Many years ago we bought a very nice stainless steel trash can for the kitchen. This wonderful container cost over $100, and has a spring-loaded latching lid. In order to open it, you push down on the top which then pops up under its own power. When you close it, it latches closed. It is an engineering work of art that serves a necessary purpose in our house.
We got this wonderful trash can years ago because of Daisy. Daisy gave the outward appearance of being a well-bred distinguished lady. We discovered the hard way that she was – at least in part – a Tennessee Trash Hound. She had been found guilty of not only raiding the kitchen trash, but also of eating an entire cooked chicken carcass and corn cobs from said trash. Both of these bits of refuse can be deadly to dogs, but Daisy survived them both to live a long life. Still, we needed to keep her out of the trash, so we got this most excellent example of a closed container.
Many years passed without further incident, and we lived in peace with our dogs and our safely enclosed trash. Then we got Annie.
Annie is a very smart girl. She’s also still a puppy, and she gets bored easily. At least those are some of the excuses we’ve come up with to explain her naughty nature. Annie figured out within days of her arrival how to open the supposedly dog-proof trash can. She would use her chin, push down on the top, and the tasty contents could be pulled out for all to enjoy.
This trash can is probably three feet tall, and Annie could get a tissue paper from the bottom without knocking it over. We think she must be part cat – or maybe ferret. She’s got that squirmy boneless ferret look about her. Maybe she was born without bones. All we know is that she can get anything from out of the trash can without disturbing it. Unless we make her knock it over of course.
Early on into the trash can battle, I decided that I was smarter than my dog, what with my big brain, opposable thumbs and all. I figured that since we put the trash can under the edge of the kitchen counter, that if I turned the can so that the hinge faced out, she would not be able to open the can with her chin. Genius! I went to bed that night smug with my superiority over my big dumb dog.
The next day, Lauren woke up to discover the trash once again spread all over the floor. Impossible! My plan had been fool-proof! Annie had discovered that she could not open the trash can – exactly as I had predicted. Ever the better fool, she had solved the problem by sliding the trash can to the edge of the counter and tipping it over. Jackpot! Trash bounty for all.
Lauren, tired of pickup up trash, puts the trash into the bathroom when she goes to bed. The bathroom in our house is one of the few rooms that has a locking door. Annie, unable as of yet to be able to open a locked door, leaves the trash unscathed moving on to more interesting targets like kitchen cabinets.
Moving the trash can is a pain in the butt, so sometimes it doesn’t get returned to the kitchen right away. This morning when I went to take a shower, I lazily put the trash can just outside the bathroom door, because even though the can is covered, it still smells like trash. After my shower I went downstairs for all of ten minutes. When I came back upstairs, I was met with Lauren picking up trash and Annie sitting in the corner with a very guilty look on her face. Most security problems are human after all. Annie just waited for one of us to slip up, then moved in when the opportunity presented itself. A good thief is patient after all.
Annie has escalated the trash-can war. I refuse to be bested by a one year old Newfy with a goofy grin and bad attitude. I’m going to Home Depot to get some high-tensile steel and an acetylene torch. I’ll have to lock it up though. The last thing I need is Annie figuring out how to use a welding torch.