Maggie is a lucky dog.  She lives in Southern California where the weather is pretty nice all year long.  This enables her to have a nice backyard that she can visit anytime she wants.  She wants to visit it frequently.  Sometimes every five or ten minutes.  This has become a game she plays.  Wait for Mom to sit down in her recliner with the laptop in front of her and SCCCCRATTCH at the screen door to be let in or out.  Part of the fun of this game is to see how fast Mom will run to save what remains of the door.  Now that it has several large holes, there is, of course, not much to save.
  Mom and Dad have discussed the merits of a dog door, but Dad is fixedly opposed.  Mom figures she will eventually get around this.  Perhaps Dad is opposed because his office is at the other end of the house from the screen door, so he doesn't have to stop working to open it quite as often.  Sometimes Mom gets fed up and leaves the door open, which Maggie likes, and so do the thousands of LA bugs that share her yard.

This past weekend, Mom discovered a great, temporary solution.  It is a Bug-Off, a kind of portable, screen curtain that can be put in the doorframe by means of a tension rod.  The center opening is held closed with two magnets, so human or dog can just push through the center to go in or out and the two halves close together nicely afterwards.  Mom and Dad were both satisfied with this.
Maggie is another story.  Maggie thinks the Bug-Off is a tool of the devil.  It looks like the screen door, but when you scratch at it it moves and doesn't make that satisfying shredding sound which is so amusing.  To make matters worse, Mom and Dad are trying to make Maggie run through the evil thing.  That can't be right! 
Maggie has deigned to go through when it's held open for her, but at other times stands on one side or the other and "roo-roos" her displeasure.  Finally she decided that she would try.  She backed up a couple of steps, put her head down and ran without looking.  Oh frabjous day! Calooh! Callay!  She's through and her tummy is being rubbed!  Yes, Maggie is a lucky dog.

© 1998 Randy Lofficier.