Why is it that when something is off limits it is so alluring?
My younger son has left to start his freshman year at college. He is the only one in the family for whom Pettigrew reliably sits when asked. Their relationship is clear and Pettigrew acknowledges that he is not the alpha.
But now, my son is away, and all bets are off.
Take, for example, my younger son’s bedroom. Pettigrew is not welcome to hang out there. He never was.
He knows this.
He’s a smart dog.
Up until the past few days, he has largely steered clear of the room.
And yet, he seems to have intuited that with said son away, suddenly, the opportunity to hang out in the forbidden space is possible.
At first when I would come upon him stealthily slinking into the room, I would call to him to leave. He would pretend temporary deafness and instead settle in the middle of the rug looking at me guiltily.
I even put a baby gate across the entrance. But that, I fear, only made it more enticing.
I am now embarking on a campaign of reverse psychology.
The door is open. The way clear. I do not restrict access. In fact, I don’t even tell him to leave when I notice him in the room. I pretend I don’t care!
It’s still too early to be sure, but I think my strategy may be working. This morning, I heard him wander into my son’s room, but then I heard him leave of his own accord.
I next happened upon him, muzzle buried deeply in the bathroom trashcan. Apparently, the thrill of living dangerously is calling, he just needs to find someplace new to make mischief.
Trying to apply the lessons learned from my recent success with the bedroom I did my best to not overreact to the intrusion into the bathroom.
We are all adjusting to the new dynamic at home. Pettigrew is clearly not immune. Maybe this evening is a time to lavish him with some extra love. After all, he may just be feeling a bit unsettled and in need of attention.