Magic Carpet Ride | August 08, 2012

We love our dog Sukie, but she is a bona fide nutball.

The latest is that she's developed a phobia of the doorway to Mark's office. Yes, you heard right. The doorway.

She's perfectly fine if she's either side of it, but it's the experience of going through the doorway itself that is inexplicably traumatic. Even dog treats will not tempt her.

On the odd occasion, however, her determination will outweigh her fears and she will attempt to make a sudden, mad dash through to the other side. In a spectacle that soon becomes akin to a scene from a Looney Tunes cartoon, Sukie's claws, scurrying frantically, fail to get a grip on the polished floorboards and she is unable to propel herself forward. She finds herself suspended in some kind of comical, roadrunner-esque motion loop in the doorway for what seems like an eternity. Her efforts to expedite the traumatic experience, backfiring drastically.

This predicament has made Sukie a little glum. She usually enjoys lying by Mark's side while he works but now all she can do is poke her head around the door and stare at him longingly.

Mark also misses her company and so, in a stroke of genius, was able to come up with this clever solution: He lays down her dog bed in front of her and coaxes her onto it. He then slides the dog bed through the evil doorway until she and her bed have safely reached the other side. 

We call this the Magic Carpet ride. And it works a treat.

We know, however, this is not an ideal fix. It will take time and a whole lot of positive reinforcement to get her traversing that doorway confidently again.

Mark's been a bit down because of the situation but has, unfortunately for me, managed to retain his sense of humour.

Mark: "I hate it when I can't fix things... I don't know why but I just need to fix what's broken"
Me (jokingly):"Is that why you're with me?"
Mark:"Nah, you're not broken. You're just a little... bent"

{ photo by Amy Moss }

posted under: Our Home, storytelling, Sukie


  1. Awwweee... Sukie....Genius idea for a temporary fix. Our dog, Ramone will not cross the plastic drain "grate" at the end of our driveway that separates the drive from the yard (it spans the width of the drive). He will always walk around. He will however, cross if there is a "magic carpet" laying across the grate. Good luck....You have a super cute little buddy!
  2. The things we do for our dogs!!!
  3. What a cute story! Sometimes it would be so helpful if our dogs could talk so we would know what's wrong.
  4. pam | Aug 9, 2012
    I love Sukie stories.
  5. I wonder if putting a rug through the passage way would help the situation? Dogs are so silly. I know that sound of scurrying paws on hardwood oh too well!
  6. Hi Allison- Things have progressed slightly. At the moment we just leave her dog bed lying in the doorway itself, acting as a kind of rug. She's currently sleeping on it! But she still has her moments where she won't go near it and no amount of coaxing will help. Occasionally she'll completely forget her fears and just wander in like it's the easiest thing in the world. Like I said, she's nuts. :)
  7. My dog is a bit of a nut ball as well! I'm glad she's not the only one with this absurd fear of walking on wood floors. We noticed that she doesn't like turning left like Zoolander (I wrote about it here:

    Putting down a rug should help. Sometimes she forgets that she's scared and walks over like it's no biggie and other times we have to carry her. It's ridiculous!
  8. Krista | Aug 11, 2012
    Hi there!

    Dogs can indeed act in an strange way sometimes, but they are never silly, we just dan't allways understand why they act the way they do.
    I am an almost certified dog behaviourist, and maybe I can give you a tip you can try to get Sukie over her fear. The reason she acts this way can have multiple reasons; maybe something happened outside the house that made a lot of noise just as she was walking through the doorway and she made a connection between these two things. Maybe one of her nails got caught between the floorplanks. Maybe she is getting older and are her hips not as good as they used to be and hurt her when she's on a slippery floor (if you suspect the last, you should see a vet and put down rugs for her to walk on). Probably you'll never know why she is afraid.
    I hope Sukie likes her food. If this is so, you can sart by feeding her in the hallway the 'scary' doorway is in, but so far away from it that it dosn't scar her. You do that for a day or two. If she shows no fear at all, you move the bowl a little bit closer to the doorway and feet her there a couple of times. You keep doing this, going very slowly, until you can first feed her in the doorway, and you keep going untill you're all the way through. If you notice any fear, you go back a few steps and start again from there, but you take it even slower. Probably she'll start associating the doorway with something positive by than and the problem will be solved. Once you've arrived in the study with her bowl you can feed her there for a while longer, so the connection study-food will be very clear for her.

    I wish you lots of succes if you want to try it!

  9. Hi Krista,

    Thanks so much for your advice- much appreciated! We believe it had something to do with a loud noise. We're actually working with a behavioural specialist at the moment to help Sukie through her (many) anxiety issues and she had some similar tips. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note!

  10. Hi Amy, Love your post about Sukie. Is she a Ridgeback? We had a beloved Ridgeback named Zimba—I learned to adore her quirkiness. Sounds like you found a great temporary solution to the doorway problem. Not sure if I have any ideas either. I'll ask my dogs... And they usually tell me to give them more belly scratches! xo
  11. This post made me smile. Gotta love our dogs and their little quirks. I'm pretty sure my little one has ADHD.
  12. Hi Chris- Sukie's actually a bullmastiff cross and we're not sure what she's crossed with. She does look very Ridgeback though, except without the ridge! We think that there may be some Great Dane in her because of her extremely long legs.
  13. Anne | Aug 15, 2012
    Sukie is a bull-Mastiff mix, right? - is there any way she's part Rhodesian Ridgeback too? (she couldn't look more like it in the face/ears, body and fur coloring)...could her cute fear be partly a Rhodesian Ridgeback thing...? We've got a Ridgeback - Zambezi - and she is brave and stoic as all hell in the face of most anything: strangers, bunnies in the backyard, water, etc. But you put a BASKET in front of her - any kind (wire, wicker, etc.) and she reverts to freaked out 100lb infant puppy weakling. I think Ridgeback owners were sold a bit of a bale of goods - we were told Rhodesians were the "Navy Seals" of dogs - strong and brave and heroic. On most counts she is, but in my experience they're freaked out by the oddest/silliest/most adorable things. Love her, and Sukie, for their adorable quirks, but at the end of the day they really are the gentlest of giants. Maybe it's that Rhodesians were historically bred from Mastiffs (and other breeds too) - so maybe it's a Mastiff thing? Regardless, it's these quirks that set them apart and make them that much more lovable.
  14. This post made me laugh out loud, I could actually hear the cartoon sound-effects playing in my head as I imagined Sukie careening through the doorway!
  15. Oh animals... they're such characters and it's why we love them so much! Peyton, our 100+ pound Lab/Irish Wolfhound/Pit mix walks backwards through most doorways. He has longer fur and we think he doesn't get great grip on the tile/wood floors. He's fallen before so I think he just over thinks it and goes backwards slowly instead of forwards. Haha! He also had a knee problem a while back - something fixed with surgery so he's just overall nervous about getting around most of the house :P Hopefully you guys can work through Sukie's problems! :)
  16. I'm getting the distinct impression that we're not the only ones with a crazy dog. Good to know! Great to hear all your stories :)
  17. Poor lil doggie! Until reading Kelly's comment I had never heard of another dog that walks backward on hardwoods. My golden retriever, Reese, will walk backwards very slowly when crossing hardwoods. And when she tries to expedite, same think as your dog.... it's cartoon slippin and sliding with her claws all out trying to grip. It's funny but I'm also sad that I can just tell her that walking slower will be easier! Good luck with your pup. Here is a funny video of Reese and her backwards walking antics:
  18. Clare | Aug 15, 2012
    Oh... the skittering on the floorboards is kind of hilarious, isn't it? It happens to our Biggerdog when he tries to chase Smalldog. Also we can tell if Biggerdog has stolen some food from somewhere, because when his belly is super-full it seems to throw him off balance a bit, and he skitters more than usual. Best alert to naughty behaviour ever.

    Our Smalldog was born with an overly alert early warning system. Every now and then something will catch her eye and she'll freeze and start growling at it. A backpack dropped in an unusual place, or a chair tipped over? Sure, that seems kind of reasonable, if you look at it the right way. Growling at the pendant light in the kitchen that has been there since we all moved in two years ago? Less normal. Other things worthy of growling have included: the neighbour's satellite dish; a snail on a fence; a bowl with steam rising from it.
  19. Hi Clare- Biggerdog and Smalldog? Is that really their names!? That's awesome!! :)

    Hi Jenn, thanks for sending through the vid of your dog walking backwards- that's just BIZARRE!

  20. Rebecca | Aug 16, 2012
    My dog was so neurotic she was scared of kitchens. Any kitchen. I think it started with a slippery floor at our old house, but continued to the other three houses we lived in. She would just sit at the threshold too! She also suddenly became scared of her dog food bowl. We started feeding her on a towel and squirting water for her to drink. She went for a couple days without food or water when we were trying to tough-love her into drinking and eating.
  21. aha, this was a great read. poor sukie, i hope she overcomes her many anxieties.
  22. Soooo cute! Glad to hear Mark found a solution for your pup!
  23. Bonnie | Aug 21, 2012
    I just had to say - that is one of the funniest posts I have read in a very long time so thank you for that. Second, I do hope Sukie is able to work through whatever her fear is although it is a double-edge sword - it's tough to know she has a fear but it is, all in all, comical. Their personalities!!! LOVE them. That's the kind of thing that keeps my husband & I "dog people."
  24. I love the soulution! I hope he gets over his fear though. You seem like you love your dog and I am sure all will be fine, it always is.
  25. Hi Amy,
    Firstly I have to confess of my blogcrush on you! You inspire on soo many levels, so keep up the great, amazing work!
    My Mackenzie sounds and looks a lot like your gorgeous Sukie! I posted on my blog, after reading your post yesterday about Sukie. I hope you can pop over to my blog to have a look at Sukie's sister!
  26. Lizzie | Sep 24, 2012
    What a wonderful post! I love your magic carpet ride solution, and your perserverance in solving the problem!
  27. Beautiful story, we also love dogs. Our is very old and very limited mobility on all floors, wood flooring is the worst.
  28. Wow ! Great ceativity and the post clarity is awesome.
  29. Useful post always gets the attention of others and this one is get my attention too.
  30. Alsaeed | Jun 11, 2018
  31. alex | Jun 24, 2019
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