Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our first doorway gate

Until we’re sure that Dobbie won’t turn on the gas range again, we’ve installed a doorway gate (pet gate/child gate) to the kitchen to try to keep her out. I knew this day might come, and I know that we need to add at least one more at the bottom of the stairs, but I dreaded this day. I’ve always found doorway gates nearly impossible to open, confusing and constricting, and painfully ugly. And obviously necessary in some circumstances. The fact that they destroy the traffic flow of a home is the precise point of them and a huge deficit in a home.

Even with the extra-tall 36" gate, I’m not convinced that the gate will keep Dobbie out. We blocked off the kitchen with two dining room chairs last night, but she leaped over them. We blocked the staircase with chairs at the base and boxes on the steps, and she was up the stairs a few minutes after we went to bed. She opened the gate to the neighbor’s yard this morning as if she had been practicing.

We’re hoping that she’ll settle down, overcome her perfectly natural separation anxiety, and learn our expectations. The onus to teach her our expectations is on us, and that’s mostly psychological. But we also need to make sure that we can physically confine her to our property and confine her travels within our house.

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