Sweet man, I'm glad your dogs were a hit!
You can run the maverick probes through the top vent on the kettle. It makes taking off the lid a pain in the ass but you don't worry about pinching the wires in the lid that way. It's hard to do with the standard 3' probe. You can buy 6 footers for those things now. Normally, I just do as you did and gently close the lid on the wire on my kettle and WSM's. The mini I still put through the top vent.
"I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull's a$$, but I'd rather take a butcher's word for it". - Tommy Callahan III
Backwoods Ext. Party, Vision Kamado, 22" WSM, 22.5 Weber OTS, Mini WSM, UDS "No.8"
Napkin Killers BBQ