The Kissing Gate

As tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be nice to tell you about my experiences with kissing gates. There are two explanations of why they are named kissing gates. The first is that “kissing” is an engineering term to describe the gate touching the posts on either side. The second explanation is more romantic, so it’s my preferred one for Valentine’s Day. The older kissing gates have quite a restricted space, so a couple would have to go through one at a time. A kiss can be requested to allow the second person to swing the gate and pass through.

Kissing Gate - Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons,

Kissing Gate – Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The first time I saw a kissing gate, it was in the grounds of Wimpole Hall. It was quite a large kissing gate and there was no other gate available. My bipeds told me that it was large enough for me to enter and stand still, but I was not keen on the idea of that gate swinging next to me. I was six months old and I had never been nervous of anything before, but I decided I was not going to enter the kissing gate. They tried to tempt me with treats, but I was not persuaded. They demonstrated how easy it was by going through it multiple times themselves. That was very amusing, but I wasn’t convinced.

We changed direction and we went to the tea shop and sat outside at a table. One of my bipeds stayed with me while the other one went in and came back with some tea, cakes and a sausage roll. They ate the cakes and drank the tea, but they didn’t give me anything. They wrapped the sausage roll up in a napkin and put it in a pocket, as though they were planning to take it home – that was silly, I was there and keen to try it.

We left the tea shop and walked towards the kissing gate. This time the biped with the sausage roll went through. Then he got the sausage roll out and broke a piece off and held it out, through the side of the kissing gate. Well, I could risk putting my head inside to get a piece of sausage roll! But it was still just out of reach, so I moved forward. Before I knew it, I was inside the kissing gate eating a tasty piece of sausage roll and the gate had swung past me and I could join the biped who had the sausage roll.

They made a big fuss of me and told me how clever I was. They seemed to find it amusing, I’m not sure why – they should have explained better in the first place! We had a pleasant stroll and then returned through the kissing gate. I was quite keen to enter this time because I knew there was still sausage roll left! I haven’t been worried about going through a kissing gate since, as long as my bipeds say it’s large enough. Some kissing gates are far too small for me to fit in the enclosure – that’s what I call a bad design. But not as bad as a suspension footbridge that wobbles – I’ll tell you about that another time!

See you next Wednesday!


  1. Kissing gates, huh? Mom never told me about those things, but SAUSAGE ROLLS? OMD, I don’t blame you for going through. I think I’d work that one a bit more, Clowie. Yuuuummmmmm

    • There isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do for sausage rolls! I think it really surprised my bipeds that I was nervous of something – they were more used to having to stop me investigating something dangerous when I was a pup. All those missed opportunities for sausage rolls!

  2. Happy Valentine’s Clowie. Glad you made it thru the kissing gate AND got a yummy treat AND a walk…sounds like the perfect day!

  3. A wobbly bridge? I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it! I’ll try to keep my head about me for that post!

  4. We don’t have a kissing gate in our house but Mummy Janey and Daddy Chris always give us kisses when they come through the front door…is that the same?
    The REAL Maple Syrup Mob

  5. Ferris Baloo and Daisy Mae want to wish Clowie a happy V-day

  6. Ey! Clowie! I’ve never seen one of those gates! I do prefer the second version for de “kissing” thing. I would like to kiss someone special when we go through one of this! But you kissed and ate a delicious sausage roll! Good for you!

  7. That’s my brave girl gurl furriers Clowie. And you got thru that gate and a sausage besides!! Way to train the bipeds! Paw pats and hugs, Savvy

  8. Last time I had to go through one of those gate I jumped through a gap in the fence instead BOL. If I’d been given a sausage roll things may have gone differently!!

  9. What a great story! And you were so smart to hold out for that sausage, Clowie! I think you had your bipeds figured out the whole time, even at only 6 months of age. 😉 I never heard of a kissing gate before, but I’m familiar with suspension bridges, and I can tell you that I don’t and won’t ever let my family take me over one of those – even the little ones!

  10. What an interesting tradition. Holding out for the treats just makes sense.

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  12. As a dalmatian I don’t like the very narrow kissing gates they have by Pendle Hill. For the last couple of years my humans tempted me though with a biscuit, but I’m three now, and not too keen on doing what I’m told. They got me through a few of them and then I just said I’ve had enough. Two of them went on without me while me and the other one just waited in a field. When the other two came back I was thrilled, and we started to go back home.

    But then I remembered that there was this very tight one we’d gone through before. I just wasn’t having it. They tried with biscuits. They even tried to drag me but I refused. Then one of my humans picked me up and carried me through. I quite liked that – it reminded my of when I was little. The humans must have liked this too because they seemed quite cheerful. The remaining gates weren’t too bad, but I still pretended I needed a biscuit to help me through.

    I’d be more keen to use those things if my humans would just let me off so I could chase the sheep.

    • Some kissing gates are too small for me to get in. They are quite worrying when the space is very limited. I can see that they are useful for farmers near livestock, but a little more space in them would be nice! I think it’s a good idea to insist on a treat. If you do it without, they expect you to again. I’m never allowed off the lead if there are any livestock of any description in the area – so disappointing!

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