Several months ago, long before I got Pete, a couple with a dog moved into this stair, on the same floor as me. I don’t think it would be fair to describe the dog as vicious or mean, but it’s very excitable and doesn’t understand that the communal stair is a communal area rather than its own territory, barking at people in the stair as much as it barks at people knocking on their door. I don’t think they’re irresponsible owners but they haven’t trained the dog not to bark and get over-excited. When I decided to get Pete, I let them know, and they said they’d make sure the dog was always on her lead when she’s in the stair, and as far as I know, they have.
Pete and I had another go at the catflap tonight. I taped the flap open and enticed him in and out with a treat stick and he’d managed to go out and come in twice that way. He still prefers to grab the treat with his paw rather than stick his head through, but we were starting to get somewhere. Then after I’d untaped the flap, he wanted to go out again and was sitting on the doormat while I was inside, with the door shut, trying to persuade him back through the catflap which I was holding open.
So, my door is shut, Pete’s outside on the doormat, I’m in my hall next to the door, on all fours, holding the catflap open, and then I heard a door open and before I even knew which door it was, a flurry of barking and I just saw the dog shoot past the catflap trailing the lead. I had a couple of seconds of absolute terror, so frightened that the dog would kill him before we could stop it. By the time I got the door open the neighbour had hold of the dog and Pete shot past me and into the flat – through the catflap in the open door!
She was so apologetic – the dog was on the lead but as she turned round to pick something up, the dog had just seen its chance and pulled free. It’s partly my fault – I should have let them know that Pete has had his jags and he’ll be out and about in the stair, and I’m sure she would have checked before she let the dog out of the flat.
She went off to walk the dog and Pete and I came inside and he had his tea and fell asleep. The neighbour came round when she’d got back with the dog and apologised again and said she’ll get a muzzle for the dog. She also said the dog was bleeding from her nose, so Pete obviously got a good swipe in. I don’t see the point in being unpleasant about it – I want to keep on good terms with her, for Pete’s sake as much as for my own. The dog was just doing what dogs do, it was a genuine accident, and I hope it’s helped to reinforce to Pete that this is his safe place and if something happens he should come in here as quickly as he can. I might offer to pay half for the muzzle – they were here with the dog long before I got Pete, and as soon as I said I was getting him, they immediately made sure the dog was always on the lead and have tried to make sure bad things didn’t happen. So as a gesture of good will and appreciation for their help, I’m happy to make the offer.
As for Pete, he’s been fast asleep in his bed for the last two hours and looks completely happy and relaxed. I might wake him up in a minute and sit him on my knee for a cuddle, just because I’m so happy he’s ok.