Gracie is feeling better. So much so, in fact that she’s progressed from gingerly climbing our of her playpen to clearing the enclosure in a single leap whenever she feels compelled to chase a kitty. In fact, I’ve had to stop writing this column twice to run down the stairs because I heard the thump from the landing, and the subsequent nails-on-the-wood-floor scrambling as she decided that getting the cats (in whom she’d previously expressed only a passing interest) was more important than staying safe and secure behind her plastic walls.
While I know I should be heartened by the fact that Gracie is so vastly improved from her state three weeks ago, this recent acrobatic behavior is troubling for a number of reasons:
- The veterinary surgeon who performed Gracie’s CCL repair has been pretty explicit in telling us that Gracie needs to stay off the hardwood. Not because she might damage it—we’re way beyond that point here—but because wood floors are slippery, and slipping can lead to re-injury, or even worse, injury on the other rear leg.
- Even in her healthiest days, Gracie is usually in a room with an open door, but a closed baby gate. Now that she knows she can jump her pen, she’ll probably be able to figure out how to jump the gate, too.
- I’m not a fan of this recent interest in the cats. I never expected them to be best friends, but I’d like very much if we could all live in the same house without killing each other. And of course I mean this literally. I doubt Gracie wants to hurt the cats (more likely she’s so stir crazy with her lack of exercise that she’ll chase after anything at all if it means running, period) but accidents happen, especially when you have a fifty-pound dog with a lack of impulse control.
But still, the face Gracie gives us every time she jumps the gate, the big brown eyes that plead: “look-what-I-did-see-I’m-all-better?” I can’t help but be proud of how far she’s come.
Kennel Confidential is a regular column documenting the adoption of a shelter dog by two KeyPulp editors. Leave your dog-rearing stories and tips in the comments section below!
Photo by author.