucky dog? Behind bars? For how long? Say what?

Truth is, just the idea of having a dog – a healthy, ambulatory dog – had seemed confining enough to me. And now the walls were squeezed to an inconceivably narrow enclosure.

We lugged the crate into the house. It loomed over the room. Black, menacing, punitive. Her prison. Our prison.

Molly walked inside the pen. She walked inside and laid down. She laid down and relaxed. She fell asleep. She snored her doggy dreams. When she got better, we began leaving the door unlatched. She ambled in by herself, undisturbed by what you or I might judge as the cruel separation of inside and outside.

She has never been anything but completely unconfined in her confinement, because she has no idea of confinement.

Me? I have been thrashing my head against these bars all my life.

Some are a quicker study.


  1. Well I have to be the first to jump in and say crating is not cruel at all. Dogs are den creatures, it comes naturally to them. Dogs who are crate trained come to love their crates and go to them for security and safety.

    On a completely different note (or maybe not) I occasionally have fantasies about going to jail. The idea of having a small space with nothing to do it often appealing. How many books could I read?

    Of course I have no plans to commit an act worthy of jailing. And, I’m sure, real jail is much different than my fantasy.

    There you have it. I may be certifiably crazy.

    Comment by Shalet — May 21, 2008 @ 3:58 am

  2. That would be “is often appealing”. That would also be the reason for the preview button. ;o)

    Comment by Shalet — May 21, 2008 @ 3:59 am

  3. Oh no I’m not suggesting this is cruel. After all, this is something my dog has shown me. I’m only suggesting the idea of confinement seems to be cruel. As for prison life, this is why I do retreat, or more formally known as Zen sesshin. To narrow the scope of our neuroses is to be free at last.

    Comment by Karen — May 21, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  4. this reminds me of how when i was a kid i loved being in small spaces…refrigerator boxes or under beds or in back of closets or under my blankets. closed spaces felt safe and intimate. lovely memories.

    thank you molly.

    Comment by Terri — May 21, 2008 @ 5:46 am

  5. This gives me the idea of getting a crate or something enclosed for our new doggie who crawls behind the drapes to sleep. She’s been telling me something…

    Comment by Mary Ann — May 21, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  6. What a super post. Really great stuff…a lot to think about.

    Comment by Kristin H. — May 21, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  7. What an adorable picture!

    I definitely would have struggled with the idea of confinement, as well. In fact, I do. Daily.

    Comment by Mama Zen — May 21, 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  8. Sometimes having to walk the dog seems confining–takes time, must be done, requires being home…

    but then I walk the dog and meet the neighbors, say hi to joggers, see gardens and things I wouldn’t have seen had I been unconfined in my apartment.

    Comment by marta — May 21, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  9. molly is great,
    loved the photo.

    Comment by Honey — May 21, 2008 @ 7:28 pm

  10. great picture. the cats love being in small spaces, as long as they are free to come and go. the boys do, too. me, i feel confined in the whole house, and by my whole life some days … but as you point out, it could be my free-wheeling thoughts that are my bars.

    never thought of it before, but alone, in a small cell, with nothing to do does have a strange appeal.

    Comment by RocketMom — May 21, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  11. Yes, I agree.

    Comment by Mika — May 22, 2008 @ 1:30 am

  12. These posts about Molly are really interesting. Glad you and she are surviving the sentence. 🙂

    Comment by Allison — May 22, 2008 @ 2:59 am

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