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Horse is a really large chocolate lab. Seriously, really large. He has no business being as big as he is. He’s at least 4 inches taller than the breed standard. And he’s not just tall, he’s hefty. He was overweight when I got him and I’ve put him on a diet. He’s not out and out fat anymore, but he’s no lightweight. He’s big and lumbery and also not terribly bright (which isn’t related to his size, but it’s important to note that he’s not a very smart dog).

I am still in the process of getting a larger doggy door to accommodate Horse, so I haven’t bothered to teach him how to use the existing doggy door. Actually, I hadn’t realized that I would have to teach him. Yaris picked it up by watching Choco. Choco would go in and out, Yaris saw what was happening, and she started doing the same thing. Horse sees Yaris going in and out and Horse has gotten to the point where he can hold the flap open for himself after Yaris has gone through and squeeze himself through the doggy door that’s both too small and too short for him. But if the flap is closed, it might as well be a wall to him. He has no idea how to operate a doggy door.

But he has figured out that if he vigorously noses the sliding glass door, it’ll eventually open wide enough for him to slip in. He knows that he’s not supposed to be inside if I’ve specifically told him to stay outside, but he still really wants to be inside since Yaris gets to be inside. So, if he noses the sliding glass door open, he’ll try and tiptoe to his bed.

Try to imagine a dog as big as Horse tiptoeing. It doesn’t work. He looks absolutely ridiculous.

Often, while he’s tiptoeing to his bed, he’ll try and avoid eye contact with me because he knows he’s not supposed to be in the house. I’m going to assume that his reasoning is that if he doesn’t see me, I can’t see him. Most of my dogs have followed this logic. I have tried to explain to them that it doesn’t work like that. I haven’t gotten through to them.

Just the other day, this happened again. Horse was put outside and he really wanted to be inside. So he nosed the sliding glass door open and tiptoed to my room. He peered inside to make sure I wasn’t watching him (I could hear him peering through the door) and then he tiptoed to his bed, which is behind my desk. When he reached his bed, he quickly peeked over the desk to see if I had noticed. When he saw me watching him, he ducked down and tried to lay quietly on his bed so as not to attact attention. I didn’t say anything.

Then later, I had gotten up to wash a glass and also to close the door that Horse had opened. As I was sliding the door shut, Horse came running up saying “wait, wait, wait!” Then he hopped outside and told me he had been outside the whole time. He waited patiently outside while I was cleaning up the kitchen for me to open the door for him to let him in for the night. When I did so, he skipped joyfully into the house pretending as hard as he could like he had been outside the entire time like a good dog.



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