Like me, Caesar wears his heart on his sleeve. He has huge eyes and extremely expressive eyebrows which give him away immediately. You can tell instantly when he's feeling scared, excited or fed up just by looking at him. When we come home from work, he will either be waiting at the door to greet us, or he won't. It's better when he is.
Exhibit 1: Evidence of lounge destruction.
We had only had Caesar for a few weeks when we discovered that he had a habit of raiding. Caesar raids anything that he feels may contain something of value. He has ruined shelves to get his paws on oatmeal hand warmers, broken doors to help himself to chocolate and kindly decluttered my coffee table for me in order to find a salt dough sculpture made for me by an ex-pupil which he then attempted to eat. When we adopted Caesar neither us nor our house was ready for this. In the past, I had known only dogs that could be left for periods of time in a kitchen environment and trusted not to raid the bin and plunder the cupboards. Sadly for us, not only did we quickly learn that this was not the case, we also learnt that a simple door was far from powerful enough to keep the mischievous mongrel from ransacking this treasure trove.
Exhibit 2: Perhaps we should rethink our kitchen defences...
The evening after Caesar's first unwelcome kitchen visit, I called my dad. Caesar had consumed a plethora of sugary foods which included two packets of breakfast cereal, fourteen breakfast bars and a box of Thornton's chocolates. He was quite literally bouncing off the walls and was unable to stop running erratically around the house despite numerous walks to get the sugar out of his system. I was past myself. "Can you fit a slide bolt?" I asked my dad, explaining the urgency of the situation. Luckily, dad is super helpful and, within a few hours, he was there and had fitted the lock. It took Caesar almost the same amount of time to learn to open it and we returned the following day to find the kitchen ransacked once more. I began to question myself. Did I lock that properly? Surely he can't have opened a slide bolt! I didn't have to wait long for my answer as later that evening I glanced downstairs from the landing to see Caesar supporting himself on the door while nudging the slide bolt with his face. It took him seconds to do and the kitchen door swung open. I couldn't believe it! 'Now what?' I thought perplexedly. 'I'm dealing with the Houdini of the dog world!'
We finally managed to successfully implement a working kitchen defence system when a colleague of mine, who owned a pair of mischievous cats, suggested a door knob as a solution to my problem. Simple yet effective, Caesar has never to this day managed to open the shiny silver knob. Hooray for door knobs!
Exhibit 3: Award winning kitchen defence mechanism!
I'd love to hear about your own home defence systems. Share them in the comments section.