The muddy prints of a 4-year-old

Somebody young was traipsing through the muddy backyard of our home in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood during this holiday week and then heard visitors arrive inside.

They wanted in. Badly.

But they couldn’t quite figure out how to work the tricky handle of the French door.

Fast work around the door handle after some backyard play in Syracuse, N.Y.

Fast work around the door handle after some backyard play in Syracuse, N.Y.

We did not have a toddler visiting for Christmas.

We did have Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle pining to see the kids. I swear she’s going to figure out how to open that door before too long.

Do you have a pet who yearns to do something you judge as strictly human, and if so, what? Do you have a pet trying to do something you do not want it do do, and if so, what and why? What’s the wildest thing your pet has ever done?

48 thoughts on “The muddy prints of a 4-year-old

  1. Yes, I have a cat who is very much like your Ellie B, and she attempts to open the doorknob when she wants in or out of a room. The other four are not as smart, and they just cry, but Cleo is one smart cookie. πŸ˜‰

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  2. We’re waiting for our two cats – Jean-Louis and Reggie – to discover how to turn on the tap water and how to open the cat food cans on their own. Then they will only needs us for catering services. πŸ˜‰

    Thank you, Mark, for being my top commenter in 2014. (Just got WordPress’ annual report.) You were numero uno in more ways than one in my book. πŸ˜‰

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  3. That’s impressive! I’ve never had pets that were smart enough to try things like that… just a dog who burrowed a cave underneath a deck once, and various cats who yearned to fight with coyotes over the years.

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    • I think a cave-burrowing dog is pretty dang precocious. Dave. Did the dog wear one of those really cool miner hats with the flashlight beams over the eyes for better working conditions? Cats who want to tangle with coyotes, now that sounds like they were getting into the sauce.

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    • Pity Oscar the allergy-ridden pug. Until sleepyttime, that is. πŸ™‚ Yes, Aud, Ellie B will learn how to get in when she wants in, even during winter. Now she commands me to get up with a bossy “Woof.”

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  4. Pets are funny. Our cat tries to open doors, too. I love how curious she is–getting into things that she has no way of getting herself out of. Though I think cats are more low-key than dogs. Your Ellie B has gotten herself into some crazy scrapes, I’m sure!

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  5. Hilarious! I don’t have any particularly good stories on my two fur babies, although they have pretty good vocabularies. I do have an excellent story on my dad’s dog, who is quite a piece of work. His name is Sampson, but I call him Houdini. Unfortunately, that’s an entire blog post, maybe several. Super unfortunately, my father has expressly forbidden me to talk about it on my blog, although I always tell it at parties. We’ll see how long I hold out.

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  6. hahaha – it’s only a matter of time, mark! nacho the cat, used his paw, while standing on this two back legs, to open the door underneath my bathroom sink. he then walked in, checked it out, and left – too boring i suppose, but i was left laughing )

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  7. Oh oh! This can happen no matter who or their age, Mark. Don’t “ground” the sweetie! We had a dog who would leave prints in funny places but was really a good dog, Toby would get his leash and leave it by your feet. Sometimes, (operative word: sometimes!) Toby would sit nicely and wait for his walk!

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  8. Our study door has French door handles, very beautiful mind you. Our study is off limits to our cats due to the mountains of papers in there and cats will do things with papers that you would rather they would not. We have Cuddles who knows how to open this door. So we had to take off the door handle that is on the front of the door which now prevents him from getting in. The handle remains on the inside of the door and when he is in the study with hubby, when he is ready, he just lets himself out. LOL True story. So, if our Cuddles can open doors, sorry to tell ya, your Ella B wil be able to as well. (((HUGS)) Cousin to the East! Love, Amy

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  9. Ha! You know Mark, if that door hadn’t been locked, I would guess from the marks that whoever was trying to get in would have succeeded. Ha! It’s great to see Ellie B wants to greet visitors. I’m sure it’s a confusing time of year for many animals as their homes are invaded by visitors and small children with a lot of excitement. and a tree inside the house and flashing lights and decorations. How has Ellie been with the season’s challenges?

    Although my parents bred labs when I was young – most of my exerience with pets have been cats. They all have distinct personalities including little eccenticities. We had one cat – Sissy – who loved mechano sets. If you built, say a flat topped wagon with wheels on it, she would sit on the wagon and with her right rear leg would propell herself across the room until she hit the wall. Then she would get off and sit beside the wagon until you turned it around and she would then reboard and drive back across the room. She would do this for quite a while before getting bored and moving on. Ha! The trick impressed visitors.

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  10. Many years ago we had a dog that didn’t even try to open the French door. In warm weather when he wanted out he would just jump through the screen. He was quite a dog,just impatient.

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  11. My cat Ody is very good at closing doors in my house. However, he has yet to learn the fine art of opening doors, which has led him to trap himself in my bedroom on numerous occasions, including once while I was at work. That doesn’t stop him from continuing to shut the door for privacy when he wants it…

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    • He probably closes himself in at the beginning of your shift, too, Bill. I hope Ody is comfortable and not shifty when he’s in there. Animals have a harder time with the opening mechanisms. I think door makers let us humans just “slam shut.”

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