Here is my story. It is completely true and as I like to remind my very best friends, I am not at all exaggerating. I am merely emphasizing.
For the entire three year duration that we have lived in this house, Lucy Dog has never once come up the stairs. She would merely stand at the bottom and whimper at us with her big puppy dog eyes until we carried her to the main floor. Lucy Dog spends most of the day up here with us but she sleeps downstairs outside the laundry room because of her tendency to scratch at our door all night long and my tendency to want to throw things when I’m woken up in the middle of the night. There has never been a single thing preventing her from ascending the stairs other than her own sheer stubbornness.
Until two weeks ago, when Lucy Dog went missing. I was working downstairs and realized that I could not find her anywhere. I searched and searched and searched and was on the verge of tears because I am ridiculously attached to that dog and nothing. I went upstairs to grab something and there she sat, happily panting on the couch like “What? You didn’t think I could get up those stairs? Of course I can come up the stairs. I just CHOSE NOT TO for THREE ENTIRE YEARS.”
And I guess it’s like the doggy version of never forgetting how to ride a bike because after that we’d hear the pitter patter of paws scrambling up the stairs each day. She’ll come up the steps and I’ll open the baby gate for her because I’m very polite like that.
So when we were awakened by a strange sound in the middle of the night I paused for a moment and then told Jeff “Oh wait, that’s just Lucy Dog coming up the stairs.” I assumed that since the baby gate was closed, Lucy Dog would see this and think to herself “Self! My plan is foiled! I will have to sneak into the pantry at first light!” and then turn her little doggy tail around and head back down to her bed.
Except the next thing I heard was some sort of horrible yipping and yowling and we sprung up out of bed. Jeff ran into the bathroom for reasons I was not quite aware of while I ran into the hallway because I thought that Lucy Dog had fallen down the stairs.
There I found Lucy Dog, stuck smack in the middle of the rungs of the baby gate. Let me repeat this: my dog was STUCK IN THE BABY GATE. Her head and front legs were resting on the floor but her tiny little back legs were dangling over the edge of the stairs because they are too short to reach. She was running furiously in place in mid-air, trapped between the bars.
That’s when Jeff ran into the hallway brandishing a weapon because what I interpreted as “Lucy Dog Falling Down The Stairs” my husband interpreted as “Someone Has Broken Into My Home And I Must Defend It And Protect My Family.”
“What are we going to do?” Jeff asked me once he realized that the only danger was that our dog had somehow lodged herself in our baby gate.
I had been trying to gently push Lucy Dog through or pull Lucy Dog back or somehow wrangle her from the confines of her baby gate prison and nothing was working.
“There is only one thing I can think of. We’re going to have to butter her.” I replied.
If you ever want your husband to look at you like you are a crazy person, you should suggest buttering your dog. Or read through my archives and just choose something I’ve said or done in about every third post.
“WHY. WOULD. WE. BUTTER. THE. DOG?” Jeff asks me as he attempts to pry the PRACTICALLY STEEL BARS of the baby gate apart. I decided against remarking about that since he had just valiantly tried to save my life and all.
“BECAUSE JEFF. One time I read this Baby-Sitter’s Club book and Jackie Rodowski, you know, The Walking Disaster? No? Well, he gets hand hand stuck in a jar of mayonnaise. Or maybe pickles. Probably pickles. Anyhow, the babysitters had to smear butter all around his hand to get it to pop out of the jar. And I’m pretty sure that works in real life. Which means we’re going to need to slather Lucy Dog with butter.”
Jeff shook his head, disappeared and then returned with a bottle of Canola Oil and we silently coated the dog with a thick layer of cooking oil and then carefully tried to extract her from the baby gate. It took about fifteen minutes but we finally freed her and then checked her over to make sure she wasn’t hurt.
Jeff looked over at me and said “I can’t believe we didn’t think to take a picture of Lucy Dog in the gate, because this is probably going to be your best blog post ever.”
He is so right about that.
Except that then we agreed that it would have been cruel of us to take a picture of her while she was obviously distressed about the fact that she was just dangling in the middle of the baby gate. So we congratulated ourselves on being good pet owners and then we gave her lots of treats and let her sleep with us because we are softies (unless you break into our house.)