Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Since the gate at the top of the basement stairs came down, I've been interested in what Rockwell might do. It turns out that he is so used to being barred from the stairs that, after his initial curiosity was satisfied, he has no interest in going down there.
looking down the basement stairs
Here is what the stairs look like from the top. They are wood and so they are slippery. Peter and I have each fallen down them on occasion (not so much in recent years!). When we first moved in, our Lab Uma fell down them twice and thereafter refused to go near them. Even when her toy would bounce down to the bottom, she would just lie at the top and moan about it. When we got Rockwell, we imagined him sliding down the stairs too so we put up the gate. And it isn't just the falling down part we were concerned with - the basement is a nightmare of junk and we worried about a puppy getting into the wrong stuff.

When the gate came down, I simply shut the door which is on the landing, to prevent access to the junk-fest. Rockwell went down to the landing and lay there for a while - I think because it was cooler on a hot day. Lately, it has been cool so he doesn't even venture down there. One day I was down doing the laundry and I heard him creep down the first set of steps and I got this photo of him standing looking down the rest of the steps.
Curious at the top of the slippery stairs
When I heard him start down the steps, I called out and said, "Rockwell, STAY!". Not his best-obeyed command but that's the photo above - him staying as I asked!


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