THE GREAT HOUDINI
1 April 2005
It was a battle of wills.
Demetrius (who has gained about a pound since he came here) was determined he was going to get OUT, and I was determined that he was going to stay in. I had already given in to him all day and he'd had the run of the house, pretty much. I'd taken him outside to run around, but this was our routine, dammit, and he was going to adhere to it.
The routine is that they eat four times a day and that after they eat at 11 p.m., they get locked in the kitchen for the night. If they weren't such poop machines throughout the night, I wouldn't have minded leaving them out all night, now that they've convinced me that it's better to let them out than to keep them in during the day, but I didn't want to get up and have to clean half a dozen piles of goopy poop off the family room rug--even if we are going to replace it.
They usually settle down after eating anyway, so I figured it wouldn't be a problem.
Only Demetrius didn't settle down.
He cried and he howled and he tried climbing the board that locked him in. Walt laughed as he went off to bed, telling me that he'd watched Demmie try to climb the board while Hammie would grab him by the tail and pull him back down again.
Walt told me good night and went off to bed. I continued to sit here in my office and try to design and April journal "look" that was kind of "spring-y."
Demmie did finally stop complaining and I was smug. It had worked. Just like with a baby. You leave them alone, don't give in, and eventually they give up and do what you wanted them to do after all.
Earlier in the day, Demetrius had gotten out when I tried locking him up, but I suspect a bit of help from Kimba the Gleaner. Kimba has discovered that the puppies eat. And that the puppies are messy. And that when they finish eating, there is food on the floor. Since Kimba lives to eat (she's my dog, I fear), she now waits by the door to the kitchen until the puppies finish eating and then waddles in, resolutely, determined to pick up every single crumb.
So when I saw that the board had been pushed back so the puppies could get out, I suspected that Kimba had something to do with it, since the floor had been licked clean.
But Kimba was asleep, Sheila had gone upstairs to bed, and the puppies had settled down, thank goodness. All was calm, all was bright.
I tiptoed to the door of the kitchen and peeked in. All the lights were turned off, so I couldn't really see, but I could make out what looked like the usual pile o'pups over by the door to the cage, where they curl up together to sleep. I smiled. Nothing sweeter than the sight of a baby ... or two ... sleeping.
I climbed into the recliner to watch Jay Leno and reached down to pull up the blanket that was on the floor, which the puppies had been sleeping on all day.
I arranged it carefully over me and then heard Demmie whining again. I sighed. "He'll settle down again," I thought.
But then I realized that the whining wasn't coming from the kitchen.
I looked down and there was the darn puppy at my feet. He had finally scaled the board and managed to get out...I'm sure falling on his head in the process, and had apparently been sleeping on the blanket I had just pulled out from under him.
"Guess what?" I called up to Walt, who I could hear still moving about upstairs.
I was holding Demmie, who now settled in happily under my chin and was going to sleep again. Damn dog.
At 11:30 at night, Walt was out in the back yard searching for a larger board, finding one, and having to clean it off so he could bring it into the house.
We now have an unscalable wall. It also means I can no longer step over the board to get into the kitchen. And Sheila can no longer watch the puppies from the hall. And it's difficult to lean over and pick up a puppy. But Demetrius will stay in at night
Demetrius was not happy. He whined, he howled. I could hear his little toenails scraping the board over and over again. Then I heard him climbing up the other end of the room, into the milk carton. Then I heard him going to the back of the cage and howling..."Let me out!"
But eventually we all settled down to sleep, and the barricade held firm.
PHOTO OF THE DAY