Sunday, May 4, 2008

about those baby gates...

Living in a gated community isn't all it's cracked up to be. I always assumed the gates were there to keep the "undesirable elements" out, not the other way around...Oh, wait, maybe I'm really living in some kind of asylum, and they just tell me that to keep me quiet. I get it now.

Four years ago we adopted a couple of puppies. From the same litter. I know, all the experts say not to, and for lots of reasons: they may have sibling rivalry and end up killing each other, or they may become so bonded with each other, that they hardly notice anyone else exists (except maybe if that person has treats), or simply because it's much harder to try and train two puppies at the same time. Maybe all of the above. I know all that now. It just would have been easier if I'd known that then.
But they were just so darn cute! And full of mischief. Don't let that cuteness fool you. The biggest problem is that they're mostly Labrador, or maybe goat. They'll eat anything and everything, without a split second's hesitation. So, like the paranoid experienced parents we were, we baby-proofed the house. Everything edible went on a high shelf or in a cupboard. We gave them lots of safe toys to chew to keep them occupied. We crate trained them so that we, I could actually sleep at night knowing they'd be safe. And we barricaded various rooms of the house with baby gates to keep them out of trouble. The one thing we seem to have failed at so far, is to actually train them not to steal food off the kitchen counters, or eat the cat food, or root through the garbage. So, almost four years later, we're still living in a gated community.

This gate blocks the basement stairs. It keeps the dogs out of Caitie's suite, and from going through all the stuff in the storage area. The cats can get under it...also, the litter box resides in the basement. Mmm. A delicacy to most dogs.

<-- This gate blocks off the upstairs. It serves a dual purpose. It keeps the hell hounds downstairs, and it allows the two younger cats to have access to an unlimited amount of food, (because they're active and fit, and need the calories) unlike Maizy, the cat pictured above, who's on a diet, and is too fat to jump over the gate to get at the food (maybe she's part goat, too). Which brings me to the last of the inside gates: the all-important kitchen barriers. We fashioned these out of leftover picket fence sections bought to surround the Christmas tree when the evil twins were just pups (and only just became trustworthy on their third Christmas). When we installed these gates, the kitties could all jump easily through the slats until one day, a certain chubby kitty (and not the one named Mr. Chubbs) got stuck between the slats in a, shall we say compromising position? Think of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in the hole with the honey pot, but imagine two giant black dogs sniffing his butt, and you get the picture... So Dave took pity on the poor dear, and after helping her get unstuck, cut a larger hole to accommodate her girth.
Sigh...the things we do for our kids!

For more tales from this zoo also known as Camp Cactus, check out my other blog, Dietary Indiscretions,
where I'll start posting about their exploits this next week.

1 comment:

foolery said...

Oh, that's funny. If only my whole house were successfully gated against CATS! Not gonna happen.