We've spent a good deal of the last two days installing a new back door. When I say 'new' I mean 'different.' We got it secondhand, which of course brings some interesting installation issues with it.
The reason for needing a new door is that we wanted to put a dog-door in, and the old door, being basically a sheet of frosted glass within a frame, was likely to turn to splinters if we cut into it. Yes, I know it can be done, but we were wary of the possible collapse of it.
We got the door fitted in place yesterday, but all the other sortings out, such as replacing the handle and latch and fittings around it etc, took a good deal of today.
And then there was training the dog to go in and out the dog-door. He didn't seem to appreciate that it had been set in place for him. It may not have helped that the cat, on discovering it, went through it with only a marginal amount of assistance. The dog refused to have anything to do with it.
We encouraged and cajoled and used little treats, but none of this would get him to actually go through it by himself. We gave him little pushes through, and though he baulked each time at this flapping thing that he had to deal with on the way, he'd make it to the other side. But not on his own.
He sits there starting at it, and you can see that he's thinking: life has been okay so far; why does there have to be this unsettling new thing come into it? He claims that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. We remind him that he's only three. That's 21 in dog years, he says. We're not impressed, and offer him another little treat.
He's now been in and out the dog door umpteen times during the course of the day, but not one of those occasions has been of his own volition. He has a theory that the cat, having gone through it first, has polluted it somehow, and furthermore, it's demeaning to follow in the pawprints of a cat.
Update: to our surprise, yesterday, he went out of his own accord. But coming back in? Nope. He's going to leave that for next year....