So the last few days, Lagniappe has been obsessing over the fireplace. He stares at it, he growls at it, he even tries to stick his head in between the partially-open glass doors.
I told him to quit it a few times, but he kept it up. Finally I figured out what his deal with the fireplace was...there are cats on the roof. He obviously smells them or hears them via the chimney. OK, that's pretty good. I can't help but be impressed.
So why are these damned cats on the roof? Well aside from the fact that my neighbors feed and shelter about 800 stray feral cats, I have had a ladder in place against the house to allow me to clean the gutters and otherwise access the roof and it appears that some of the cats have been using the ladder to go up to the roof and come back down.
Now today, I was letting Lagniappe out into his fenced run in the back yard. This is also where the ladder is, and just as I'm opening the door for him, a cat starts coming down the ladder. Lagniappe sees it about the same time that it sees him, and the cat does a quick u-turn and climbs back up the ladder post-haste. And Lagniappe, being the former working dog that he is, bolts for the ladder and starts right up it after the cat.
Yes folks. Dogs can climb ladders. Over the years, I have seen several German Shepherds climb stepladders, playground slides, and any other sort of ladder that was on any sort of angle. They don't do vertical ladders well, but leaning ones...not a problem for a German Shepherd. And Lagniappe is no different. I have worked him on playground slides enough that he's pretty confident on that type of ladder.
But there's a problem--a problem which spurred me to leap out and grab Lagniappe around his mid-section and pull him off the ladder as he was about five rungs up: While dogs can climb ladders with ease, I have yet to see a dog that can climb back down one, Lagniappe included.
Fortunately I was quick enough on the tackle to snag him before he got to the roof, because I would sure hate to have to call the fire department and explain to them how a hundred-pound German Shepherd wound up on my roof, unable to get back down. Still, ya gotta love that GSD drive.
So now Lagniappe is back on Terra Firma, and the ladder is no longer up against the side of the house. And as for the cats..well their day is coming.