Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rose throws a wrench into the safety net

It is wonderful to have a bunch of dogs. Each has his speciality or role in the household. One likes to play. Another is up for any adventure. Still another, is serious about guarding the house and grounds. Then, you have the cuddler.

Alas, with this gang of canine diversity comes a dark side. Example. Some of you may recall last fall, Lester underwent spinal disc repair. The bulged disc was removed and Lester made a fabulous recovery. But we've had to make some changes to keep Lester from blowing another disc.

The freedom he enjoyed for the past twelve years to jump up and down on the furniture has been terminated. Jumping up isn't so much the problem, you see. It's the jumping down. The motion of a dog's spine during the act of landing from a height is kind of like the beads on a necklace clanging against each other. Only the beads are Lester's discs and the necklace string is his spinal cord.

Thus, there are some new rules around here. And accompanying those rules is a physical barrier to punctuate the point. So Lester can be kept safe from clanging his beads, a gate has been put up between the dining and living rooms. The dining room has no sofa, stuffed chair, or ottoman to jump on, so Lester is holed up in there with a cozy blanket under the dining table.

Meanwhile, the rest of the pack can lounge on the furniture in the adjoining room. The other dogs didn't seem to flaunt their continued furniture privileges and Lester does not whine about it, even though he is wont to whine when dissatisfied.

Things went fine for weeks. But then a certain mixed breed of uncertain lineage (other than a theoretical certainty that there is some nosy bossy ever active TERRIER in there) named Rose, figured out how to penetrate the barrier. Here's the thing, Rose likes to move around the house. She keeps busy- up the stairs to mess up the bedspread. Then back down the stairs to mess up the pillows on the love seat. Next, down to the basement to mess up the blanket in her crate. These are the sorts of things on Rose's daily agenda. So clearly, this gate cramped her style. Never mind that the gate represents saving Lester's life, if you want to get all dramatic about it - and we do. Rose sees it differently. To Rose the gate represents oppression. "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall."

Motivated by an innate need for freedom, Rose addressed this impediment. Pretty soon, Rose was able to move the barrier just enough to stroll through. Since Lester is smaller than Rose, he figured out that he could follow suit. All of a sudden, there is Lester sitting on the ottoman! Alarm! If he is up there, he'll eventually jump down! Clanging disc beads!

Enter THO (husband/The Handsome One) and some hardware. Fittingly enough, the metal thingies are called "No nosing hardware for gate". So now, the unit doesn't look as pretty as the catalogue version of Mahogany Free Standing Dog Gate, what with the hook and all, but the barrier is secure. At least until Rose figures out how to rappel.

That's right. The intense little black dog with a touch of gray is none other than Rose.


  1. Yep...she looks like a troublemaker!

  2. Will she take lessons on rappelling from a climber?

  3. Nah, Rose is a do-it-your-selfer!

  4. The description "nosy bossy ever active TERRIER" is spot on!

  5. Is Lester a dachshund? I think you said Lester is smaller than Rose. They love to jump on couches. Remember I used to have one and all the jumping used to scare me...but the spinal problem fortunately never happened. He hurt himself a couple of times and some pain pills later he was back to his old jumping personality. He loved jumping!

  6. Lester is probably a Chihuahua!

    You're right about the danger with long backs. At the animal hospital there was a display with letters of thanks and photos of the dogs involved. There was a noticably large number of long backed breeds such as Dachshunden and Corgis.