My New Dog-Proofing Invention

This project wasn’t technically on my To Do List, but I thought it deserved a William Morris shout out. A couple of months ago I embarked on a mission to keep my dog from eating cat food. It hasn’t been easy. Those of you with both canine and feline housemates know that there is nothing tastier to a dog than a bowl of ash-filled cat food. But it isn’t good for them, and it often results in your dog waking you in the wee hours of the morning to take her outside for an emergency potty break. And because one of my cats needs to gain weight (I know…who has that problem?) I can’t have the dog sneaking in and eating her food out from under her. For everyone’s sake, I had to get creative.

I'd do anything for this face.

I’d do anything for this face.

I have a sunroom/laundry room/mudroom that is home to my cats’ bowls and their litter boxes. There is a door between the room and my kitchen. It can be closed and locked, but keeping it closed all of the time isn’t a great solution. Most of the food-thievery happens when I’m coming in and out of the back door a lot and the dog manages to slip into the back room while I’m running around. I also could have put a cat door in, and I considered that. However, it’s a solid wood door so cutting the hole would have taken some serious tools that I don’t own.

I opted to keep it simple, and a couple of months ago my boyfriend and I put a hook and eye in. It allowed the door to stay open enough to let the cats come and go from the room, but keep the dog out. Unfortunately, the spot where the eye needed to go was not near a wall stud. It only took a few days for the dog to push through and pull the eye out of the wall.

So we went back to the drawing board and got a different size eye, and a metal wall anchor. But when I had a doggy visitor over, one of the pooches managed to push through our new defense.

We spent a couple of weeks pondering a new solution. He thought we should create a longer hook so we could put the eye where we needed to. I didn’t think our metal work skills were up to the task. So I came up with what I thought was a simple solution. I headed over to the craft store and bought an unfinished piece of wood that someone else might etch a saying into, or paint some flowers on. Then I went to the hardware store and bought a couple of hooks — the kind you might hang a coat on.

Then we got to work and created this…




Kinda cool, right? This is what some spray paint, a drill, and a little ingenuity can do. It looks cute, it provides a handy place to keep leashes and umbrellas, and it hides the ugly little hole we put in the wall when putting in the anchor. Most importantly, it allowed us to secure the whole thing directly into a stud!

No more cat food for you, Maybelle!

sad maybelle

Sad face.

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