While I was on the ship, Eric emailed me THIS picture, with the title "Some Birds Aren't Meant To Be Caged:"
Oh, heaven help me.
Apparently, every day before he went to work, Eric was dutifully putting Achilles in his crate and securing him there so he couldn't just open the door and let himself out. But then, to his surprise, he came home from work one day to find Achilles NOT in the crate where he left him, but rather, in the bathroom drinking from the toilet. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.
It was then that Eric realized that Achilles had BROKEN OFF some of the bars at the top of the crate. Sure, before I left, those bars were a bit bent, but he had never just straight up broken bars before. And anyway, what was he going to do if he DID create an opening for himself at the top of the crate - hoist himself up and climb out?
Why, yes. That's exactly what he was going to do.
Because apparently, by leaving him alone all day while Eric worked and I was out of town, we gave Achilles enough time to fully break off those bent bars. I don't know exactly how he did it. I imagine it being something along the lines of Andy Dufresne slowly chipping his way through his prison cell wall with that tiny little rock hammer in "The Shawshank Redemption" (also the source of the "some birds aren't meant to be caged" quote that sprung to Eric's mind). He just worked at it and worked at it, little by little, every day while Eric was at work until eventually he had built himself a tunnel to freedom. Of course, this is purely conjecture on my part, but can't you just imagine it?
And this is the opening he made for himself, left blatantly out in the open (rather than hidden behind a poster of Raquel Welch, as in "Shawshank"):
I realize that in a photo, you really have no way to gauge the size of that hole, so I measured it for you. That hole is six inches long by four inches wide. That dog somehow managed to escape out of a hole the size of a STANDARD PHOTOGRAPH. I have no words.
Naturally, we had to see this with our own eyes to believe it. Since I had the video camera with me on the cruise, Eric put Achilles in the crate and sat to watch him, hoping he would perform this stunt with a live audience. No such luck, though - all he got was the above photo of him sticking his head out of his hole.
But then I came home, determined to see this for myself. So, we set up the camera on a little tripod and prepared to be amazed. Now, he's not very good at this yet, because he was crated for about an hour and a half before he did manage to escape once again. But after that hour and a half and numerous failed attempts, this is what I saw:
VIDEO: Achilles Strikes Back.
Don't worry, before we set him up to get him on tape we made sure there were no sharp edges on the top of the crate where he could cut himself. I'm pretty confident that after he removed the bars he took the time to sand them down neatly. But, regardless, we are back to putting him in there sans padlock so that he can use the door as his exit route once again, because I don't want him hurting himself climbing out of there like a freaking doggy gymnast.
And now we're in the market for a new crate. But really, my heart just isn't in it anymore. The video says it all: I Give Up. I mean, what's the point? So we buy him a new crate. Then what? He does it again? He comes up with something new? THE DOG CANNOT BE CONTAINED. I'm pretty sure that even if his next crate is a solid steel box, I'll be back here in a month posting about how he has learned to cut through steel with his eyes and is now running free once again.
I mean, really. This is just getting ridiculous.