So, I told you about the time she scaled the baby gates and proved to us that the only thing that would keep her in the kitchen was hours of dedication to modify them. Which is what we did. We modified and duct taped until she couldn’t get out… well, she couldn’t routinely get out. So what happened when we bought our house a year later? We got smart. We went to Babies R Us and bought waist high baby gates that had a door on them to open and close. Then we brought them home and covered them in Plexiglas and chicken wire. That’s some good thinking there.
The only trouble with our plan is that we set up the gates, one from the kitchen to living room and one from the kitchen to the stairs, and she immediately jumped it and then walked up the stairs and pissed all over my brand new carpet. Literally new carpet that had been put in the day before.
We moved the gate to the first step of the stairs in hopes that it would be too high to jump. And it is. But she can open them. And five years later, we still have no idea how because they are the kind that you have to lift up before you can unlatch it and push it open. How the heck is she opening the damn thing? I wish I knew.
To make matters worse, we didn’t actually know she could open them for a rather long time. For months after we moved in, she went into the kitchen every night and was there when we came down every morning. Same with when we left for work and then came home.
So, imagine my surprise when I came down one morning, blurry eyed, to my little dog hanging out in the kitchen sleeping on her bed. But wait for it… When I went into the living room, the container of marinara dipping sauce my husband had gotten with his pizza breadsticks the night before had been licked clean and marinara sauce had been smeared all over my new carpet. And yet she was sitting in the kitchen, baby gate closed.
So, not only does she let herself out, but she puts herself back when she’s done to try to remove the evidence… So, now we just don’t leave anything out, anywhere in the house, ever. But now she doesn’t bother to pretend to stay put… She actually follows me upstairs all the time, even though the gate is closed. The gates are really there so that we can feel better about ourselves.
But if you think this is the end of the tale, you are wrong. It gets worse. Because when we got our second dog, we decided to crate train her. He came to us crate trained, but she was always kicking him out of it, so we gave her her own. And she’s been crate trained ever since. But we don’t latch it.
Now, why would we go through the trouble of crate training her if we weren’t going to latch it, you might be asking… It’s pretty simple. We used to latch it. We don’t now. Because she can OPEN THE LATCH. I’m going to repeat that to prove that I didn’t make a typing mistake: She, my four and a half pound runt of a Min Pin, can OPEN, as in unlatch, her crate. I’d shake my head in shame, but I’m really all embarrassed out at this point.
We thought we were so clever. Crate with a latch and all. And it’s not just any latch. No, it’s an iCrate with a latch that you have to lift up and then slide out. But she has discovered that she can put her leg through the bars and since that day, she simply puts her paw out through the door, pushes the latch up, and swings it over.
And yet it still gets better…
While our other pups will stand and panic if the door of their crate isn’t one hundred percent open so they can walk in, because they are normal dogs, she can open it from the outside too. Even latched. And she likes her crate, so if it’s closed or latched, but she wants to be in it, she simple unlatches it and lets herself back in. It’s always unlatched, even if closed because it’s weird to lock a crate if the dog isn’t in it, but I like to test how dumb I really am compared to her sometimes.
If we really need her to stay in the kitchen, we know that she will only open the baby gates when truly motivated and no food being left out removes most of the motivation. But even so, we keep a carabiner clip on her kennel so we can “lock” it. Though I’m just waiting of the day she learns to unlock that too.
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