I'm beginning to think Pippa might have a little bit of separation anxiety. I don't really know how you would diagnose this in a dog, but I'm certain that she would fall into this category. Generally speaking, she does okay when I go to work and church. After five months of living with me, she has a firm grasp of the morning routine for work and church and doesn't make a fuss about going into the crate.
It's all the other times at home that I'm talking about. In other words, when I am at home, she does not ever leave my side. A few times over the past couple of weeks, I have let her out when I got home in the evening and left the back door open as well. I usually go out with her and leave her on a leash because I'm quite sure she still knows where all the holes in the fence are and I feel like she would try to burrow under them if given the opportunity. While I would like a Pip free evening every now and then, I wouldn't want her to run away forever; and so, since I don't trust her, I keep her on the leash, especially at night when it's dark and I cannot see all the corners of the yard. At the same time, I need her to learn that she should stay in the backyard and hopefully one day she will become like The Tide and when she is done running around outside she will come to the door and bark. I've really got my fingers crossed on this one. So, anyway, a few times in the past couple of weeks I've managed to get home when there was still some light out and I let her out without the leash and I left the back door open so she could come in when she was ready. I would stand out with her for a couple of minutes and then come inside to fold laundry or do some other sort of chore. As soon as she realized I wasn't there, however, she would come on inside and find me rather than staying outside to play. Strange, considering you would think she would want to run around like a crazy dog since she had been in the crate all day, but no, she'd rather be right underfoot or beside me instead.
Sometimes when she is driving me exceptionally crazy (with the biting or the barking or both), I will go to my bedroom and put the gate up so she cannot get to me and she still has run of the house. I will peek in on her during times like this to make sure she isn't destroying anything, but sometimes I would just like a moment of peace instead of being trampled upon by a dog. Most of these times though, she will still just sit outside of the bedroom door instead of taking advantage of her freedom. At night, I will sometimes go watch TV in the bedroom around 9:30 but won't lock her in with me and instead of running around the house, she will jump up on the bed and not leave my side.
This is often the case when I'm showering or taking a bath as well. The Pip just sits in the bathroom, patiently waiting for me to finish up. Sometimes she will just go sit in the den (in the mornings anyway) but a lot of the time, she just sits or lays by the bathtub waiting. It's kind of sweet and kind of strange.
In other Pip news, I'm not sure if I ever mentioned, but my neighbor Jeff now lets her out instead of my church friend Pat. Pat is older and was afraid Pippa might cause her to fall because Pippa is quite strong. So, my across the street neighbor Jeff now lets Pip out once a day. Jeff is seriously the best neighbor of all time. He also brings in my packages if I have any, sometimes leaves me food in the fridge and always brings up my garbage can or recycle bin from the road. As far as neighbors go, I wouldn't trade Jeff for anyone else in the world. As far as dogs go... well. The Pip is getting there.