So tonight, it being 10 p.m. and after the mosquitoes' bed-time, we were a-hunting the little bugs on their favorite nest, the ceiling. We'd patrolled most of the rooms, Cassie barking every time the Human cocked the fly-swatter, so as to warn her little winged friends so they could escape. As an afterthought, we dodged into the former TV room, now rarely used since I replaced the television with Netflix.

This is the room where I used to hang out almost every evening, and regularly fell asleep in the armchair in front of the blathering idiot box. And the former canine residents of this house, Walt the Greyhound and Anna the German shepherd, would also hang out in there. For their convenience, I'd installed a large security-type dog door in the outside wall to that room.

Well, after those two passed on to their furry fathers, I bolted the door shut (it comes with a kind of deadbolt and a cover made of the type of plastic they use to make bullet-proof riot shields), and for good measure added an alarm. Cassie never showed the slightest interest in using it, and I've never had any luck training her to go in and out, even luring her with doggy treats. A couple of weeks ago, I tried it with Ruby and elicited no more interest than Cassie's.

But this evening she remembered. While I was distracted with my prey, she bumped her noggin against the clear barrier. Hmmm...

Today I picked up a bag of doggy treats they find particularly succulent. What if...?

These dogs live for doggy treats. :-D

Ruby learned almost instantly that pushing her way through the two plastic hanging flaps would get her one of the coveted nuggets. Once she'd figured that out, the problem was not getting her to go through the was stopping her from running back and forth through the thing!

Cassie? Not so much. She doesn't like having to shove her way through not one but two flaps, nor is she especially interested in going outdoors unless the Human is out there. But eventually she did perform the new trick. Once, thank you.

Well, this is great: if the Ruby-Doo will use a dog door, that will cut down on a lot of the mosquito depredations. No more leaving the back door open on demand!

Problem is, the door is more than large enough for a grown man to crawl through. Walt the Greyhound was so tall that Anna, who weighed 90 pounds and more, could walk underneath him as though he were a bridge! And did, all the time... I've used the dog door, in a pinch, to get into the house, and so has Semi-Demi-Exboyfriend, who's six feet tall and not exactly a string bean.

In this neighborhood I surely can't leave that thing open while I'm not here, not with these dwarf dogs around. Anna was a terror on four wheels -- no burglar in his right mind would have tried to get in through that thing with her lurking. Actually, he wouldn't have made it to the dog door, because she would have removed his foot before he could get all the way across the yard. Ruby and Cassie would hurry out with a pillowcase to help him carry the silver.

So, I'm afraid it can be open only when I'm here and awake. But still: it'll be a convenience.

We killed six of the darned mosquitoes tonight.

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Comment by Vicky Hay on November 9, 2014 at 8:00am

@ Holly: LOL! A surprise pet raccoon! Wouldn't the little fella have been kinda stinky?

Around here the perps watch people before they attempt to break in. They know what kind of dog you have. They can see over the back fence. Once I actually spotted a guy walking up the alley on stilts! He was peering down into everybody's yards.

Comment by Holly on November 8, 2014 at 11:17pm

Good idea getting a lock for the doggy door. I live in a quiet rural area but the crazies go everywhere and I would not want some crazed human to crawl in, though the size of your door may discourage a somewhat normal human afraid of getting attacked by a large dog. Around here there have been many reports of wildlife getting in homes via the doggy door. One woman awoke petting her cat, only to discover it was a raccoon on her pillow. No thanks! I also don't have a fenced in yard so I can't let her off leash, though that sounds appealing. I am so glad we don't get mosquitos in winter here. So annoying!

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