Sometimes, Maisie needs to be contained...as in, not able to roam freely. When that's the case, I often rely on baby gates. They have been a vital part of bringing Maisie to work, where we have a fairly open design with cubicle walls but no office doors. The gate at work confines Maisie to my area so she can't bug my co-worker (and more importantly, keeps her away from the UPS, FedEx and water delivery people).
The gate at work is a very nice, hands-free model with a foot pedal to open/close it.
Although Maisie is not thrilled about it being there (and it won't be there much longer, since I'll be working from home soon), she's gotten used to it and understands that she is not allowed to cross the threshold of the gate unless someone opens it for her.
I use another pressure-mounted gate at home to block off the staircase, though it's not such a fancy model. I live in a coach house with no screen door and no interior hallway, so I need to restrict Maisie to the staircase landing when greeting visitors (or paying the pizza delivery guy) or she could easily run out the front door and take off. Because of our somewhat unique living situation, the gate at home is essential.
It definitely has some signs of wear...I have learned that although the gate is strong enough to withstand a frustrated little pit bull, the same cannot necessarily be said for a drunk, stumbling gay man. It still works though, and gives Maisie a good opportunity to practice her "wait" command right after I open it.
I also like having the option of keeping Maisie downstairs (or upstairs) with me when I want to keep an eye on her or prevent her from doing who knows what on the other floor without me there. But I usually let her come and go as she pleases while I get ready for work, after she's had her morning walk and breakfast.
Again, even though she is accustomed to it by now, she doesn't really appreciate the presence of the gate. Sometimes she expresses her displeasure by showing me her "sad prisoner" face, which (unfortunately for her) I actually find kind of cute and amusing!
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