Clair de Lunatic
Letting the dog out is a manual process. My house has one door and no dog door, so when Abbie wants to go out, I’m the one to do it.
During the morning hours from 8 to 10 am, she likes to run in and out, in and out, while I like to work and work and work. I can’t reach the door from my work chair. I cleverly solved this problem by putting a squeegee that is mounted on a broomstick next to me.
When she pushes the door open and comes in, I push the door shut with the squeegee, stopping before it latches. Then when she goes out 4 minutes later, I hook the squeegee under the handle and pull it open a foot so she can exit.
I am a genius. I am also owned by my dog.
Last night at 1:30 am, she needed to go out. I dutifully got up to let her out, then made my own restroom visit (in the house, not outside. Togetherness only goes so far).
BARK BARK BARK! said Abbie Lynn.
Oh, crap, I thought. The neighbors are gonna kill me. She usually won’t stop until I go and get her, but when I came out of the bathroom, she was standing inside the front door, peering out, and her fur was standing up. All the way up, like a husky.
I got my glasses and looked outside. It was a fullish moon night, with every detail piercingly clear. I walked all around the inside of the house, peering out, trying to see What It Was. I finally gave up and went back to bed.
Abbie went to the front door, whining. She clearly had business to do and had been so frightened that she couldn’t do it. I opened the door. She wouldn’t go out. She looked out in the driveway and growled.
I saw what it was. I had swapped out the giant memory foam mattress pad on my bed, and because my house is tiny, and because trash day isn’t until Friday, I had folded the old one and put it out in the driveway. (We live at the back of a property, so it’s not out annoying my neighbors).
In the moonlight, it apparently looked weird to a little dog with a tiny brain. She was trapped in the house!
I had to help. I went out and gave it a boot. Kicked it again. She came within a few feet, but then dashed back into the house.
I clearly had to show her that it was non-threatening, that I had the situation under control.
So if you saw a woman in a navy blue flannel nightgown with polka dogs dancing up and down on a memory foam pad in the driveway at 1:35 am, that was me. And if you heard her singing “Shawty Got Moves” because she needed something to dance to, that was me, too.
In other news, the dog overcame her fears and did everything she needed to do.