Thursday, June 24, 2010

Domestic Engineering

See this sweet baby? Don't be deceived. His middle name is "Houdini." You leave him angelically sleeping, gated in the kitchen. Then, fifteen or thirty minutes later, you realize you are hearing (untrained) puppy noises from the living room.

The first time or two, I thought someone left the gate ajar. Then reality hit, the reality of a motivated puppy, hungry for attention and aware of the other dog free in the house, squeezing through slats faster than a shiba chases a cat. It was hard to get a picture - he could be all the way out before the lens focused and the shutter snapped.

So I applied my fancy education, and started counter tactics. After all, I spent my first two years of college as an engineering major. Surely I could outwit a two month old puppy.

Pretend the pictures below are time lapse photography. They recreate the battle which escalated over several days.

First, I set up basic obstacles to block the biggest gaps, using a trash can, a printer still in the box and Wiley's trumpet case.

Winston liked the new game. He would push the trash can or the printer box back to make room for his escape, not even a challenge. I replaced the trash can with a box of copy paper and swapped the printer box with the trumpet case.

The box of paper was only a slight deterrent. He got his teeth into it, pushing it back, once again able to slide through. I used a spare cat litter pan, held in place by the box. He could not penetrate the heavy plastic. Instead, he climbed over the trumpet case.

I added a cookie sheet, to increase the height. So now I'm barricaded out of my own kitchen, waiting on a puppy to grow.

Unfortunately, this puppy has morphed into a teenage boy, skinny and all legs. After a trip to the hardware store, we added a plastic barrier, which he chewed through within a couple of hours. (I left the boxes in this picture so you could see how much he chewed them.)

Adding a layer of chicken wire to the gate finally did the trick.

That's where we are now - wishing Winston would widen.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I swear, it is like a Saturday night live skit at your house every single day! I love it!