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ZAN THOMPSON

How Two People Tried and Failed to Outfox a Tiny, 10-Pound Dog

May 23, 1991|ZAN THOMPSON

My dog Peaches has a small social aberration that causes her occasionally to mistake one corner of the dining room carpet for an auxiliary ladies' room. We have had long discussions about this, and when I have thrust her out the door with a whack on her ruffled bottom, she looks at me with total disbelief and an expression that says: "Boy, is she in a bad mood today."

My friend Walter Wagner, who can build, invent, repair or improvise most anything, suggested putting louvered cafe doors between the dining room and the kitchen where Peaches has her dog door to the outside. He installed one with the bottom no more than an inch from the floor. Then he installed a sturdy fastener to prevent the doors from being pushed open.

The first time I left Peaches with the new door, I put her in the kitchen with an afghan she likes and some treats. I went out on my appointed mission, secure in the thought that she would pop out her dog door should the need arise. When I came home, the clasp on the new fastener, made of half-inch thick plastic, was on the floor with one side broken.

Peaches had jumped at the door, each jump moving the fastener until the clasp broke and the door opened. Peaches was relaxing in the living room.

I called Walter, who said: "I'll think of something." He arrived the next day with the same kind of fastener but carved from three-quarter-inch oak.

A couple of days later, I put the oak holder in place before going out. I came home to find Peaches in the living room.

She had obviously succeeded in bouncing the door fastener off again by repeated lunges. In addition, two louvers had been pulled from the door. She has teeth like a killer shark because I have given her rawhide bones to chew since she was a puppy. I waited a couple of days before calling Walter, not eager to tell him we had again been outwitted by a 10-pound dog. In the third week of the problem, Walter came over and hung a Dutch door between the dining room and the kitchen. I have not tried closing it yet because Peaches has an infected ear that causes her to shake her head with discomfort and I don't want her to think she is being punished for having an earache.

Also, I'm afraid to try it. I think she may push a kitchen chair over to the door and turn the doorknob with her teeth.

The rest of the last week was not a walk in the park, either.

I was in the market when the customer-service manager came in and told me that a large truck and trailer had smashed the back of my car. I went out and it had.

I obtained an extension on my income tax return because the first months of the year were occupied with therapy on my new fake knee. So for a big finish to the merry month of May, I went to see a new CPA, always a thrill and a day brightener. And that is spring in La Quinta.

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