Monday, July 16, 2012

Hairy Houdinis

So, what are dogs scared of? Any responsible dog owner can tell you: loud, abnormal, shocking things such as thunder, fireworks, or the K-Fed wannabe who rolls down all his windows and bumps gangsta rap in the parking lot below our apartment on Saturdays. Therefore, good dog parents wouldn't normally leave their doggy offspring alone at home on a night full of loud scary things... Like perhaps, the 4th of July?  

But Mr. Kate was hungry that night, and insisted we walk to dinner. Despite my best arguments, pleas, and threats to call doggy protection services, we drew the shades and turned on the TV to shield the dogs from the horrifyingly-loud explosions of light & color that, inevitably, would soon fill the night sky.

About a mile into our walk, as I was guilt-tripping and lecturing Mr. Kate about the responsibilities of dog parenthood, we stopped for a sweet moment on an overpass to watch the grand finale of the DC fireworks show explode above the traffic on the interstate. Suddenly, Mr. Kate's cell phone started ringing incessantly. After ignoring the first few calls from the unknown caller, he answered. A frantic caller was on the line, insisting we return home immediately-- our dogs had somehow escaped and were roaming the halls of our apartment complex.

Mr. Kate looked at me, wide-eyed, and said, "What are we going to do?"

I looked up at him, gave him a kiss, and wished him a wonderful run home: "Told you so."

Mr Kate found the dogs in the lobby of our floor, waiting for the mysterious electric doors of the elevator to open, so they could walk in and be magically transported to the ground floor. During their adventures through the hallway they apparently had garnered some attention from the neighbors, by wagging their tails next to front doors, making a knocking sound. Some neighbors answered their doors and came out to pet them, and at least one was conspicuously frozen in fear, hiding in the stairwells with her chihuahuas.

When I got home, I asked Mr. Kate how he thought they had opened the door. He was sure that we (I) hadn't shut the door all the way, because they were clearly not smart enough to figure out how to open the front door. Silly Mr. Kate.

The next three nights, our dogs got out. Each night we received frantic calls, and each night we had to apologize profusely to multiple terrified chihuahua ladies.

Me: "Too dumb, huh?"

Mr. Kate: "Well, there must be some explanation. Maybe something is wrong with the door. Maybe maintenance came by and accidentally left it ajar.  Maybe..."

Me: "Maybe now is when you should stop talking."

Mr. Kate had to admit it. Our (gifted) dogs knew how to open the front door. He also had to admit how awesome and smart I am.

To fix the problem, we built a barricade of chairs in front of the door when we left the next morning. This process took a good 15 minutes, with us (me) lying in the floor of the hallway, reaching our (my) hands through the slightly cracked door to pull all four chairs as flush with the front door as possible.

Wait, Mom! You're blocking the door! How will we get out?

That day, we made it until about noon before receiving a phone call.

That's how. 
Next, we took the doorknob off of the bedroom door and turned it around so that it could be locked from the outside. The dogs would just have to stay in the bedroom while we were out. We figured this plan was foolproof, at least until the next time my family visits and we all start locking each other in the bedroom.

Alas, our dogs were not to be outsmarted. And we were not to go unpunished.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen: for their final magic doggy trick, they made the carpet disappear!

Maybe we can sell them to the circus?


  1. Oh no! I think it's time for a crate. That's how we keep our dog from gnawing on the govt issued Drexel Heritage chairs while we're out.

  2. Wow. They should have their own reality show! Good luck with trying to keep them inside - Donna may have a point!

  3. What happened to doggy day care? Or did you lose interest in driving out to the soulless cookie-cutter-housing-land of Fairfax?

  4. I think it's time the dogs started learning French with you.

  5. oops. We use the crate as well when we go out. Even though he is only in there three hours maximum every once in a while, being a clever dog he continues creating new twists to express himself. The worst trick out dog has learned with the crate is how to twist his body to pee out of the crate through the bars, but we can handle that clean up with cleverly placed towels. :) The joys of owning smart dogs!