When I first got the dogs I did a lot of reading about crate training. I had never crate trained a dog, but I felt sure that it was the right thing to do for my new little puppies. One of the articles pointed out that using a crate for your dog was no different than putting your baby in a crib or a playpen. Aha! The light went on for me. Why do we put babies in playpens? So they are safe and can't get into anything while we are occupied with another task (like laundry and dishes).
The article continued with the same idea about using a gate to secure the area where you wanted the dog to stay. Why do we put up gates when there is a baby in the house? To keep them out of unsafe areas and to set their boundaries. Same thing for dogs; it is a practicle way of preventing accidents and destruction and a way to keep the dogs safe, too.
Sometimes I think that I shouldn't have to block off rooms with a gate in the doorway, the dogs should know better than to go in a room and get into something they should not be into. But they are dogs and dogs will be dogs!
Speaking of puppies - I was excited to find this picture of little Blossom (It was digitally mis-filed in some campinig pictures). It was made in late April 2010 so she was about 10 weeks old.