Home > Daisy, Lady, Pet Ponderings > The Mystery of the Mystery Pooper

The Mystery of the Mystery Pooper


Last week was kind of a gross icky mess at Casa del Mel. We had two girls with upset tummies in the house and three of the five working days I came home to discover several presents left for me. It was not pretty. But, perhaps the most mystifying were the ones left in my office two days in a row (on my floor mat from Indonesia of course).

I took to calling this dog The Mystery Pooper. In reality, I had no idea who did what and where, but this particular location was different because it’s not easy to get to if you’re a dog. It’s blocked by a baby gate.

Back when I had my pet sitting business, I put it up to keep our house guests separated from my own dogs while I was out caring for my other clients. It usually wasn’t necessary, but it gave me peace of mind to know there would be no trouble going on between the dogs while I was out. I thought about taking it down, but I started to like the fact that I could keep the dogs out of my office while I was working and they seemed to like that they could still see.

The gate has a latch that locks it closed, but I’ve never really used it since none of the dogs had ever seemed to figure out how to use their noses nudge the gate open. Until now. Clearly, someone had figured it out, but who?

My first suspect was Daisy because she was the first one get the upset tummy (over the weekend). But, she had never attempted to get into my office before. Then, Lady got an upset tummy too and I was left wondering. Could it be her? I had never seen her attempt to open the gate, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t. Plus, she’s really super smart. She certainly could have figured it out.

Then tonight, while I was working on my taxes in my office, I felt someone brush up against my leg. I looked down and guess who was standing beside? Lady! That little turkey had figured out how to open the baby gate! Mystery Pooper revealed!

I will now be latching the gate when I leave, but it made me wonder… Has anyone else has had (or has) a dog that surprised them with their uncanny ability to figure something out? Or, to get into something that you thought was safe? I would love to hear your stories.

  1. Jen
    April 15, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Elka had an upset tummy as well last week! What a coincidence. I think her problem was when somebody else (who will remain unnamed) was supervising her, she ate part of a rope toy. She acted perfectly fine otherwise, though (no tenderness, ate and peed fine, acted fine, no drooling), and it ran its course *ahem*

    I’m frequently surprised at her language comprehension. I talk to her a lot, I’ll admit, and so does everybody else apparently! Once in awhile, I’ll say something to her, and she’ll respond entirely appropriate to the situation (example: “Elka, we ordered pizza” *Elka goes and looks out the front door).

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:16 AM

      Uh oh! So glad it ran it’s course. I always get nervous when they ingest something inedible. Elka is impressive. She knows to go to the door for the pizza??? Wow!

  2. Martie
    April 16, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    My little girl Scarlett, who joined our family of 1 dog and 1 cat as a stray at one year old, continues to surprise me with her intelligence. An unlatched gate has never stumped her for a second. And she seems to have an uncanny ability to know exactly what I’m saying and responds accordingly. “Why don’t you go find something to play with”, “Aren’t you hungry? Go eat your dinner”, “Where is your tennis ball?” It seems everything I say to her even in a complicated sentence she understands. Of course just like a human child she has selective hearing when it comes to something she doesn’t want to do…she’ll look at me straight in the eye and gives me this look like “I don’t understand” when I know good and well that she does. (BTW, she looks like a larger version of a doxie mixed with something with long legs, probably a beagle or the like). Very smart little canine.

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:15 AM

      What a cool girl she must be! Isn’t it amazing what they can figure out and understand? I bet she keeps you on your toes!

  3. Kristine
    April 16, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    No, thank goodness! Shiva is pretty smart but I am so happy she does not have the ability to figure things out for herself. Once shown she’ll pattern forever but she generally doesn’t have the common sense to learn on her own unless by complete accident. I am so glad for this otherwise dealing with her separation anxiety would have been a lot worse! Blessed be thoughtless dogs. ;-)

    I hope Lady feels better soon. I am not at all surprised she figured out the gate. She is a Sheltie, after all.

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:14 AM

      Jasper is like Shiva Kristine. I can show him new things and he can figure them out, but not on his own. Lady is exceptional in her ability to do so. Daisy is equally as smart, but she has never tried to get into the office before.

  4. April 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Besides jumping over 5 foot high barricades and over fences? No. :-)

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:12 AM

      LOL! Thanks for the laugh Jodi. Awesome comment!

  5. April 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    LOL Actually, figuring out the gate doesn’t surprise me as much as I wonder why it was so important to leave the present specifically in the office!

    A very similar story I have is not about dogs but about horses. It was a horse farm with a bunch of horses, one of which belong to my hubby. He was a very smart horse, with a very evolved sense of humor. He too figured out how to open the stalls. But his joke was much more elaborate than that. We would open his, then let all the other horses out, then return to his. “Who? Me? I don’t know how they all got out, look, I’m a good boy.”

    • Mel
      April 17, 2012 at 6:07 AM

      Good question Jana! I had just assumed she was trying to leave it somewhere away from where she usually hangs out, but maybe there was more behind it than I knew. :)

      Loved. Loved. Loved. The story of the horse. That is hilarious!

      • April 17, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Yeah, leaving it away from normal hang out space did come to my mind (Jasmine won’t even go on a path, has to get into the bushes); still though, little thought in the back LOL Our dogs when they did make a mess it was ALWAYS close by the door out. I’m sure she’s totally innocent of scheming! LOL

      • Mel
        April 17, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        Completely! :)

  6. April 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    i hope the pups are feeling much better now. that Lady is really something! good for her for figuring out the gate–what a smarty.

    Desmond is a strange dude, in that he has absolutely climbed/jumped over the tallest baby gates available, but he won’t push through a door that’s ajar, even if we encourage him to come through to us.

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