We feel that we've done a good job in getting her to consider the crate to be a good place. We give her treats when she goes in it on her own, let her have bones and chew toys in there, and give her plenty of praise when she's in it. However, the first few times we left her in the crate when we left the house, she would inexplicably escape like a little Houdini-dog, and would naturally go do what she does best - pee on the carpet. Short of her growing opposable thumbs temporarily to manipulate the latch, we will never know how she figured out how to open the gate.
Our next step in confining her was to use Jenny's bike lock to keep the crate closed. This worked great probably twice. Then we had to leave her there for five hours during my visit to the emergency room. This did not sit well with the devil dog.
Realizing that the doctors were going to win the waiting game, we decided a good idea would be to have Danny and Derek go over to the house to at least let her out to pee. We figured that she might be scared to have people besides me and Jenny in the house, but that with proper incentives (treats), that she would get over her fear and make new friends. Danny and Derek will testify that we were wrong. Despite ten minutes of attempted persuasion, Chipson would not leave the safety of her crate to feel the warm embrace of Derek and Danny. Instead, she barked and snapped ferociously until those invaders left her territory. Were it not for her lack of speech, I'm sure she had quite the story to tell us later about how she repelled their attack.
By the time we got home from the hospital, we had been away for over five hours. As Jenny started unlocking the door, we heard Chipson's characteristic anticipation-whimper coming from downstairs, which meant she had miraculously escaped once again from her Alcatraz on the second floor. At the scene of the Crate Escape, we found that she had chewed through one of the wooden bars to get out once Danny and Derek had left. This meant that, at 1am, Jenny not only had to help her hobbling husband up the stairs, but then had to return to the scene of the crime to clean up the disaster that Hurricane Chipson left behind.
We (by "we," I mean "Jenny," since husbands on Vicodin can't use tools) have since tried nailing the bar back into place, but the ingenuity of mere mortals is no match for Chipson's wizardry. Lesson learned - don't fence her in.