It’s a story of the love of two dogs that brought their humans together and changed the neighborhood forever. And it all started a couple of years ago when Hailee Graham, of Austin, Texas, adopted a beautiful stray dog she called Potatoe, or Tate for short.
As Graham described her, “she’s a lab/heeler mix, and sweet as sugar.” Little Tate was just a tiny street waif, but she was about to get a really loving family, and a surprise next door, when Graham’s neighbors adopted a special puppy themselves, a Hungarian Vizsla, whose name was Vernon.
The two puppies couldn’t help but be curious about each other. Despite the fact that they couldn’t see each other, they could definitely smell and hear each other across the wooden fence that separated their backyards.
And it wasn’t too long before their respective owners noticed each of their dogs spending time near the fence line. A lot of time! They weren’t just chatting, either, as the amount of dug-up dirt indicated. They were trying to get to each other!
Graham found them in the act, “caught red-pawed” on video and posted it to Instagram for National Puppy Day (March 23). “SPOTTED: Taterbug digging a tunnel to her forbidden love, Vernon the Vizsla. 🐶”
As the dogs kept digging underneath the fence just to get a little bit closer to each other, their owners realized that they needed to do something. These pups just couldn’t live without each other and seemed determined to get under the fence to put their noses together. “We couldn’t keep them apart. They would just keep digging holes to each other,” Graham told The Dodo.
After thinking about the best solution, the Grahams and their neighbors agreed to an absolutely adorable and ingenious solution. Rather than trying to reinforce the fence or keep the dogs from digging, they would find a way for them to see each other whenever they wanted!
Rather than be constantly frustrated about the amount of flying dirt and the ever-growing trench under their fence, Graham thought, “Why not just put a door in the fence, so they can play whenever, and their hoomans don’t have to get involved?” as she told The Dodo.
Graham’s husband got to work, building a wooden ramp on each side, a wooden frame on all sides, and a nice flap in the middle. Now, Tate and Vernon could pop across to each other’s yards whenever they were in the mood to play without getting on their parents’ nerves by tearing up the yard.
The results speak for themselves as a video on Thrillist showed. Tate shot through the doggy door to Vernon’s yard, then one of Vernon’s parents lifted the flap up, and both dogs flew back through, one after the other.
As for Graham, she couldn’t help but be overjoyed that these two finally could be together. “I don’t know if they are actually in love, but I like to think so,” she told The Dodo.
In an age where many people don’t really know or talk to their neighbors, it seems like it’s up to the canines to bring the humans together. Having the door and getting to know Vernon’s parents has been a great experience for Graham and her husband. She suggests similar dog doors for friends with similar situations.
In her interview with The Dodo, she explained: “I hope that it encourages people to be more friendly with their neighbors, and encourage a sense of community.”