The day after my conniption fit over Jack having access to the pool, Hick put the new gate on the steps going down to Poolio, and the handrail, too. It looked pretty good.
"Your dog doesn't like the gate."
"Of course not! You're keeping him from a swim."
"He don't like it at all. He stood there and watched me while I was working on the rail."
"Good. Now he can't get down there."
"I still need to put a latch on it, but I have to go buy one later. I'll put it on tomorrow. It's fine. You can close it."
So all was right with my Jack-populated world. Until I went upstairs at 3:00 a.m., and tossed in a load of laundry, and looked out the laundry room door.
THE GATE WAS GAPPED OPEN EXACTLY ONE JACK-WIDTH!!!
My heart started racing. I turned on the back porch light and scanned the pool for a tiny bedraggled long body. The mood of the townspeople shooting the cannon to raise the bodies of Tom and Huck couldn't have held a McDougal's Cave stubby candle to the sadness in Val's heart at that thought. Thankfully, Poolio was clear of Val's best friend! I pushed that gate closed and planned on giving Hick a piece of my mind the next morning.
Here is a picture I recreated in daylight. You can even see the latch (still in package) laying on the rail beside the gate.
Hick didn't know how the gate got open. It doesn't just swing out. It's pretty stiff. I guess Jack or Juno could have nudged it open.
Here's the gate later that day, complete with latch, and Jack looking for a way down.
Do you think that Hick tempting the dogs with his supper has anything to do with it?
Now I just have to convince Hick that we also need steps and a gate from the yard onto the deck, like the old-style deck. I don't think he'll want to walk all the way up and through the house and back around the yard or down the basement steps to get to the filter. Besides, what if there's an emergency with someone in the pool? And what if he invites HOS and family over to swim? Going up on the porch to get down to the pool is kind of awkward.
At least the boys and I kept him from his original plan of putting a slide down at the end of the porch, where the dogs are in that last picture, as the only way down to the pool from the porch. The boys used to climb over the rail and onto the back of a plastic bench that held the skimmer and other doodads. Hick did not.
Now that I know Jack is safe...I would pronounce the new deck a success. I think we'll call him Deckster.