GREAT INVENTIONS

Cottage dog door

By Ray Ford

A great solution to let dogs out and keep your screen

Dog door

Photo by Ross Costa

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When red squirrels beckoned beyond the screen door, Juniper the chocolate Lab

liked to make a dramatic exit. Right through the screen.

“I was constantly fixing the door,” says Pointe au Baril cottager William Masters. “Finally, I decided to solve the problem and make everyone happy.”

The result is a rapid-transit doorway for cottage canines. Using fibreglass screening, Masters stapled a layer of screen to both the inside and outside of the door’s crosspiece (using half-round wood trim to hold it in place), and left enough screen for an overlapping edge of one centimetre on the sides, and three centimetres on the bottom. The double-layer of mesh deters mosquitoes but allows pooches to proceed unhindered. At dusk, when the skitters get too persistent, Masters shuts the main door.

Twenty years after Masters first installed the flap, Juniper is chasing red squirrels in the Great Beyond. But the breakthrough door design is now appreciated by Dusty, the bearded collie (below), and his four-legged friends. “Whenever a new dog comes up and sees Dusty use the door, it knows right away what to do,” Masters says.


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Ray Ford