Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wow, Dog Doors are Expensive

This week we started what I like to call the (large undisclosed amount of money) dog door project. It's really a kitchen/house renovation but the idea of it started last year when we got Ray and I said "I think we should put in a dog door."
It became obvious pretty quickly after we got the dog that we would have to replace the kitchen floor. The Pergo around Ray's dog dish was warping from the steady stream of water from ole sloppy (despite the tray that the dish sits on). We talked about adding a mud room (I hear angels singing every time the words "mud room" are uttered) but found out that adding a mud room would cost almost as much as we originally paid for our house (read "prohibitively expensive"). So we scaled our renovations back to the things that were absolutely necessary, the ones we've talked about doing for years, (new siding, new doors, rip off the rotting balcony and replace its sliding door with a window), and the one thing that we both wanted, a new kitchen. Oh yeah, and put in a dog door. So Tuesday, I took Ray to the park, dropped him at daycare, and returned home to a gutted kitchen and utter chaos.
I gotta admit, the thought of renovating a house in which resides a blind dog, sends chills down my spine. The number of things on which Ray can hurt himself are almost limitless. For example, Monday, when Gregg and I were packing the kitchen, I inadvertently left the stepstool in the middle of the kitchen floor. I then compounded the mistake by walking out the back door (the screen weighted with marbles) and into the yard . When Ray heard the marbles hit the door frame and realized someone was going outside to play WITHOUT HIM, he barreled through the kitchen and SMACKED full face into the kitchen stool. He then spent the next 15 minutes licking his nose. I felt awful.
Ray however is an extremely adaptable dog. Already he is learning the new routes at home.
We have closed off access to the kitchen and opened the sliding door from the living room into the back yard, trading it's screen with the kitchen's flappy screen door so that Ray can exit at will. (Or at least, he will be able to exit at will as soon as the siding guys have removed the mountain of ladders and maze of scaffolding that covers Ray's running green.) Ray immediately figured out the new location of his dog dish (a corner of the living room, the only room where we could roll up the rug) and that all the activity is now centered in the dining room (our new kitchenette) and the laundry room (a sink!). He has discovered that, since we are in it so often now, we often forget to close the dog gate into the laundry room where the cat boxes are located and which also contains a totally new trash can full of fun things like dryer lint, used paper plates, and plastic utensils. (The new kitchen will have a pull-out drawer for the trash can - a smaller choir of angels is singing in my head - so that we will no longer have to keep the kitchen trash in the bathroom).
So here we are on day three of the (large undisclosed amount of money) dog door project and it's pouring rain. The boxes of siding and insulation sitting in the driveway are soaked though despite my efforts (during the initial cloudburst) to cover them with plastic sheets (it wasn't supposed to rain until tonight). Ray is curled up in Gregg's chair, snoozing. The construction guys haven't arrived yet. And all I want to do is go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But, like Ray, we all have to adapt to the situation. Guess I'll go to the kitchenette and pour myself another cup of coffee.


  1. Can we see pictures of the renovation!?

  2. I'll post some photos as soon as I get a spare moment. The siding is done. The balcony is gone, replaced with a bay window, and a new sliding door has been installed in the living room (to the patio). The kitchen looks like swiss cheese.