Dog Trap

July 13th, 2009
Cleo. Photo by Wayne Mercier.

Cleo. Photo by Wayne Mercier.

“There seems to be a dog on the porch,” Wayne said from the other room.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHH!” I said, jumping up from my computer. “I forgot about the dog!”

I had let her out when I was making tea before sitting down to write—20 minutes before. Cleo had been standing on the porch, looking inside the glass door for 20 minutes, patiently waiting for someone to remember that we have a dog. “Sorry, Cleo!” I said, scratching her butt, musing how difficult it is to express guilt to a dog.  “I’m a bad doggie mom.” I blame this one on my ADHD. I wonder if this is further proof that if I ever had a kid I’d be likely to leave the baby in the carseat on the roof and drive off a la “Raising Arizona.”

I’ve done this before—with the dog, not a baby—and so Cleo usually doesn’t come into the porch anymore, which makes sense because once she pushes the door open with her nose and goes inside to wait, she’s stuck. The porch door opens inward, so she can let herself in, but not out. Wayne calls the porch “the dog trap.” Now she usually waits outside the door to the porch. She’ll nose it open an inch or two and lets it close so it makes a small banging sound to say, “Hello, I’m ready to come in.” That way she’s still free and if she gets tired of waiting she can venture into the neighborhood. Escape generally doesn’t occur to her when she’s in the fenced in backyard, peeing or just sniffing, even though there’s a big exit she could use to wander off. If she’s standing around waiting by the porch door long enough, however, some sound or smell will often capture her attention. For some reason that didn’t happen this morning. Instead, she was stuck in the dog trap for some twenty minutes and I guess that’ll teach her to be a good little doggie.

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