Since the age of five, when my father brought home a small puppy that had been abandoned alongside the road, I have loved dogs. In fact, it's difficult to recall a time when I wasn't awakened in the morning by a gentle lick on the face or the faint sound of a paw scratching at my bedroom door.
Pet owners everywhere can attest to the joy an animal brings to your life. With that joy, however, comes responsibility to ensure your pet's safety and well-being. That is why one of the first things my husband and I did after moving into our new home was install a fence in the backyard. The wrought iron enclosure, as stipulated by neighborhood regulations, suited our two full-grown weimaraners perfectly.
Unfortunately, that satisfaction was short-lived. A little over a year later we brought home an adorable, tiny rescue puppy that could slip quite easily through the fence. Even as Lexie grew, it became evident that the standard four-inch space between the vertical bars was simply too wide to contain her small, thin frame.
Cause for concern was not immediate. Surely, I thought, there is something on the market that addresses what has to be a common problem. I talked to friends, visited one store after another, and scoured the Internet, only to come up empty-handed.
My next strategy was to improvise. Using everything from sticks to plastic toy parts to bird perches and more, I attempted to rig up a lightweight, durable, stationary crossbar that would span two fence bars so as to prevent escape. After exhausting all efforts, I put pen to paper and designed what I am confident is a comfortably fitting and easy-to-use device that is effective in keeping puppies, small dogs, and even cats secure within their fenced yard, deck or balcony. I am pleased with the final design and proud that we have been awarded a patent for our efforts.