Instructables

Mouse-hole style pet lounge from closet space.

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My dog Comet began using the floor of my bedroom closet as a dark and quiet retreat. The floor has blankets and pillows and if I fit, I'd climb in there for a nap too! My office is on the opposite side of the closet, and it occurred to me that it could be quite fun to make a large enough cartoonish mouse hole for him to access the space. The project took just a couple hours over two days, and is used many times a day by Comet.

-First, I verified that there were no wires or other obstructions, dangerous or otherwise, as well as finding the center point between two vertical studs.

-Then I measured my dog to create a hole height and width that would be as small as I could get away with. Comet easily enters and exits, but has to crouch down just a bit, which adds to the fun and mystery of the space. I then drew this shape on the wall. I created a template for half of the shape and flipped it to mirror the other half for symmetry. 

-Then I began to cut into the drywall with a utility knife for a clean cut. This could also be accomplished with a drywall saw with a little more mess. Once you have the hole removed, push any insulation out of the way or remove. You can then match the shape on the interior of the other side of the wall to trace the shape and cut that hole as well. 

-You will have to remove the floor tracking or stud. In my case, a 2x4 that I carefully sawed out. This can be a bit tricky, but not nearly impossible.

-Your hole should now be fully cleared and you can test it out with your dog in case you need to make any adjustments. To finish out the hole shape, I taped and mudded the drywall around the edge to create a finished look, which was painted. I also added floor laquer to the now exposed area where the wall was. 

-The last finishing touch, is to line the exposed hole. I used a measured strip of 1/8" black Sintra brand plastic (PVC foam board), but a variety of flexible materials could be used. I measured the required length with cardboard and the finished plastic is simply wedged into place.


This project could be accomplished with other living arrangements as well. If the only access is the closet door, a hole could be cut in the door to allow you to close the door but maintain access to the pet-cave. My dog had already "moved in" to the space, so it was not hard to introduce the new access to him. Within a day he was using it regularly. Obviously if you have to force your pet to use the hole, you may find that they are very reluctant to use it in the future. 

http://vimeo.com/davidandora/comet-instructable
hhester2 years ago
this is GREAT!!! I will have to do this for my Jack Russel. although I think he is happy with his full size bed in dad's office...
davidandora (author)  hhester2 years ago
Thanks! I had no idea just how popular this would be with my dog, Comet. He is in and out of it all day long!
avatar_i2 years ago
That is a great idea!
I have two Dogs, both Beagle mixes, and one has a LOT of issues wen it storms! If I am not home, this just might be the trick for him to 'hide' from the scary.
As a plus, he likes it dark when he decides it is time to go to bed. Sister don't care either way.
Thanks!!!
davidandora (author)  avatar_i2 years ago
My dog doesn't like loud storms or fireworks either! If any loud boom happens, you can be sure to find him in his cave. It might be his favorite place to sleep, and always where he goes if he needs to escape. Thanks for the compliment!
Uptonb2 years ago
Good luck on the Pets Challenge.
davidandora (author)  Uptonb2 years ago
THANK YOU! What a nice comment! I guess we'll know soon. I am thrilled just to be in the finalists and to have all the nice comments that have been such a surprise.
MBoyMBoy2 years ago
Great work! Really nice taste also, davidandora... and if ya don't mind, I'm gonna conform your "brainstorm" to my situation. My wife and I have rescue cats in the guest bedroom (mobile home), which, with your idea, will soon have access to the main part of the house, with laying platforms up to the ceiling. I have'nt decided, though, what attractive thing to use to separate the "frequent visitors" from the family animals. I'm thinking 1" squares, welded wire, 2 inches apart and offset so the paws and claws don't become a problem. Any ideas? Thanks for sharing.
391.JPG
davidandora (author)  MBoyMBoy2 years ago
Thanks for the compliment! I'm not exactly sure what your specific situation is. I got a little lost in your description of the situation and your idea. It's awfully nice of your wife and you to take in all those animals, though!
mshandley2 years ago
Kudos to you for being such a great pet owner and being willing to do extra work make their lives comfortable. I've toyed with doing something similar so we could make an entrance to our laundry room for the cats to use the litter boxes instead of having them in the bathroom. It's good to hear that it was actually a fairly easy process and I think it would be fairly easy to repair the drywall on each side if you ever move since it is a simple shape.

There's a really great book called The Cats House by John Walker where they did similar things through their walls to make passageways from one room to the other for their cats and did it in different shapes like mickey mouse heads and moons. The pictures are outstanding.
davidandora (author)  mshandley2 years ago
Thanks for all the really nice compliments. I've seen that book before and it really is full of special ideas! I'm sure cats in particular take to these sorts of projects more easily?
ClareBS2 years ago
That hide-away is so cute, I voted for you even though I didn't even look at any other entries as I am not a pet owner. (Three hens don't really count.)
davidandora (author)  ClareBS2 years ago
Three hens TOTALLY count! sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the compliments and the vote!
bjarne962 years ago
what breed is that?
and I wish I was Comet!
davidandora (author)  bjarne962 years ago
I believe that Comet is a Border Terrier/ Jack Russell. I found him at the Chicago lakefront a few years ago. He's great and we're both very lucky to have found each other :-)
kellimaier2 years ago
My Bernese Mountain Dog is named Comet. I don't think this is would work for him. I have always wondered if he likes to burrow. At his size it is hard to go under furniture. My little Sheltie would love this though.
davidandora (author)  kellimaier2 years ago
Your Comet would indeed have some issues with this, but I'd bet your Sheltie would get a kick out out of this, for sure! Sounds like a fun household.
xavec2 years ago
if this doesn't win there's officially something wrong with the world.
davidandora (author)  xavec2 years ago
THAT is the most AWESOME complement! A big sincere THANK YOU! I'm just thrilled that my dog loves it so much!
billbillt2 years ago
I loved this and I love your "hounds". They have that cute "fuzzy face" with a beard like my dog Ted had...Ted has been gone for years...I miss him...
davidandora (author)  billbillt2 years ago
Thanks! Ted must have been a great dog. My dog Comet is the one featured in his cave, the other was a visiting dog that looks nearly identical in spite of being a different breed. Funny how that happens...
askjerry2 years ago
I'm almost afraid to show this to my girlfriend... we just bought a house and I could see that for our cats.

Nicely done,
Jerry
davidandora (author)  askjerry2 years ago
Thanks Jerry! I'm sure your cats would love it!
frankadelic2 years ago
This is such a cool idea! Is Comet a Border Terrier? He's very cute!
davidandora (author)  frankadelic2 years ago
Thanks! I'm pretty sure he is a Border Terrier and Jack Russell mix. Someone abandoned him at a park several years ago we both became very lucky.
Skaiebird2 years ago
I just adore this...Comet is very cute and lucky to have such a thoughtful dad! I'd love to share this story and how-to with our DiggersList.com readers/users as well. Thanks Instructables for another fantastic post!!! Here's a photo of our dog "Klunkers'" DIY outdoor dog-den:

dog den.jpg
davidandora (author)  Skaiebird2 years ago
Klunkers is adorable! How resourceful! Share away!
ChrysN2 years ago
What a cute idea!
davidandora (author)  ChrysN2 years ago
Thanks!
angelabchua2 years ago
Oh i LOVE this! And what a happy little guy!
davidandora (author)  angelabchua2 years ago
Thanks! He's a very happy fella!
scoochmaroo2 years ago
This is adorable!
davidandora (author)  scoochmaroo2 years ago
Thanks! I am thrilled with how much Comet loves it too!
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