Friday, February 1, 2008

Dog Door 101

Since reading Merle's Door (by Ted Kerasote), I've been thinking about putting in a dog door for my dear pup, Trixie. An Irish setter/English water spaniel mix, she's a beautiful lady who takes her guard dog responsibilities on this lovely farm quite seriously. While I'm delighted that she's ever on the job, letting her in and out during the night when I'd like to sleep puts a definite crimp in my rest, so the idea of a dog door held enormous allure.

I bought a door at my local pet shop over the holidays, have just now installed it in the kitchen. And thus begins the tail, er, tale.

While Beau, the dapper young master pictured with Trixie in my profile photos, figured out the cat door, the cats having taught him all he needed to know with their concerted fleeing of the scene upon his arrival in our household, sweet Trixie never gave any doors other than the ones for people any consideration. She was too tall to squeeze through, and besides, that door is for CATS!

Having put the dog door in place, I cajoled and wheedled, treats in hand, all to no avail. Trixie understood what was expected; she simply was not about to cooperate. The very notion of a dog door--Harumph! I finally resorted to tough love, placing her food dish outside the door. After much kvetching and vocal protests, Trixie allowed me to put her paws on the door's opening, then hopped through for her dinner.

It's been two days now since the door was installed, and Trixie has learned to go in and out quite nicely. An errant deer in the garden, critters assembling near the barn, incipient mayhem aborning in all quarters---Trixie's on the job, her plumed tail flashing as she gracefully leaps through her door in pursuit of all that would threaten.

Beau, ever adaptable and gracious, makes use of both doors.

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