Who’s smarter, him or me?


The line is drawn in the sand, the gauntlet drawn. It’s past “challenge” and into “battle” now. It’s a battle of the wits, the brains, the ingenuity.

This is Saki. He’s a mutt for all intents and purposes, but he has to be the smartest little dog I’ve ever known. He’s the one that has me going, and it’s something that has been going on for weeks now.

You see, I fenced in the back yard so that the dogs could all be outside while I’m at work (and as the landlord insists), and that project took quite a bit of doing in itself. With my son’s help, t-posts were driven, a gate put up and used, rusty, no-climb field fence was stretched to create a nice little outdoor haven for my dogs. It’s a secure haven, almost like a fortress. Except…

Things might not be able to get in, but Saki can sure find his way back out!

You and I accept those barriers by rote. We stop at stop signs and red lights. We don’t go over the property line when we mow our lawns. We don’t barge into the bathroom when someone else is using it. You know, those proverbial lines we just don’t cross. When the line is particularly obvious, like a fence, we’d never think of crossing to the other side.

I wish Saki respected those lines! First, he slithers his way under the gate with Hiro on his heels. I rigged up a solution and felt safe in knowing that the dogs would be where I left them when I came home from work. When I pulled in the driveway, all three dogs met me with tails a-wagging.

Ties, ties and more ties plus a propped pipe and I thought I had it licked. Nope. Same thing, but at least this time, Jake was left inside all safe and sound. He wasn’t happy to be left behind, but he was where he was supposed to be.

So, a little more fence is added and a few things undone and redone again and I thought for sure I had all the dogs contained. Not so. This time, Hiro and Jake stayed behind while Saki ran at will. This time, I had no idea where he was getting out, and I was at a loss.

Before I turned the computer on, before I set the coffee brewing, before I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes this morning, I was out there going over every inch of that fence. Was it this gap under the fence? There’s a few scratches on the ground, so maybe. Wiggled and pried things around until the gap was closed and continued around. Another gap and more wiggling and prying. Once again, I felt confident that I had sealed the fence up tight, and once again, Saki was out even before I closed the back door behind me.

Saki is a good dog. He’s very smart. And, he’s very willful. He will come when called – when he is ready to come. So, I waited for him, put him back in the back yard.

He made a mistake. He headed right to where his exit was, and off he goes. I never would’ve have considered he’d be able to squeeze between a t-post and the shed, but that’s what he did. Once again, I jimmy-rigged a solution.

This time – at least until he finds another exit – he is in the back yard! My fingers are crossed that he remains right there. It is humbling to be outsmarted by a little mutt dog time and time again.
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