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A Family, Their Dog, and His Favorite Screen Door

Baxter-pup

This is the story of a screen door. Seriously. And it’s a tearjerker.

Screen doors aren’t commonly thought of as heroes, but for the Williams family, their sliding screen door with integrated doggy door has been a central feature of their lives.

Baxter is the family’s labrador retriever, and he became an essential member of the family the moment David, the oldest child, locked eyes with the jubilant, animated little puppy. David was eight at the time, two years older than his sister Anita.

Understandably, Anita’s tiny mind exploded in delight when Baxter first bounded through the doggy door the day his family brought him home. She squealed with happiness and lavished him with kisses and cuddles, deciding right then that he was her very best friend.

David was more subdued, but he loved nothing more than to take Baxter out in the backyard to chase a stick. David relished leaving the sliding glass door open on his way out to the yard so that he could see Baxter come bursting through the doggy door in the way only puppies can — a frenzied explosion of fur and fun tearing across the deck and out into the grass.

Shelly and Mike Williams, the parents in this story, appreciated the craftsmanship of their sliding screen door. It came standard with PetScreen dog and cat-proof screening by Phifer. As a puppy Baxter could (and frequently did) jump up on the screening material without damaging it. It’s manufactured to be puncture-resistant, able to stand up to scratching, chewing, slobbering, and clawing. All the Williamses knew was that it was Baxter-proof.

The doggy door mechanism was equally well-made. No matter how many times Baxter crashed into it when he missed the opening or wiggled around playfully while halfway through, the door never flinched. It was firmly bolted to the screen door frame, ensuring that Baxter’s puppy antics couldn’t phase it. And since Shelly had the door sized to fit Baxter when he grew up, they were comfortable that it would stand the test of time.

And it did.

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