You know we often think things are a good idea and they turn out to be really bad.
The other night, I heard my big dog crying. He is not a crier; he is just a “pile up on the sofa, bring me some food and scratch my back kind of dog.” So if he’s crying, something is wrong.
Doolittle, my 95 pound poodle was sitting at the top of the stairs with his nose sticking over the first step. He was bawling. I could only think of the first time I went skiing and someone talked me into going to the top of the mountain. They didn’t tell me that the terrain was much more difficult and I was possibly going to die trying to get to the bottom.
I made it to the bottom, falling and cartwheeling most of the way and then deciding to walk. That was many years ago, I do a little better now.
My dog was not coming down the stairs. He is an intelligent dog – obviously, because he piles up on the sofa and eats anything he wants to eat within reach. Please don’t give me the “table food being bad for dogs” speech. I’m not giving it to him, he takes it.
I have witnessed the ineffectiveness of various types of child locks and also watched as my little dog stood on the pedal of the flip-up trash can and Doolittle stuck his head in to pull out the bag.
I’ve witnessed them push two child locks in unison on opposite sides of the pull out cabinet type trash can.
When they were successful, it was a party for them. All that was usually left was a plastic bag… The problem was eventually solved with a locking latch on a normal aluminum can.
Not to be defeated, they will still team up to “counter surf” for leftovers, using a stool if the mission requires it.
Therefore, Doolittle is intelligent or is pretty good at figuring things out.
Up the stairs was not a problem.
However, he was not coming down the stairs.
I figured out he was afraid of falling. At about 7 years old, he should still be able to manage, but he thought otherwise.
He circled and circled, he couldn’t even be bribed. At almost a hundred pounds, I couldn’t really lift him and get him down the stairs – because he did not want to come. Think about your “Big Ole Uncle Earl” who might have had too much hard scuppernong juice and being dead set on staying where he was.
My son and I managed to walk him down or perhaps gently drag him down. My son checked Doolittle’s feet and discovered they were slippery from excess hair, etc. Okay, he needs a haircut, I can fix that. What was even better was that my dog was smart enough to figure that out.
He is my dog…
In the meantime, I had to keep him from going up the stairs because my back just couldn’t handle getting him down and I didn’t want him to get hurt. I built a blockade of straight-back chairs at the bottom of the stairs to keep him from coming up.
Never mind the possibility of a fire or some other reason to have to get out of the house quickly, I was dealing with my dog’s safety or fears or psychological issues or my potential back problems.
All seemed well until about 3 in the morning. At that time, it sounded like a bar fight was going on in the kitchen or foyer of my house – but there was no Hank Williams Jr. music. I knew what it was, or at I knew what I hoped it was.
The barricade did not work.
A very sleepy, happy dog met me in the hall. You can’t get mad at him. He wanted to be upstairs. Of course I let him stay and worried about getting him down the next morning.
We love our dogs and we also love what they teach us.
They might be like Uncle Earl when he tries to put the “all you can eat” buffet out of business or has too much hard cider, but we love them.
What do we do?
Like Doolittle, we keep climbing - because we can and because what’s at the top must be worth it. We don’t worry about how we’re going to get down.
Cranks My Tractor
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I'm BN Heard and I like semicolons, dogs and knowing that once I get there, I'll be happy.
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