Penelope, Alan, Brandon, Jan and General
Spike 1990-2006 RIP
Lucile--The inventor of the 'Instant' Pet Door
Patio Pacific Inc
was incorporated in 1976 specifically to market a new type of pet door--the 'panel' pet door for sliding glass door. This new product, the 'Instant' Pet Door, was the first of it's kind to offer an adjustable height capability which was desperately needed because sliding glass door tracks are not all the same height. It is a tribute to Lucile, founder of the company, that she had the vision to see a need in the market and the initiative to start a company from scratch to meet that need.
Sadly, the new pet door suffered from poor engineering and was quickly eclipsed by other, better, brands. Patio Pacific continued, however, by selling those as well and moved toward specializing in pet doors only.
I purchased the company in 1984 and in about 1991 introduced the Thermo Panel, the worlds first dual-pane, insulated glass panel pet door. That patio panel was followed not long after by the Quick Panel, a single pane glass product with a 'spring-load' height adjustment making installation a breeze.
Though a major improvement over anything yet on the market, the Thermo Panel installation was more difficult than our customers liked and in 2002 we introduced the Thermo Panel II which incorporated a spring loaded height adjustment similar to but better than the Quick Panel making installation quite simple. Then the Quick Panel was upgraded to the Quick Panel II by incorporating the new, improved height adjustment. These projects benefited greatly from the help of a talented local design and manufacturing engineer, Scott Ganaja, who was able to upgrade us from 'home-made' to the top tier of finely engineered and manufactured products.
In 2002, Scott began looking with me at the flap problem. Simply put, there wasn't a good flap on the market at the time. Either they were rigid, and therefore not safe enough, or they were flexible and safe but leaked badly, didn't insulate and eventually failed requiring the owner to buy another one and start the process over. We felt that there was a market for a really high quality, durable, safe flap that also sealed and insulated. With Scott's invaluable help, the Endura Flap™ was designed and built. It is, without doubt, the best pet door flap ever made and was the basis for a complete line including patio panels, door mounts, kennel doors, pet doors for sash windows and wall mounted pet doors by summer of 2005.
I'd like to go on about Patio Pacific, talk about our great customer service and so on. But let me, instead, talk about something else that's much more important.
Every day, in our country alone, thousands of dogs and cats are killed for no better reason than that they are 'homeless'. There are far, far more animals born every year than there are homes for. And, with some shining exceptions, the 'shelters' around the country serve mainly to kill the surplus.
Pity those who work in these 'shelters'. Often they are broken-hearted about the work they are required to do and do their best every day to ease the suffering around them. But the general population is, surely, unaware else how could we allow this to continue?
Maybe there are bigger problems in the world today. But this is the battle we at Patio Pacific choose to fight. If everyone did only a few simple things, we could end this atrocity.
If you're an individual thinking about a new pet, I ask you to
- Think carefully about the dog or cat you plan to acquire. Be sure you get a size and temperament you can live with for the rest of his life which may well be 18 years or more. He's not disposable. If you can't make the commitment, don't get the pet.
- Never buy a puppy from a pet shop. Read about puppy mills here if you don't know why: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills
- Instead, go to your local shelter and rescue a pet who is living, literally, on death row. While you're there, ask about occasional volunteering. You can make a huge difference by providing the dogs and cats with some kindly human intervention--especially taking them on walks and socializing them to people.
- Consider rescuing an older pet. They are often housebroken and obedience trained--a huge advantage. They're past the chewing stage. Puppy-hood is cute but short. With an older dog you'll see what he'll be for most of his life before you choose.
- If you must have a pure breed dog, look for a rescue group specializing in that breed.
- Have your pet spayed or neutered. Don't breed. Don't contribute to the current catastrophe.
Once you've chosen a pet
- However, you acquire your pet, think of him as a child and treat him just the same. You wouldn't chain your child in the back yard? Don't chain a dog either. He needs to be with his 'pack' which is you. He needs to be socialized with other dogs and people and properly trained.
- Put an ID tag on your pet. If he's lost, you'll likely get him back. Without the tag, he's probably going to die.
- Report animal cruelty. If you don't, who will?
- Yes, get him a pet door leading to a controlled area. Never install a pet door if the dog or cat (or your child!!) can thereby roam freely. But without a pet door you've either got an 'inside' dog who can't go to the bathroom until you come home, or an 'outside' dog--which is an even worse tragedy for the dog--or else you're the 'door opening slave'. Properly used, a pet door is the single most important accessory you can have for you and for your pet.
That's it. Simple. Let's do it.
Patio Pacific, Inc
PS People oftentimes don't realize what's going on in our 'civilized' society. The Humane Society of the United States maintains a collection of films, documentaries, commentaries and news about the pressing issues affecting animals today at http://video.hsus.org Please take a look.