The houses at Mary Kathleen were arranged in long blocks, with a street running down each block, between houses. In the back of the back yard of every house was a four-foot-high chain link fence. Since the back yards adjoined each other, this fence extended for the full length of each block. This meant that to visit your neighbor in the next street you either needed to walk to the end of the block, to the next street, and then to the neighbor’s house.
This would have been fine when the houses were occupied, but almost all of them were empty. And the chain link fences had no gates.
The solution was simple: to save walking, you just climbed over the chain link fence.
The fences, though, intimidated the Silly Dog. He hadn’t encountered anything like them before. he could jump up a four-foot ledge, but a fence that he could see through was daunting.
One day the Silly Dog followed me as I walked across the street and through the yard, past the empty house, to the chain link fence behind. I climbed over the fence, looked back, and saw the Silly Dog sitting down, grinning at me.
“Come on, Silly Dog, you can make it! Jump!”
The Silly Dog wasn’t about to. He sat there, grinning at me, obviously expecting me to help him over the fence.
I climbed back over the fence, stood next to the fence, looked at the Silly Dog, and said, “Come on, Silly Dog! I’ll catch you!”
The Silly Dog jumped.
He got both his front and rear paws on the fence, but he hadn’t put enough energy into his jump to carry him over.
I put my hands under his rump and gave him just the smallest lift– and over he went.
From that time on, those fences did not exist for the Silly Dog. He had their measure. Hardly missing a step, he’d run up to a fence, leap give the top of the fence a kick, and be over to the other side.