Don’t call the cops, it’s just the dog

Laurie Sontag

My dog knows how to open doors. Now, this sounds like a great thing—I mean, hello? No more getting up in the middle of the good part* of Real Housewives to let No-No Lulu out. No more wondering if the dog needs to be let in or if she has run away to the neighbor’s house where the lawn is definitely greener since their dog is a male.
Sadly, though, this is not a good thing. In fact, it’s really a very bad thing.
I noticed No-No Lulu’s unusual talent one day when I came downstairs and realized the door to the backyard was open and that someone had dragged a large branch of something leafy inside. Of course, the first thing I thought was, “Wow! No-no Lulu must have opened the door. She is so talented!” Then I closed the door and went on my merry way.
Oh. Wait, no. That’s not what happened. What really happened was that I came downstairs, noticed the door was open and that something with many leaves on it was sitting on the floor. And naturally, I came to the very obvious and completely reasonable conclusion that people dressed in leaf costumes were in my home at that very moment for the express purpose of robbing me. (Excuse me. That could totally happen.)
Anyway, then I freaked out and did what any normal person would do before calling the Gilroy Police Department. I ran through the house screaming because the last idiot to use the phone hadn’t put the phone back on the receiver and I didn’t know where the heck the phone was. And yes, that idiot was probably me. But at the time that didn’t matter. Because clearly I was in the middle of a crisis and could have been attacked by leaf-wearing robbers at any moment.
Anyway, No-No Lulu came running to my rescue. And she was covered with leaves. And so I came to a new, very obvious and completely reasonable conclusion. No-No Lulu knew how to open doors. And apparently she enjoyed snacking on tree branches, which made a nice diversion from her usual snack of dog poop.
Now this was great for a few days—the door-opening thing, not the dog poop snacks. If No-no Lulu wanted in from the backyard, she just stood up on her hind legs and opened the door. Unfortunately, our other dog, Kirby, wasn’t as talented. So when No-No Lulu opened the door, Kirby would bark like a crazy dog and then wait for a human to come and coax her in, despite the fact that the door was already open. Yes, in case you were wondering, that right there is the reason I’m crazy.
Also? We soon became a fly-infested house since No-No Lulu was clearly born in a barn and did not close the door behind her. So we did what any reasonable family would do. We decided to teach her to close the door. Yeah. Because, you know, teaching your dog to close a door is so much more logical than just keeping the stupid door locked so she can’t open it.
And that is why, for a few weeks (yes, weeks), we tried to teach No-No Lulu to close the door. Every time she opened it, we’d stand her up, gently walk her to the door and have her close it. Then we’d give her a treat. Unfortunately, our dog seems to be exactly as smart as every member of this household and she decided that the treats were given for opening the door—and refused to close the door on her own.
And that’s why, when my mother visited and she thought she’d locked the bathroom door behind her … well, I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that A) my mother has a bloodcurdling scream; and B) she doesn’t want a dog investigating her bathroom habits.
Anyway, we’ve solved the problem now. Yeah. We just ignore it. Because as everyone knows, it’s better to ignore a problem like a dog walking in on you in the shower than to solve it by locking the door. And, of course, we live in perpetual hope that someday No-No Lulu will surprise all of us and close the door behind her. Because, obviously, we’re idiots.
*Just FYI, the good parts of any Real Housewives show include, but are not limited to, when someone tosses a leg at someone else, wigs are pulled off or someone is indicted for stealing money. So pretty much a typical episode is filled with good parts.

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