The Gatorgate Incident

Mom’s house

I was working on a plumbing problem at Mom’s house (which is on a corner of our property) and needed a tool from my shop. Blondie, Cochise and Gator were out in the play yard. As I walked up the shop driveway Gator was shadowing me inside the fence. I got the tool and went back to Mom’s house. When done under her sink I looked out her kitchen window in time to see Gator scampering up the hill toward my house OUTSIDE the play yard fence.

I ran outside and called Gator, who ran back down toward me — until he caught sight of Blondie standing at the end of the Judge’s driveway across the road. Then he took off to join her and they skipped merrily up that driveway together.

GatorI ran up to the shop, got the truck and drove up the Judges driveway in pursuit. It’s a long , winding driveway. More of a narrow road. When I caught up to them I hopped out, left the door open and called “Wanna go for a ride?” Gator came galloping over and leaped up into the truck. Blondie turned up her nose and trotted into the woods. She’s onto that trick!

You said we were going for a RIDE! I’m not falling for THIS again.

I know from experience I will not catch Blondie by chasing her around. She’ll let me get close, then take off, giggling. I’m too old for that game.

When I got home with Gator, Cochise was still in the yard barking at me, but as I pulled in by the workshop, Chief came running to the truck wanting to get in too. I let him in and closed them both inside to see how they got out.

Gator had grabbed the narrow gate that sits between the trailer/shop and the dog pens and pulled so hard he twisted the gate latch and sprung it open. I fetched leashes from the house and got Gator and The Chief. I put Gator in his crate inside the house, Cochise was ready for a nap — since we were not going for a ride.

Blondie was in the yard across the road, I went out to try to lure her back, but she paid me no attention. She was staying close to home, I could see her most of the time, but if I walked toward her she’d scamper off into the woods again. I worked at pruning fruit trees in the front yard, hoping she’d come see what I was doing.

Eventually she was in Mom’s back yard, so I went inside and got some meat (I had a piece of summer sausage in the fridge, so I sliced that up) and went back out, casually walking around and eating sausage slices. I tossed one slice over where she could get at it. She snapped that up! I held up another, “Want more?”

She crawled up the steep embankment behind Mom’s house to get another slice; which I gave her. While she ate that I snagged her collar and escorted her back to the house. I gave her one more slice and I went out to see what I could do with the gate.

I put things back in shape as best I could, but to prevent him from doing that again I’ll need to reinforce the gate. My initial thought was a short length of chain and carabineer, wrapped around gate post and gate frame, down low where Gator would be working at it. Later I decided another gate latch would work better and be less hassle when I need to go through the gate.

gatorgateI obtained another yoke latch that would fit a kennel door (they’re different from a standard chain link gate latch)and installed it down low on the gate and snugged the bolts up tight. Hopefully, this will prevent another Gatorgate Incident.

I’m sure Gator did not break out just to run off, he knew I was in the shop and he wanted to be where I was. Once he was out (and I was gone) he decided to exploit the situation. Blondie’s only thought was to exploit the situation: she wanted to go on a romp!

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