Dogs on the Roof

No, it’s not a variant on the Australian “kangaroos in the top paddock,” sometimes phrased as “snakes in the upper paddock,” both of which mean the same thing as “an enchilada short of a combo plate.” No, it is an observation related to the ongoing craziness of 2020.

So there I was, walking along in the pre-dawn darkness, minding my own business and keeping an eye out for traffic. As usually happens, at various points along my stroll I heard dogs barking, either at me or at whatever caught their attentions.

One, however, caught my ear. Not because it was deeper, or louder, but because it came from above me. That’s not supposed to happen. I slowed, turned, and beheld a German Shepherd mix barking at me from atop the roof of a house. He looked as puzzled as I felt. Cats and squirrels are pretty common, the occasional fox is not unheard of, but a large dog in the roof?

This makes two in as many weeks. Different dogs, different neighborhoods, but dogs on roofs. Just when I start thinking that 2020 has gotten weird enough, no no, it has to prove me wrong, or at least unimaginative.

Now, I’m sure what happens is that something tips over, or blows over, or gets left where the dog cam climb on it, and the dog does, and finds himself on the roof of the house. So the dog goes sniffing around and discovers that he can’t go anywhere, and can’t get down. Oops.That’s the logical, rational reason for dogs to be on somewhat steeply pitched house roofs.

But the way 2020’s been and seems to be going? For all I know the dogs have suckers on their feet like flies and climbed up the wall. Or they can fly, and hid their wings really well.


32 thoughts on “Dogs on the Roof

  1. I once had a dog that learned to climb trees.
    (Fortunately, she didn’t learn quite quickly enough to catch the porcupine she was after. But she practiced religiously in case the opportunity ever again presented itself.)

    • I’ve met a few dogs that climbed trees, fortunately not to chase porcupines! Getting the dogs down from the trees seemed to be the greater challenge.

  2. A friend told me of his large Shepherd mix climbing a tree, involuntarily. It was getting away from a 25 lb barn cat, with 50 lb ot attitude.

  3. I caught my Beagle Lilly on my computer table once.

    She had gotten from the arm of the recliner onto a table next to the recliner and from that table onto my computer table.

    I made sure that the other table wasn’t that close to the recliner.

    Of course, now she’s too old to get into the recliner.

  4. Random aside: either Amazon is losing its marbles, or major publishers are trying to game the recommendation system.
    (OK, it’s not much of a question which.)
    Anyway, because I liked your Merchant series, today I received a promotion about a coming of age story about a muslim girl in Morocco, with bonus swipes at European colonialism in the blurb (the “writing team” lives in Germany, because of course they do).
    Anyway, this promotional tool is taking a hit, and I thought that worth sharing..

  5. We saw a dog on the roof in our neighborhood a couple of years ago. Walking down the street, heard a dog barking at us … and hes, he was on top of the roof, looking rather baffled. It turned out that the home owner had a raised deck in back, and some boxes or something on the deck, leaning against the back wall of the house. Silly dog just climbed all the way up.

  6. Or, some cat put him/her up there… LOL Bet the homeowner is going to be ‘surprised’ when he’s found up there.

    • I almost went to the door to let them know, but if the dog tried to stop me, I’d have a German Shepherd landing on top of me. That . . . probably wouldn’t end happily for either of us.

  7. My fiance and I heard sheep-like sounds Wednesday, and at first we each thought the other was playing a video. No. Further investigation found it was a fawn in the backyard, vocal because a distant neighbor’s dog had got loose and was attacking it.

  8. How about toddlers on the roof?

    We were sitting at home, with our then only-son crawling around, occasionally getting up to toddle. Not watched very closely, there’s no worrying sounds.

    Someone knocks on the door. A lady informs us that our son is on the roof. Which is a story and a half off the ground at the lowest point, and steep as crazy.

    God bless my husband, his first reaction was to look for our son in the room. Not go, “oh, that’s impossible.”

    It was our neighbor’s son, and he was on the shed roof (much less impressive, there was a pile of tires and the pitch was very minor), but I still adore the attitude involved.

  9. The old kitty at my mother’s home used to climb a tree close to the house, then leap to the roof. When she wanted down, she would reverse the process.

    Until the day in her 17th year or so (which is what? 85 in human years?) when she realized she was just young enough to still climb the tree and jump to the roof…but too old to reverse the process. She sat on the roof and meowed piteously until my mother heard her, got a ladder, and rescued the old girl. The cat never did that again.

    My sister was flabbergasted when my mom told her this story, because mom, born in 1918 and raised on a farm (i.e. Greatest Generation member”), was about 79 or 80 in human years at that point. Sis scolded her and reminded her she had grandsons for that kind of stuff.

  10. Never, ever think that the Universe has reached maximum weirdness. It will rush to prove you wrong.

    I recall a story my parents told me once, of waking up and seeing eyes on the other side of their bedroom window. Their second story bedroom window. The eyes, it turned out, were raccoon eyes, attached to a curious raccoon that had found a way to climb up onto the roof.

    About tree-climbing dogs: I’ve heard tell of a line of dachshunds that are described as “mountain goats” because they all develop an ability to climb trees.

    • People see “cute weiner dogs”, but dachshunds are actually little furry alligators. Watch one yawn sometime…

      They were bred as hunters, to follow foxes and badgers down into their burrows and kill them. The AKA has performed their usual schtick of trying to breed them into nervous toys, but an old-breed dachshund can match an Alsatian wolfhound as far as bite, and they’re more aggressive, too.

      • And they are also utterly charming little dogs, too. A couple of times, the Daughter and I went to the Buda Wiener-dog races, and there was a dachshund rescue organization looking to place some of theirs with suitable humans. One of their charges got his head through the netting around the pen, and rested his head on my foot, and looked up at me with the most melting begging eyes. I didn’t have the money for the adoption fee, but if I did, I think I might have come home from that event with another dog…

      • One of the other grad students had a Dachshund who tried to take on a Great Dane. She ended up carrying the Dachsie off, held over her head, because the Great Dane wanted to come over and sniff the noise maker.

  11. A witch’s dog seen flying parallel to the broom. There aren’t enough dogs in paranormal fiction.

    • I can only think of two; the one in Zelazny’s “A Night in Lonesome October” and Harry Dresden’s dog. Both were actually demons in dog form, though. (more or less; I don’t think either actually *said* “demon”, but they fit the usual type)

      Ah, wait, the dog in Pratchett & Gaiman’s “Good Omens.” Is a hellhound a demon?

      • IMO Mouse (Harry Dresden’s dog) isn’t a demon.

        Mouse was called that when he commanded a certain Fairie woman to turn Harry & friends back to human form but IMO to her any magical being that stopped her idea of “fun” would be “not very nice”. Harry has reason to disagree with Mouse being a Demon.

        He’s an Oriental Temple Guardian Dog and is definitely more than “just a dog”.

        He’s “magical” but not demonic.

      • Probably closer to yokai or kami from Japan– demigod seems to be fairly good, or fay, or “spirit” where it’s taken to include anything magic-touched.

      • I was thinking as analogous to a witch’s cat you could have a dog familiar. It would need to be an adult and trained, of course, but I think it could be an asset. Dogs have different magic than cats.

    • If we’re limiting this to fantastic fiction and not SF, and we’re not including were-creatures, then I can only think of a couple — and none of them are plain old “gibberish in high gear”* dogs. In fact, I noticed this some years ago: cats and catlike aliens as significant characters are common in SF/F, but dogs (again, excluding werewolves) are exceedingly rare. Even Jack Chalker’s Well World, which had numerous species as alien as “alien” can be, had no dog-based sapients.

      I must observe, however, that Gloriously Familiar did include a canine Familiar.

      * from an old Nancy Lebowitz button: “Cats are poetry in motion. Dogs are gibberish in high gear.”

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