Remember when I talked about the bark collar? I also mentioned at that time that there are other instances when I knew my dog is actually smarter than I am. She is the Devil incarnate and outwits me every single day on a mini scale, but we have some pretty amazing stories of times when I was epically outmatched in the intelligence department by a four and a half pound runt. One is in regards to how we corral our dogs.
We use baby gates to keep our dogs in or out of certain areas. We came up with this idea when we first adopted The Little One because my mom had baby gates and they were free. Free beats buying a dog crate, so we decided to baby gate our Min Pin in the kitchen of our apartment. What is she going to do? Scale them?
Actually, yes. That’s exactly what she did.
Our baby gates were a plastic honeycomb patterned set that used tension rods to stay in place. Each day we put her into the kitchen and each night we came home to a rather happy little puppy sleeping on the couch or greeting us at the door. Each day for a week we pretended that we had simply forgotten to put the only dog we own into the only area that can contain her. And each day for a week we double and triple checked that she was put in the kitchen. And each day for a week, she greeted us at the door or from the couch.
We finally set up a video camera, put her in the kitchen and then sat on the couch to watch a movie. Within five minutes, she was sauntering into the living room, proud as can be. When we watched the playback, we saw that she was climbing the gates like a little spider monkey. So, we thought we would out smart her (that was our first mistake) and put a piece of flat cardboard across the center of the gates so that she wouldn’t be able to climb all the way to the top.
And yet, five minutes later, she moseyed into the living room to say hello,
I don’t know how long it took us to get over the shock and be able to collect our thoughts again, but when we finally did, we watched the video playback. And we saw (please read this in a sports announcer’s play by play voice for the best effect):
Jerry: The Little One approaches the gate. She starts to climb… And OH! She slides right back down to the floor when she hits the cardboard unexpectedly!
Tom: She didn’t see that one coming did she, Jer?
Jerry: No she did not. But wait, what is she doing now? She is walking to the back of the kitchen… But she’s just sitting there.
Tom: Her head is cocked to one side, but she doesn’t appear to be moving.
Jerry: Wait, it looks like something might be happening… Is she? Yes she is! She is RUNNING full steam towards the gate!
Tom: I don’t know what she’s trying to do, but this is not going to end pretty!
Jerry: She’s picking up speed. Man, she looks determined! She’s approaching the gate, she’s gonna crash right into it! I can’t look!
But wait! She’s jumping now… And she’s hit the cardboard in the center of the gate… AND SHE’S BOUNCING OFF OF IT… HOLY CRAP! Did you see that!!!!!!!! Did you?!!!!
Tom: Yes I did and it’s UNBELIEVABLE! She has bounced off the center of the gate and now has her front legs wrapped around the tension bar!
Jerry: HOLY COW! She’s flipped over! She’s FLIPPED OVER! She has flipped herself over the gate and landed a perfect 10! All FOUR feet flat on the ground!
And then she walked proudly into the living room to show my husband and me why we will never be smarter than our dog. Ever.