Every boy needs a fort and apparently, boys of the K-9 variety are no different. If you haven’t noticed by now, our little fluff boy is very quirky….in a good way….and a VERY entertaining way. I know he thinks he’s human……and the way we pamper him, talk to him and take him everywhere possible…..well…..I’m not going to be the one to tell him he isn’t. LOL.
So ever since we got Sargie he follows us EVERYWHERE, he feels the need to be with us no matter where we are. Even when he is sooooo exhausted from a long day of playing, car rides or various other adventures…he simply cannot let us out of his sight. He will wake up out of a dead sleep and get up to follow you only to collapse on the floor of whatever room you’re in, then lead the way back when you’re done. If Ben is sitting at his computer in the office and I’m sitting in the living room on the laptop, Sarge will position himself in the kitchen doorway so he can see us both at the same time. There is however one exception that we have discovered.
In the guest bedroom, I have an old antique bed that sits very high off the floor in the far corner of the room. Next to it I have an antique leather steamer trunk that sits open against the wall to display my collection of teddy bears. On the other side of the trunk is a wooden rocking chair, which sits next to the bedroom closet. Now….in order to fully understand what I’m going to tell you next, we need to shift from human perspective to dog perspective.
Tall bed+ corner +floor length comforter = fort
Trunk+ space beneath open lid+ next to fort = tunnel
Rocking chair+ next to tunnel = camouflaged look out point
Open closet door+ next to camouflaged look out point = U-turn or emergency escape hatch
See where I’m going with this now? Yep…..the mini marine has created a fort for himself….and he plays in it EVERY day. Sometimes it’s cute, other times it’s exasperating. Usually it’s cute though and chances are if I can’t find one of his toys….or all of his toys…it’s because he has carried them inside the fort and hidden them somewhere that only he can see. When we’re in that bedroom using the ironing board or doing something else he will run in and slide across the wood floor as if he’s sliding into home plate then scuttle himself right under the bed just as quickly as his furry little feet will take him. Instantly he begins his back and forth run under the bed, through the tunnel, behind the look out point into the closet to turn around and do it again. Sometimes he will sit at the lookout and monitor what’s going on, other times he will lay down and relax inside the tunnel or in the cool corner of the fort. It’s his own personal game and he thinks you can’t see him. If you sneak over the top of the trunk though and peek down to look at him he gets very upset that you’ve found him and spoiled his fun.
This morning as I was ironing my shirt he went through his usual routine only to find that I had closed the closet door the night before. This I found was COMPLETELY unacceptable to him, and he didn’t think twice to verbalize his frustration to let me know it. I could hear him batting at the door to try to open it and when he wasn’t successful he immediately called my name (in dog language that is) so I could come help him. I walked over to the other side of the rocking chair and was met by his white eye lashed blinking eyes. I asked him what he wanted (as if I didn’t know…lol) and his response was to turn and bump the closet door with his nose then turn back to look at me (Don’t tell me dogs don’t understand! This kid KNOWS when we talk to him). I decided to play hardball to see what he would do, so I said, “No, you don’t need the closet door open…you can come out and turn around.” I went back to my ironing. A moment passed and I heard his frustrated sigh as he pawed at the door more to try and get it open then finally let out another yelp. I went back to look at him again and he stood there staring at me, blinking those adorable eyes and wondering WHY on earth I wasn’t helping him. Finally, I relented and opened the closet door. He happily clambered inside, turned around, and went back through the tunnel and into the fort.
Now like I said, usually it’s cute like this morning was when he goes to play in his fort. However, other times, it is much less than cute. As I’ve mentioned before, he loves to steal paper, empty toilet paper rolls and dryer sheets….among other things, but those are his favorites. Well this past week I caught on to a VERY sneaky little trait that he has developed……pre-meditation.
So…..when the other rooms are not in use we close the doors. A new habit we have developed since we discovered Sargie’s little recon missions to raid things he deems chewable. The doors aren’t locked, just lightly shut to keep him out and he is VERY good about adhering to boundaries…..that is until he discovered the privacy of his fort. Well it seemed harmless enough to let him pop the door open so he could retreat to his little area whenever he felt like it. Until the other day when I witnessed something that blew me away. I sat on the bed working on the laptop and saw him come into the bedroom and walk over to Ben’s trash can to see what was inside, a few ripped up pieces of junk mail…not a big haul. I watched him to see if he was going to pull anything out and was pleasantly proud of him when he didn’t. He turned back around and walked to the hallway completely unaware that I was watching him. Then I saw him go to the guest bedroom door and pop it open. I smiled thinking how cute he is that he was going to go to his little fort and I started to look back at the computer screen. That’s when I noticed him turn back around and slowly walk over to Ben’s trash. He slowly leaned his head over the top of the rim of the basket and looked for a moment then reached in as if trying not to set off an alarm and grabbed a mouthful of paper. Then as if shifting gears he spun around and flew out the door and towards his hideout. I couldn’t believe it! I shouted his name, tossed the laptop to the foot of the bed, and took off after him. Let me tell you chasing after a dog that just dove under a fort and skittered for his escape hatch was not my idea of an evening’s relaxation.
Yeah….you read that right. This adorable and highly intelligent little furball just learned how to carry out a pre-meditated crime! Unbelievable! I was in such shock I had to call Ben…and of course now that we’re dog parents I had to do it correctly, “Ben…..come look what YOUR son just did!!!” I know it was all he could do not to burst out laughing in spite of my shocked frustration. Sooooooo the dilemma now is not to keep the door locked, but every night we have to empty the wastebaskets throughout the house to make sure that he can’t scrounge for paper. Thankfully, he doesn’t touch the kitchen garbage, that doesn’t even interest him…..just the paper trash….only DOGS eat out of the kitchen garbage I guess…..LOL.
**sigh** Never a dull moment in the Babij household…..lol
Remind me to tell you about the "baked bean incident" one of these days.