I wrote this back in August.
I love my mountain home in August. It is above a hundred degrees all around us but yet we sit at 68 degrees today. Houses here are not equipped with air-conditioning, just ceiling fans and opened windows. The only complaint I have is when I cook the house gets a bit warm. Since Mother Nature has started playing its cruel but inevitable game of hot flash with me, I considered getting central air. Could you imagine that? You are sitting out side in the evening, the quietness enveloping you while gazing at the stars then all of a sudden the sound of an a/c unit kicks in, brummmmmmm. Heaven forbid, not in my back yard, we are getting a screen door!
Hub wanted a door with iron bars on it. It was made of steel equipped with a dead bolt hole. I wanted more of the outside in, not the other way around. My dream was of an old fashioned wooden screen door. You know the kind at Grams house. You would run so fast out the door you would forget to close it. No worries man, that wound up spring would slam it shut for you. Somewhere in the back of the house you would hear someone yelling, “Don’t slam the door!” Aaaaah, there is just no other sound on earth like a slamming screen door. It takes me back to my childhood and my boys when they were little. I love it.
As we are heading back up the hill with my new all wood screen door, I was reminded that the dogs were going to hate it. I forgot about their freedom, their connection with the outdoors and all things wild, their prized and greatly appreciated doggie door. As soon as this screen door goes up, their independence goes away. Shoot.
I will never forget trying to teach these silly dogs how to use it. It was such a foreign concept for them, so I decided to show them. I crawled out the little door and then back in over and over again. (You must remember I was less than 100 pounds way back then) It was not until I offered up hot dogs did they find the concept more appealing. After a couple of days working with them all, they had it down pat and the word freedom was born in their heads. Their games became far more fun. Chase is an all time favorite of all dogs and cats but now my pooches had a new element…. a hoop. Well, a square hoop, but a hoop all the same. They would fly through the door with a single leap. If you studied them, you would swear they were having a contest of how far back you could leap and still make it through the hole. Oh they loved their newborn freedom.
When I got home from work the next day, hub had one of the doors up. It was a simple install with hinges on the outside of the door facing. Aaah beautiful, it just added to the charm of the little wooden door. I helped him hang the other door, which proved to be a bit trickier but we did it. We opened the doors and let the wonderful breezes flow through the house. A little while later I heard a SLAM. It scared the bejeebies out of me. Hub poked his head in to make sure he was not in trouble. “Not at all.” I told him, “It brings back memories.” I said with shot nerves and a crooked smile. Hmmmmm.
Later that night we locked up and settled in to our night time routine. All was well until Mutt and I heard a noise outside the window. She was off to protect her territory and I peeked out the window to see if I could find what the noise was. I could hear her running down the hall at full speed. She flies by my legs and in one of those flying leaps she had been perfecting over the years, she dives through the doggie door. OUCH! We both had forgotten what was on the other side. It was that dang screen door! Poor, Poor Mutt. It was all so fast but from what I saw, she hit it pretty hard. Her head was squeezed in-between the doggie door and screen door much like a head in a ThighMaster…. with her rear end racing for the lead. The word accordion comes to mind. It was shocking to say the least. She stood up and backed away slowly never taking her eyes off the door. It was decided right then and there we would have to prop open the door at night so she could fulfill her duties as watch dog. You can tell she appreciates the efforts we have made to give her back her freedom, but now she walks to the doggie door with a more slow and refined approach, looks to see if the screen door is open then makes a tiny but forceful leap out into great outdoors.