Superdog and the Gate

by swellsbennett

For anyone who is wondering what I do with all of my time other than eat, exercise, and occasionally leave the house, I finished editing my tenth novel this weekend. I’m happy to say it is now with my publisher, Inknbeans Press. Look for Just One Note in a webstore near you with in the next few months.

On with today’s story:

Because I am a writer with dogs, Dan and I had to devise some way of keeping said dogs contained when I am absorbed in my craft. For years, we used an old “baby gate” – a wood-and-wire contraption that looked ugly and scarred up our walls. Last spring, Dan bought a white metal gate that mounted to one wall and swings on hinges – a vast improvement over the previous eyesore.

Then we got Truman…or, as he prefers to think of himself, Superdog. Faster than a speeding bullet! Able to leap off ottomans with amazing precision (just ask Dewey, the landing target)! Able to slide under gates meant to keep him contained! Seriously – he had perfected his run-slide combo. He would speed around the corner of the kitchen and, about a foot from the gate, flop onto his belly and slide under it and into the office. How can a dog be so cute and so irritating at the same time? Truman, who is now six months old, is still only about eight pounds; we don’t think he’s going to get much bigger. Therefore, the gate – at least in its previous position – would never contain him.

Sunday afternoon, as I was finishing the “listen-through” portion of my editing, Dan decided to amend the situation and re-position the gate, lowering it about three inches. All three of the dogs watched him do it; Truman even approached the gate and tried to get under it. I think I heard him mutter, “Curse you, Big Guy.”

That night, a few minutes after I put the puppy in his kennel in preparation for bed, Dan told me that Truman might need another trip outside. Uttering my own curses as I got out of bed again, I opened Truman’s cage door and said, “Let’s go out!” Stopping only briefly to harass Dewey, Truman headed for the back door, which happens to be in my office. I came around the kitchen corner just in time to see him flop onto his belly as he approached the gate. “Ooh, that’s gonna—”

*BONG!* The gate sounded more like a gong for a moment. Truman stood up and backed away from it warily. Meanwhile, I could hear Dan laughing in the bedroom, which started me laughing. Truman looked at me like I’d be dead if he had opposable thumbs. When I opened the gate so that he could get to the back door, he gave it the meanest look I’ve ever seen a dog give an inanimate object. It took Dan and I fifteen minutes to stop laughing. Even now, whenever the image flashes through my mind – Whoosh! *BONG* – I can’t help giggling.

One superpower eliminated. Now, if I could just convince him not to stealth-attack Dewey from the ottoman…

Truman and Dewey at the gate.

Truman and Dewey at the gate.