"After we put the dogs in the kitchen at bedtime, we heard a noise. We got up to find Annie prying at the bottom of the (baby) gate with her nose. Remember, we had the single latch near the top of the gate - which left some "give" at the bottom. Annie had figured this out. With a little experimentation, she found she could move the bottom corner enough to squeeze through and escape.
Ah-ha! Now that we knew her secret, how hard could it be to foil her strategy? The obvious solution was to cut off her angle of approach. So we took a two-foot-tall decorative barrel..., put it in the kitchen and loaded twenty pounds of dumbbell weights into it. We placed the barrel directly and firmly against that vulnerable gate corner. If she couldn't get to it, she wouldn't be able to open it.
The next evening, I came home -- and found Annie happily running around the apartment... Annie had simply shoved the weighted barrel out of the way. ... So I went out to the local home-improvement store. And came home with a twenty-pound patio paving-brick. We added the brick to the dumbbells. Okay, let's see her move forty pounds.
Next evening, there was Annie, running around the apartment.
So it was back to the store for yet another patio brick. We added that one to the barrel, which we could barely move by now. Sixty pounds!
The next evening, I came home. And there was Annie, grinning as she met me at the door. That twenty-two pound, one-foot-tall dog had moved a sixty pound barrel with her nose. At that point, all we could do was laugh -- and surrender. Annie had won the blessings of liberty for herself... .
From that day on, (she) had the run of the apartment even when we were gone all day. (She) never did even the tiniest bit of damage. So maybe the barrel affair was Annie's way of telling us it was time for us to trust (her)."
Puppy Kisses are Good for the Soul, by Howard Weinstein & Mail Order Annie