Dog doors

I was on my balcony with Luke photographing a strawberry.  He decided to go downstairs and outside to watch me from below.  He then started barking at me because he wanted to come up again.

How on earth did I ever live without a dog door.  I wanted one for as long as I can remember but back in Canada we really couldn't figure out where to put it and here in Southern California, well it just took us a while.  So I finally have one, got it several years ago and I cannot imagine life without it.  Truly I cannot.  Letting the dogs in and out use to be something that was constantly on my mind.  Before I went out, as soon as I got home everyone had to go out together and they had to go. 

Tilley heard the commotion and went out to see what was up.  I originally put the sticker on the flap to help the dogs see where to push.  Jessie was target trained so it was very helpful to assist them in locating the spot to push.  Before the sticker they were pushing everywhere to get in the door.

They had a few words and she figured out that he was just being, well..............Luke.

Back in she goes.

I never wanted to be away for too too long, my dogs had to go.  And heaven forbid if someone had an upset stomach, not good.  The door we put in is like a panel that just fits right into the patio door and then the door closes up to it.  I researched forever before deciding on it and I love it.  Ordering the right fit was a bit tough because we have tall and short dogs.  If your dog is short you must lower the opening, tall you have to raise it.  So we have a larger opening to accomodate both a little Jack Russell and Standard poodles.

Luke decided that he too was done with the nonsense and came in and up to the balcony again.

I never worry about letting the dogs out; although we always do the before bed trip outside.  But in the morning I go to the gym, make sure the dog door is open and if someone has to go, they go.  Even Jessie with her Dementia still uses the dog door all the time.  I close it at night because we don't want critters using it to come into the warm house but other than at night, it's open.

Then Jessie came in as well, she'd been out to see what was going on as well.  So there you see my inspiration for todays blog.  :)

The girls caught onto using it fast, Tilley had it down in minutes.  Jessie took a little bit longer because she has to push harder to open it.  And Luke; well he uses it all the time now but I never thought he would.  It was month and months and months of work to get him to push it on his own.  First we worked on him coming in and out with it being held open.  Luke is not a dog that offers behaviors, he is not brave to try something new so he would just stand outside and bark.  I raised the edge enough that he only had to push it when he was almost in.  He had to get use to the feel of the door on him as well, so once he was okay with that I opened the door less and less until finally one day he came in on his own.  From that moment I would not open the door again.

He did a lot of standing outside and barking.  He would watch the girls come in and out.  And he would even try to scoot in on their opening but he got stuck a couple times and set him back in his training.  We stepped back a bit, opened it for him a few times and then we were back to him opening the door.  He was hesitant to go through on his own for a longtime, but he finally conquered it.  I had my doubts, I did not think that he would use it but he does.  Oh he stills like if someone will open it for him and he tries the barking deal but I just yell at him to come in and he does.

Life without a dog door?  I can't imagine.