Tuesday, 25 September 2012

At The Top Of The Stairs

Animals can suffer from unexpected phobias just as humans can
And for six year old George, going down the cottage staircase is now a real no-no on his very short list of dislikes and worries.
It all became apparent after our holiday. On the night we got back he galloped up to bed with Chris as normal (it is George's treat to have Chris and a double bed all to himself at bedtime) and in the morning he refused point blank to walk down the again as he has done every morning for the past six years!
No amount of gentle coaxing, begging and silly voice "commmeeeeheeeerrrrrrreeeeees" would get the little guy to budge, and from that day to this he has to be carried down to the living room by a strong pair of arms like a tiny, black and hairy Queen of Sheba.
Our previous Scottish Terrier, Maddie developed a similar fear of going down to  the stairs, and that phobia was related to the fact she fell down our previous cottage stairs from the top to the bottom pulling down a dyson hoover on top of herself as she did so.
As I type this, and just before we all go out for our morning march around the village, not only can I hear the rain thundering heavily on the cottage roof (as it has done for the past 48 hours)....I can hear George's stubby little feet drumming their accompaniment on the landing carpet as he waits impatiently to be carried down for his walk.....

28 comments:

  1. Oh Kermit I loved that ! That's like absailing down a cliff for a small dog...George has just decided he's had enough of extreme sports !

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  2. our new dog wont come down the stairs either....perhaps its a terrier trait ?

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    1. perhaps welsh cottages like ours have overly steep stairs?

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    2. perhaps.....or maybe they are just lazy little buggars who know that they will be carried down ?

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  3. Oh, poor little pooch. I looked after a huge Deerhound lurcher which fell downstairs once. Very upsetting.

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  4. Ours animals are banned from upstairs... all except for the cat who sleeps under my chin, and Bok who came to visit me this morning in my sick-bed... I've got a stinking cold.

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  5. I think we shall all develop webbed feet if this keeps on John. As to that little Scottie - he only has short legs, so maybe he does find it difficult.

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  6. Well, I do understand unexpected phobias.
    Perhaps something happened while you were gone.
    Sorry to hear. Fortunately he's not afraid to go out and do his business!
    Be safe in the 'monsoon' season. ♥

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  7. If you really loved little George, you'd have an electric stairlift installed. Looking ahead a couple of years, this will also prove useful to yourself and Chris in your dotage

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  8. Our old dog gets a bit funny about coming down (she will gallop up) but she has arthritis in a front ankle. We have to shut R in another room before carrying Ellie down, as R gets a bit uppity about the old dog "getting above herself!"
    Good job we both have carryable dogs :-D

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  9. Terriers are not too bad, I would hate for this to happen to Bandit, as he is 50 lbs! I start our puppies on the couple of stairs on our deck when they are 6 weeks of age, hopefully preparing them for future stairs. Poor George being spooked by something about those stair...my childhood home had killer steep stairs.

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  10. Uh, John? I think George has YOU trained. ;) Perhaps a line of treats down the staircase would help! LOL Otoh, I think terriers are made to be carried!

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  11. After 6 years, sounds as if something dreadful (to him) happened. Whose to say?

    Our Higgins can jump onto the couch in a single bound when there's a treat or a game of fetch is happening. Other times, he acts like he's on a pogo stick jumping up and down, not quite making it. Same with the truck rides. Sometimes he can jump right in, others I have to pick him up. (which is what he wants all along)

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  12. Oh, poor George. But he deserves to be "fetched."

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  13. I once read (and have some doubts but still) that dogs and cats can get every illness that we do - including the mental health ones. I certainly share this house with a psychotic cat. Who is charming at intervals - but he needs to be.

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  14. The joy of AA Milne and nephew Robin. Puts me in the mood for A Muppet Christmas Carol - and it's still only September. Still, only around 9 weeks to wait and the emotion of Dickens, Kermit andMiss Piggy can be released once more...

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  15. Poor sausage...I wonder what's going through his head?

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  16. Poor boy, is that his only phobia?
    Jane x

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  17. How very mysterious. Maybe the phobia is related to some previous incident, like Maddie, but you just have no idea what it was. I must say I'm also a bit phobic about going downstairs when there's housework to be done....

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  18. our last dog was terrified of ceramic tile and hardwood floors.

    Gill

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  19. Poor little guy...did you try the 'treat on each step' trick?

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  20. Poor Robin the Frog - that's how I've always felt as the "middle child." I do wonder about cats, amd what prompts their thinking!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

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  21. Perhaps he's developing arthritis and fearful of falling?

    Our first cat came to us a geriatric and was arthritic, which became more noticeable as she aged. She had been hit by a car when younger and although she healed well, her back leg sometimes bothered her and she'd go up the stairs with a decided 'thump' from her once injured leg.

    We took to carrying her up and sometimes down the stairs, although she'd often go down them in the mornings by herself and be just fine; up seemed to be the bigger problem. A few steps were manageable, but the entire staircase contained too many. She resisted a bit at first, but after a time would sit at the bottom of the stairs and wait for one of us to pick her up and carry her.

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  22. My sister's Yorkie routinely lost the use of one leg as she packed to leave town. When the car left the drive, he recovered. Interestingly, he didn't remember to be crippled up for life when she returned.

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  23. So sweet.....maybe the stairs are just scary for some dogs?....and I used to sing that song to my kids....makes me all soppy now..........

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  24. The same thing happened to one of our cats. She started doing this right after another cat died. She stays upstairs either in her bed or at the top of the stairs. She has gotten very fat and it is not easy to carry her down. However, it is useless, because as soon as we put her down, she runs like the wind back upstairs.

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  25. Your pic of the cat at the top of the stairs gave me a strange "Twighlight Zone" weird feeling as I have recently taken some very similar pics of a neighbour cat for a different reason. I was gobsmacked by your revelation that cats and dogs can be frightened by stairs.

    The cats who have deigned to live with us have all been happy to run up and down stairs (in one case after a hip replacement) and particularly loved being "on high" to observe their human servants about our busy daily routine. We are currently without a feline companion after our beloved Mol passed away at 15 (80?) just a couple of weeks before my darling mother at 92. She was not very keen on cats so I hope they are in different heavens.

    Sorry this comment is so late but you are a prolific Blogger!

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