It began, as so many things in life do, with the dog.
He has been with us for three years, roughly 1,000 days, and in those 1,000 days I have gotten up from the couch to either let him outdoors, or answer his whiny scratching to let him in, approximately 4,753,961,500 times.
Not long after we brought him home, I decided to put in a doggie door, and I totally would have, if not for the triple-P.
No, that is not a bladder-relieving trick I taught him to impress the neighbors. The three P’s are perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis. (Hello darkness, my old friend).
I wanted to put in a doggie door. I did. But then I realized that the kitchen door was such a thin piece of junk I should really replace the door first (perfectionism).
Where do I get a door? Is it a standard size? (No way. Nothing in this house is standard. I swear the guy who built it himself in the 1920s found the windows and doors, no two alike, from a salvage yard and built the house to fit them). So a door would require precise measurements and research and money (procrastination).
And when is there ever a good time to research sizes and prices on a custom door just to let the dog go out unassisted? Never. (Paralysis).
Flash forward three years and here I sit, new-door-less and doggie-door-less.
Then I had a rare adult insight. I realized that in order to vanquish the three P’s, you only have to slay the first one. How? You buy a doggie door. You install it in the crappy kitchen door, which you are never going to replace with a better door, ever, because you know you.
So I did.
Adios, P. There’s a new sheriff in town, P, and it is I.
So friends, if you find yourself with a similar problem, here are my steps for installing a doggie door:
Give up your fantasy of the perfect kitchen door, or even one which actually stays closed or keeps out the winter drafts. It is not to be.
Peruse the various doggie doors at the hardware store. Since you have a small dog, buy the “small.”
Measure your dog, like you should have done in the first place. Your dog is small, yes, but the “small” door must be for freaking ferrets.
Return the small to the hardware store and buy the medium.
Remove your kitchen door and place it in the driveway horizontally on two sawhorses.
Ha! Like you have two sawhorses.
Lean the door against your patio table then.
Get out the jigsaw.
Ha! Like you have a jigsaw.
Get out the circular saw. (This is no longer going to be a “finesse” job).
Trace the outline of the doggie door on your door.
Fire up the circular saw and attempt to keep its bucking blade even remotely within the confines of your pencil marks.
Now that what you have is not so much a doggie door hole as it is an emergency fire exit, get out an ice-cold beer.
Place it against your forehead with your eyes closed, and mutter things which cause your wife to rush the children to the neighbors to play.
Go back to the hardware store, return the medium doggie door and buy the large.
Install the large and re-hang the kitchen door.
Using doggie treats, train your dog to push open the rubber flap and exit the house.
Fail. Your dog hates the smell of rubber flaps and now will no longer get within 50 feet of the door.
Get a cat.