What is it about a fence, or a gate, or a door that drives dogs crazy? No matter how much room I give them to play in – they want more. Well, more really isn’t the right word, my dogs want THAT space to play in and explore and not THIS space that I’ve created for them.
Never mind that THIS space is ¾ of the back yard or that THAT space is only ¼ in size. Never mind that their spot is free from home renovation items, broken wood, poisonous plants and what not. Never mind that THAT space has a gate that doesn’t shut properly or that we live next door to a church and if they ran out, they could get run over. None of that matters to my dogs, all they know is OVER THERE looks a lot more fun and exciting than OVER HERE.
We even put in a doggie door on our back porch so that they could come and go as they please to their wonderful side of the yard. They can run, they can play, they can lay in the sun even if they want to. I put latches on the main porch doors so that the dogs couldn’t push them open and go out.
You can tell from this photo that my first attempt at latching the doors was not very effective. It did actually work on my Collie for a while.
Sheba loves to test boundaries and I’m convinced she is either ADD or a teenager. Every day she would test the doors to see if they were still shut. She would go around the back porch, lightly nudge at openings and when one finally nudged (the doggie door) she knew that was her exit. Slight resistance was all I needed to keep their boundaries safe. My other dog, the border collie, needed no such testing. He knew where his door was, and it was the only one he tried.
My locks and limits worked for a year. The meter man could come and go and the dogs would run to their side of the yard – through the doggie door and bark at the fence. The meter man was safe. I wish I could say the same for the plumber. Joe Plumber looks like (I’m not kidding) Larry the Cable guy. Apparently my dogs, don’t like Larry. Instead of running out to their side, my dogs hit the door instead. One harsh jump and not only did my latch break – so did “Larry’s” water. Yeah – that can ruin a day.
Knowing now that my boundary lines have failed, I installed a stronger lock. I was proud of myself. There was no way the dogs were going to be able to get through THIS puppy.
I was wrong – this morning I went outside and found this. I have a feeling new screening won’t be sufficient. It is back to the hardware store to find lattice work or something to NAIL to the bottom of my door.
You know, it’s really a good thing that I am smarter than my dogs. I mean when was the last time I wasted my days nudging doors to see if they were open yet, testing whether or not no still means no. And testing to see if the Narrow Gate is still the only way. I would never break through boundary lines to chase down people who don’t look right. I’m a pretty smart gal. Give me ¾ of the choicest yard to play in, safe from harms way and I wouldn’t dream of standing at the fence, wishing I could be on the other side.