Why I Need a Doggie Door

Blazing Texas heat, overworked air conditioner. I’m working from home about half the time, and my dogs want in-and-out, in-and-out, every hour that I’m here.

That’s my normal summertime routine, and I’m used to it, but I realize that it’s crazy. I decided to count the number of times in a day that I stop what I’m doing to either open or close the back door.

I used this knitting row katcha-counter, and I faithfully clicked every single time I had to walk to the back door for a dog.

Here’s a slice of how this normal summertime day went:
7 am – I’m just waking up, Abe wants out. Counter = 1
7 – 10:45 am – Door stays open, no activity.
10:45 am – Door closed, a/c on. Abe and Tippy are outside.
10:46 am – Abe and Tippy in. Counter = 2

10:48 am – Tippy acts like he wants out, false alarm. Counter = 3

10:50 am – Ike and Tippy out to work on their tans. Counter = 4
11 am – Ike in. Counter = 5
11:20 am – Tippy in. Counter = 6

11:50 am – All dogs in, I leave the house to run errands.
1:30 pm – I’m home, all dogs out. Counter = 7
1:51 pm – I’m trying to eat my lunch, but I stop to let dogs in. Counter = 8

2:10 pm – Ike is sweet.
2:11 pm – Abe and Tippy out. Counter = 9.
2:13 pm – Ike says he wants out, false alarm. Counter = 10
2:22 pm – Tippy in. Counter = 11
2:30 pm – Tippy gets really worked up about something in the backyard and MUST GO OUT. Counter = 12

2:30 pm – Nothing to get worked up about after all.

You get the idea. I was working from home for the rest of the day, so this went on and on. Want to know the grand total?

Yes, that says FIFTY-ONE. Fifty-one times that I stopped what I was doing to let a dog in or out. INSANE.

You might be wondering why I don’t just tell the dogs “no” when they want to go outside for the tenth time in one hour. That’s because I honestly can’t tell if they want to go out to pee, or to chase squirrels. Going outside to pee is important.

I realize that a doggie door would allow me to increase my work-at-home productivity by at least a million percent, but installing one is no easy task. My current door won’t accommodate one, and it looks like I’ll need to cut a hole in a wall instead. All that aside, I can’t even be sure the little bastards will use it once it’s there.

Here’s a cute photo of Abe, since he doesn’t appear anywhere else in this post.

Gotta run. Tippy just shoved the back door open again.

16 comments on “Why I Need a Doggie Door

  1. Too funny! I never even thought to keep track of how many times I have to get up and let the beagles out. It has been even more fun now that Eddy has to be taken out on a lease every time he wants out. Talk about interrupting my knitting time!

    Can’t wait to meet your new foster!

  2. Hiya feel sorry for you in the heat of summer is cool and mild here in the southern hemisphere or NZ.
    I’m enjoying your videos, the instuctions are clear and easy to follow. ( and your blog)
    Thanks for working as hard as you do,

  3. I empathize with you, as your day is not so different from mine. Our little Min Pin is a regular Houdini. We cannot let her out in the fenced in backyard, because she WILL get out, in a hurry. We found that out the first week we got her when we were running marathon sprints around the neighborhood trying to catch her! She can dig under the fence about as fast as I can say jackrabbit. Hence, every trip outdoors must be on a leash. My husband compains that our entire lives seem to be made up of taking the dog out. Like you, we can never be sure if that dance she’s doing is saying “I gotta pee, bad!”, or “I gotta get that blankety-blank squirrel out of MY yard”. So, because of the leash situation, a doggie door is out for us. 🙁

    Speaking of doggie doors, the previous owners of our house had built a simple wooden (looked simple, anyway) framework the size to fit inside an open window. They removed the screen, inserted the framework into the open window (leaving no open space around it in the window), and the doggie door was installed into the framework. It’s a thought.

    Are your dogs Basenji’s. They gorgeous!

  4. I hear ya! Last summer, I had to have the ball bearings replaced on my sliding patio door. How about false alarms for coming in? My dog used to like to stand at the door, peer in, give a bark when she saw me but run off as soon as I opened the door.

    Your boys look very happy and gorgeous. Abe seems to be quite the character.

  5. I have been begging for a dog door for Deedle, but it doesn’t look like I am going to get one! We put one in at our old house, and it seriously made my life SO much easier. If there is a way you can install one, you should go for it. The boys will love it (and you will, too)!

  6. Do you have a sliding glass door to the backyard? If so, you can get these panels that just pop into your sliding glass door frame that have a built in doggie door. My mom had one with a good solid semi-clear rubber flap that had magnets around the edges so when it flapped shut, it didn’t leak so much A/C. And you can still close your glass door and screen door with it in. I don’t know where she got hers, but check around!

  7. Get the dog door! We had one put in the wall when we moved in to this house. Nobody (even visiting dogs) ever takes more than half a day to figure out how to use it. I couldn’t live without it.

  8. I had our dog door in Phoenix installed in the sliding glass door because our exterior wall was block and hard to cut through. When I got rid of the sliding doors, we put in a french door with sidelights and used one of the sidelights to build a dog door panel, which was easy to remove when we left.
    The one we had installed was a Hale Pet Door, and I recommended them to my friend and she got one in her Phoenix house, and they came and removed it when she moved so she wouldn’t lose her deposit. She then had another one installed in her Denver house.
    Go to http://www.halepetdoor.com/products.html and see what your options are and then click on Installation and get an estimate from a contractor in your area. Then, invent a nifty pattern for a pet knit and make it the dog door fundraiser pattern.
    I totally wish I had a dog door, but there was no way to do it in a fifth floor New York City apartment with no terrace 🙂

  9. Hah, hah, tripple hah! I know EXACTLY how you feel. Sometimes we watch ours to see if they pee, and if they do, we ignore any requests for door opening for the next hour or so. Usually, they fall back asleep during that time. I feel your pain, though. LOVE the picture of Abe!

  10. You are truly a dedicated pet owner! But I think the dog door will be a must for you! 51 times is crazy – no wonder you are in such good shape! Sweet dog photos (as always) – love the one with Tippy IN the couch!

  11. The dog door is essential in TX. We never had one back in WA, but got one in Dallas because it is too hot for the dogs to be outside all day. It is the greatest invention, ever. Kuma took to it in about 30 seconds (using meat as a lure). Our scaredy dog took about 5 min. Any visiting dogs figured it out within the first 30 min, even puppies. Do it! Think how much more time you will have to knit.

  12. Hilarious post. I knew we saved on energy bills here, not needing A/C throughout the summer, but I didn’t think of it in terms of saving footsteps too — we just keep the back door open all day for the dogs to come and out as they please.

    I like the last photo of Abe.

  13. Hilarious! Love the photo… I need a dog door also… I don’t have a counter but there must be an iPhone app for counting stitches!
    Love you and your site!

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