Ever since the family dog was just a wee pup we’ve used those “pet gates” to keep her from running amok in the domicile during our absences. She isn’t particularly destructive (in fact she’s pretty darn tame by most reasonable standards) but it’s become a bit more important as the years have passed and the sphincter control has become, shall we say, somewhat less rock solid.
More and more though I’m hearing news from the old family homestead that my folks are returning to find the dog settled comfortably into a spot on the carpet or a nook in the couch on the other side of said gates. Turn the key, open the door, and there she is wagging her tail, wearing her best “Aw shucks” sheepish look.
Let me tell you this is something of a feat. She’s by no means a big pooch. More like twenty-five pounds of fur-covered nerve endings. But the real kicker is she’s started pulling this stunt at the ripe old doggy age of fourteen. Yes, fourteen. (It seems the old saw is completely busted–an old dog can learn new tricks.)
There’s something in all this that reminds me that, given enough time and sheer determination, you’d be amazed at what can be accomplished. It may have taken fourteen years to figure out how to get to that couch but, dammit, she sure as hell made it.