Our new temporary quarters have worked out well, with one exception: Penny has refused to go up the stairs at night.
This was not a problem in our New Albany home, where Penny would dutifully trudge up the stairs at bedtime. But here, the steep steps seem to have freaked her out, and she simply will not go up the stairs voluntarily. When we accepted that fact and left her downstairs, she barked and whimpered so we couldn’t sleep. And if you’ve got a dog, you know that they are stubborn creatures; we soon realized that she was going to be able to bark and whimper much longer than we were going to be able to endure the noise.
What to do? We consulted our vet. Friends and family shared theories about the true cause of the problem. We got advice about space-age dog carrying devices. We developed approaches to the stairs that we thought would give Penny maximum support, encouragement, and confidence. And the last few nights we’ve wrangled her up the stairs using a jury-rigged combination of leash, folded fleece blanket to serve as a kind of lifting and carrying sling, and sheer lugging.
And then we realized: she doesn’t have a problem coming down the steep new stairs in the morning. Why? Well, it might be gravity . . . or it might be the incentive of a morning meal. We know that Labs have insatiable appetites. Why not try to lure her up the stairs with food? Last night we employed the Milk-Bone Solution to the stair problem, and sure enough Penny scampered up the stairs and gladly munched down her reward biscuit.
It’s the power of the Milk-Bone.