So… these were my exact words:
“Oliver… I know you haven’t been in your crate for ages, and I know you really don’t want to go in there, but I’d like to get a photograph of you in it so we can post it on Craigslist and sell it. Would you do me a big favor and go into your crate… just for a minute, I promise.”
As you can see… despite the fact Oliver hadn’t been in his crate for probably 8 months, he politely listened to my request and then eagerly obliged. When he was little, we used the crate for house-training, though we soon realized that it wasn’t going to be necessary. Feeling slightly guilty about confining him so much, we bought a couple of baby gates to instead cordon off the living room and the stairs, and he now has free run of the whole downstairs when we’re gone.
As you might expect, he’s incredibly well behaved – that’s if you don’t count the sticks of butter he swiped from the kitchen counter on two separate occasions! As soon as I snapped the photograph below, he trotted back out again, gave me a big hug, and appeared to be rather pleased with himself. It never ceases to amaze me how, in the short time we have known Oliver, he always seems to know what it is we say to him. Despite enjoying his own personal space, I remember a while back feeling a little tired and asking him to sit on the floor and keep me company – of course he immediately lay down and laid his chin on my lap. So… like I said, I swear he’s the smartest dog!