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We've had a doggy door in our back storm door for 10-12 years. It's large to accommodate the large dogs that have lived or visited here and low to the ground to accommodate the little ones. An informal intelligence or - more likely - confidence test is how long it takes a dog to figure out how to use it. Molly took about six months. Franklin took about ten minutes.

During cooler days (like the ones we get in Wisconsin until about July) there is an inside door at the top of a short flight of entryway steps that stays closed unless there's a dog outside. My wife has often expressed a fear that something other than our dogs will use the doggy door. We're on about a half-acre in the middle of a small town and we've had squirrels, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, opossums and even deer in our yard. There was a black bear not far from us a few years back and I've seen coyotes about six miles from here. But the only non-dogs that have come in through the doggy door have been a few squirrels and rabbits that were brought in and deposited by our miniature schnauzer and they were quite dead. Until now.

I heard a small crash and found a few small items knocked off some hallway shelves in a little library. I thought it very odd. Then I walked into our living room to find a grey squirrel throwing himself against a large picture window, trying to get out. I closed off doors to other rooms and propped open the nearby front door. Then I started looking under furniture.

I think he slipped out, though I didn't see him exit the house. It's a big old house with lots of places to hide but my experience with squirrels is that they focus on trying to get high up and escape. (Chipmunks will dig in and hide.) I don't think Franklin could catch a squirrel, but I think he'd let us know if there was still one in the house.

If this happens once every 10-12 years, I think we can deal with it, but if it becomes a common occurrence, we'll have to look into some doggy door security. The problem with those options is that we have frequent canine visitors that also use that door.
 

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Oh my. I'm just imagining the mayhem that would ensue should a squirrel ever shove his way in through our doggie door. I usually lock ours at night so we don't have to worry about visits from the nocturnal creatures of the forest (or the dogs heading outside in the dark to tangle with one of them) but I've never considered that something would come in during the day. Yikes! Glad your visitor didn't stay long & cause too much mischief.
 

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My wife has often expressed a fear that something other than our dogs will use the doggy door.
Your story makes me remember things that happened to friends years ago, and I still smile at them - although maybe I wouldn't if they'd happened to me. These happened in Colorado.

Caroline lived in a pretty residential area and had a dog door. She got up one night to get a glass of water, turned on the kitchen light, and found a skunk there. The dog door was in a patio door off the kitchen. She turned off the light, closed all doors to the kitchen, and went back to bed. Skunk gone in the morning.

The other incident was in a more rural area, Don and Mary had barn cats. No dog door involved, but same principle. They put cat food in their garage and left the garage door raised a few inches so the cats could go in and out. One night Don walked into the garage from the house and found a skunk eating cat food side by side with a couple of cats. Can't remember how they fed the cats after that, but it definitely wasn't that way. The funniest part was that for several nights after they closed the garage door, the skunk would come to the front window, which was low in the living room, raise up on its hind legs and peer in. Pretty obviously the poor thing was wondering why he'd been cut off.
 

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The statement of his departure was premature. I found evidence that he'd been in my basement workshop. (I can tell when ANYONE has been in my workshop.) Franklin doesn't go into the basement. He just doesn't. And there are infinite places to climb and run amuck.

I've set a live trap with some field corn. Fingers crossed. I have some painting projects to finish up in there and I think they'd look better without little footprints all over them.

In our last house, we had a scheduled open house with a realtor when I became aware that we had a chipmunk in the house. I used boards to try and channel him out the front door and had pretty much decided he'd left, so I put all the boards away and noticed a big potted palm on the floor move a bit. I shined a flashlight down into the pot, saw a pair of little eyes and then was greeted by a chipmunk-rocket launching itself out of the pot and across the room.

We found him several months later floating in the sump pit in the basement.
 
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Yikes! When we first moved back to town after living in the country, our cat (who was allowed outside to hunt in the country, and was very upset about her new "indoor only" life) let herself out by pushing through a screen, and before we even knew she was gone, she had brought a baby bunny back for us...alive. She brought it upstairs to where we were watching TV and released it for the dogs to chase. Poor thing was so traumatized, but I was able to catch him and let him back outside with only a couple scratches to show for it. We keep our ground level windows closed now. lol
 

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It might be time for one of those dog doors that only opens for animals that have the special tag on their collar! 😂
 

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It might be time for one of those dog doors that only opens for animals that have the special tag on their collar! 😂
Probably not gonna happen due to regular multiple dog visitors that also use the doggy door.

I was finally able to evict our furry guest late yesterday when I once again found him throwing himself against the picture window to get out. I have no idea where he'd spent the previous 30 hours.
 
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