That’s how long the new screen door survived. We enjoyed the bug-free environment while it lasted, but alas, it was not meant to be. I know what you’re thinking. Let me help you to remove all doubt; Annie did it. This time there was no malice of forethought – no desire to do wrong. At least none that we could prove.
Annie had ruined the original screen weeks ago. I only bought a new one yesterday because the mosquitoes moved in with us. Without a screen door to keep them at bay, hoards of the winged bloodsuckers had flown into our house to feast on our warm bodies while we slept. While I’m fairly obsessive about keeping the doors locked at night, during the day they’re left open while we’re home. We don’t have air conditioning, so leaving the door open is the only way to get a breeze in that part of the house. With no screen to protect us, the insects had come a-callin’. Since Lauren had talked me out of hunting all the tiny vampires with my shotgun, I did the next best thing and bought a new screen door. Even with today’s prices, ammo would have been cheaper.
Annie is still a ferret puppy, and is therefore prone to attacks of crazed energy that my mother would call “the heebie-jeebies”. Regardless of where she finds herself during such an episode, she proceeds to run at flank speed until meeting an obstruction or simply deciding to change course. She then digs in and rebounds to run in a different direction, repeating the madness until boredom or exhaustion overtakes her. This maniacal behavior can happen at any time, but we’ve learned to expect it just after dinner. Yesterday was no exception, and Annie ran outside like a squirrel on a Red-Bull bender.
Deep in the midst of the heebie jeebies, Annie apparently decided that it was time to come back inside. As usual she ran up the 14 steps in two leaps, then rounding the corner of the deck, headed for the door. Without missing a beat, she continued her charge and leapt once more, soaring through the air towards the open door. This was the same door that had been open for weeks allowing her unfettered access to the house – the same door that had recently been covered with a new $128.95 screen.
The screen fought valiantly. Even with Annie’s considerable kinetic energy, the screen seemed to hold. Annie was the image of taught-muscled youth as she flew through the air. Her 100 ferret-pounds of mass met the screen dead center, her body crumpling into the tortured screen as the sickening sound of tearing fabric filled the air. As the door flexed under the attack, the force of impact caused the screen to tear perfectly across the bottom and halfway up one side. With the energy remaining from the impact, the screen ejected Annie unceremoniously to the deck. The battle was over; the screen had won. Though the screen had given its life to protect us from the large flying pest, it had successfully kept her out. Annie sat on the deck, no doubt confused by the sudden resistance where previously there had been none.
The screen had been here for all of 18 hours before it met its demise. Actually the screen still works pretty well, so I suppose it’s not a total loss. Because the screen tore on the edges, the door almost looks normal. Besides, now the dogs can come and go as they please through the new flap. Marketing folks might even call it a design enhancement. My sanity on the other hand has taken another step down the very dark stairway to madness. Though I can’t see the bottom, I don’t think that there are many steps left.