Garry felt we should leave the hallway gate open, or, to put it another way — stop closing the gate. He is worried that one of these days, Duke will get hurt leaping the gate although to be fair, I see no evidence of this.
Nonetheless, Garry has a point. Duke has grown up. He isn’t quite as much of a flyer as he was when he arrived. He has filled out. His chest is deeper. He’s got jowls. He’s a dog, no longer a puppy.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to leave the gate open when I went to bed. I gave the furry ones their last biscuit of the night. Grabbed my bag of medications and my drink, and headed for the bedroom. I turned around and started to say “Good night, fur persons,” which I say every night, but instead, all I started to laugh.
All three dogs were lined up at the place where the gate normally would close. Not in the hallway, but on the other side. They stood there looking at me, then looking at each other. I could hear their conversation in my mind.
“The gate is open. Why is the gate open? Is this a trick?”
“I don’t know Gibbs. Duke, what do you think?”
“I don’t know either. This seems so … wrong.”
“It’s got to be a trick,” says Gibbs. “I bet she’s going to come back and yell at us. I’m going back to the sofa for a nap.”
“I better do that too,” says Bonnie.
“Yeah,” says Duke. “A nap. Good idea. When we wake up, the gate will be closed.”
“Good night, fur people,” I say. They wrinkle their foreheads. They are worried. Something is weird. A night’s sleep will fix everything.
There is nothing more hilarious than dogs who are dealing with … change. Change is not something welcomed by dogs. They want everything to always be the same. Except dinner. They want dinner to be a delightful, ever-changing selection of yummy things. Leftover steak. Remaindered meat loaf. Spare chicken parts.
Change? Stifle that. Do not move the furniture. Do not move the water dish. And now that you mention it, close the gates like you always have. Today needs to be just like yesterday and the day before.
Without thinking, I briefly closed the gate yesterday. They seemed relieved. Life was back to normal. But then, I remembered and reopened it. My last look at the dogs last night was the three of them, all lined up in front of the open gate looking forlornly at me. Why was I changing something?
I know it’s a bit demented on my part, but I might change something else — just to watch them fret about it!