Friday, February 17, 2006

Wherein Daedalus is afraid to go down stairs

I'll be the first to tell ya that our dogs are, well, quirky. To that end Daedalus (again Russian dog, Greek name) has recently developed a fear of stairs. Not just any stairs, but the ones he's been going up and down daily since August. Seriously.

I've spent this week stripping a gajillion layers of paint off a door, and doing a ton of other 'housey' things which have led me to move things out of the way to the upstairs landing. From our upstairs hall there are 3 stairs down, a landing with a 90 degree turn, a bunch more stairs, another landing and one more stair down to the front hall in our house.

Now, to be fair these dogs have trouble with hardwood floors. They're HUGE (90 lbs) and have a pretty high centre of gravity, so stairs can be tricky. Every so often we hear a big pile of kerthumps when they come down the stairs, but when we rush over to investigate the kerthumping they just look at us like "what? what are you doing here? What's all the fuss?" and move on like nothing's happened and we're the idiots for making sure they're okay.

Daedalus, though, has decided that when there is ANYTHING on the landing he can't go down the stairs. Putting ONE object on the landing made "go downstairs" an irretrievably different process, like the simple command "go downstairs" had been turned into "solve an algebra equation" or "write a memo explaining secured transactions."

This new-found fear is accompanied with a great deal of whining and whimpering, pacing (accompanied with some sad eyes), louder whining and whimpering and, just once, a frustrated bark. Anyone hearing the whining would think that we had stopped feeding him weeks ago and he was finally on his last legs(admittedly our dogs actually LOOK like we've stopped feeding them weeks ago, it's just the breed though, they're borzoi. Rest assured they eat by the bucket full).

Now I'm not a total meanie - I get up and hold his collar and let him do the walking past the landing and all is well, as if the combingation of me touching his collar and his whining, pacing, whipering, sad eyes and bark had now magically turned the stairs, once again, into the same old stairs he had always known.

I think he knows I'm blogging about him because he just farted. I swear our dogs are like that campfire scene from blazing saddles when they want to be.

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