Friday, August 29, 2008


Late afternoon yesterday, the dogs were barking up a storm. I went outside to look, and then very quickly went back in for my camera.

I should have had camera in hand when I first went outside though. Ursa, the smaller one right next to the tree, was actually up in the tree, balancing in that first crook. She really wanted after whatever it was.

I moseyed on over to have a look-see.

Hello, Mr. Woodchuck.

The dogs kept him treed the rest of the day. I finally made them come in the house around 10 pm. He was gone this morning.

The roofer called last night, so I asked him if by any chance he hadn't latched the gate. He is sure that he did. I figured that, because he knows how important it is.

So she figured out the clip. Maybe it was a one time thing, but of course I can't take that chance. I now have the clip, plus a chain that goes through the latch and then attaches to the gate. I will need to explore more complicated clips though, this one is too easy for her apparently. I seem to remember seeing one that you have to unscrew, pull the sleeve down, then unclip.

This couldn't come at a worse time. I have a huge project for work, involving, among other things, proofreading patent and actuarial translations. It hadn't been a problem to let Mom walk around outside while I sat at the computer, checking on her every five minutes or so. Now I'm back to having to check every minute, or basically not letting her outside while I am trying to work. (Imagine here a large string of loud invective.)

My peace of mind is gone again. I'm back to worrying about her every second. I thought she was safe. I may have to resort to a padlock, although I didn't want to do that. I just don't think I can handle that constant worry again. It's too draining.


rilera said...

I'm so sorry about the gate. I hope that a new clip will help foil any more escape attempts. This disease really keeps us on our feet and sends us continuous curve balls. Hang in there Annie. Hugs to you and to Mom.

Cindy said...

Go with the padlock. You will drive yourself insane if you just keep going up a step every time she figures something out. I'm so sorry this happened, but the result was more worry and not something worse, and that, at least, is better.

LostInCO said...

Is it possible to put a remote sensor on the gate? that will ring a bell at your desk? oh maybe that won't help with piece of mind... I'm sorry.

LostInCO said...

oh your visitor was cute. I've never seen a woodchuck before.

cornbread hell said...

cool woodchuck. i kept looking and trying to figure out what it was before scrolling down.

a. padlock?
b. ball and chain?
c. place cool *art* supplies between the house and the gate?

try c 1st.

(i think my 2 minute intornet session is about up.)

Annie said...

Rick, I like "c" too.

But I may have to go with the padlock.

A remote sensor. I have those alarms intended for doors, I wonder if I could somehow use it for the gate. And if I could hear it from the house.

Joy said...

So sorry about the gate Annie - hang in there, but what a hoot about the woodchuck!

J said...

Luv your little visitor.
Sorry about your mom. My mom has ALZ and lives with us but she is also feeble from other medical problems which limit her moving around very much. In the beginning of her coming to live with us we did have a problem with her getting up in the night and turning on the stove. Man! did we panic. Well we servived that and worked out how to take care of it by flipping breaker off each night. Live and learn is a constant with ALZ caregivers.
(((hugs))) take care sweetie

JudyP613 said...


Hope you don’t mind if I chime in with two other minor thoughts. My mother is a determined wanderer. What stopped her was latches in non standard places with a bit of camouflage. All our doors latch at the very top of the door. We let a flap of fabric hang down over them so visually they blend into the wall. We painted a couple to blend in with the wood work of the door. My mother likes to play with door knobs so it was suggested we try to disguise them by knitting covers for them or hanging baseball caps on them. That didn’t work so well.


Turtle said...

Woody is very cute! wonder what curses he was yelling down to the dogs!
i like the idea of the art supplies placed near the gate, smile! but i agree, instead of driving yourself nuts just padlock it when you know you are going to be busy. save yourself the stress.