For years my nephew, Julian, had been asking my sister and brother-in-law for a puppy. Last year the family adopted Jackey, a Miniature Schnauzer. Jackey has been a joy. She follows Julian and my niece, Raven, wherever they go and willingly joins in on any game they’re playing. She loves to lounge in front of the picture window with her paws draped over the back of the living room couch to watch the birds and bunnies in the front yard. When she is leashed, she asserts herself, stopping like a mule, refusing to be pulled.
But Jackey has some less than charming attributes as well. She has an uncanny ability to hop onto the kitchen table and consume whatever’s in sight without anyone realizing that she’s even in the room. Hot dogs have gone missing with the buns left untouched, yogurt cups have been licked clean to a polish, and gourmet chicken dinners have made their way to her discerning palate.
While “The Adventures of Jackey” provide fodder for lively parlor room banter, they also remind us that pets can get into all kinds of trouble around the house, which can put everyone in danger. Pets have been known to start fires because of candles left unattended. They’ve jumped onto stove tops while food is being prepared. They’ve knocked over outdoor grills with disastrous results. Tips on fire safety involving pets are included in NFPA’s Home Candle Fires Report, the Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment Report, and the Educational Messages Document.
While Jackey has confined her mischief to the kitchen table, my sister and her family know to keep a close eye on her and adhere to fire safety rules.