Photo: Hailee Graham
When their owners couldn’t keep Tate and Vernon apart, they installed a convenient workaround in the backyard so the friends could spend time together.

As social pack animals, dogs like to hang around with a companion. It's one of the reasons they form strong bonds with their humans and easily click with other animals. Hailee Graham's rescue dog, Tate, short for Potate, has been happily settled in her forever home in Austin, Texas. Her former rough life has been replaced with lots of attention and love from her human and her husband.

Despite the dog's lucky fate with the Grahams, however, something seems to be missing in Tate's life. It was also around this time that the Grahams' neighbor, the Vizslas, adopted a dog they named Vernon. It did not take long for Tate and Vernon to become friends. They would bark each other from the backyard, despite a tall fence that separated the neighbors' properties.

Hailee Graham with her dog Tate
Photo: Hailee Graham

The Obsession Grows

Eventually, simply barking out to each other was not enough. The dogs found a way to be together when they began digging under the structure that separated them, according to TheDodo. Hailee found the tunnel one day and had someone patch it up and close it down. But that did not stop the dogs from digging more holes — they really need to be together!

The dog mom then discussed the situation with the Vizslas and agreed to schedule play dates for their Tate and Vernon. Problem solved? Not so fast – unfortunately for their humans, the dogs couldn't get enough of other. When they weren't on their play dates, Tate and Vernon dug holes by the fence yet again. For the dogs, that obstacle dividing them from each other has got to go!

Two dog buddies digging a hole to see each other
Photo: Hailee Graham

A Brilliant Idea

Hailee then thought of another brilliant idea. She wondered if putting a dog door on the fence would work. A doggy door would allow Tate and Vernon to visit each other any time and their owners won't have to schedule play dates. It seemed like the best solution!

Building a dog door in the fence for the two friends
Photo: Hailee Graham

After seeking permission from their neighbors, Hailee's dad helped build the doggy door. Tate sat patiently watching the builders work on the fence and waiting for them to finish it.

There are no strict rules to installing doggy doors, by the way, and it is a practical solution. You can put a doggy door in any area around the house for as long as it fits, it’s the right size and it doesn’t ruin the structure.

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Together At Last!

When the doggy door was done at Hailee’s backyard, the best dog buds wasted no time using it, as they chased each other back and forth between two big yards. The dogs now had a wider space to play and hang out, and the digging stopped!

Haille said that although she doesn’t think the solution would work for everyone, it might be worth exploring.  Besides, their dogs' inspired them to reach out to their neighbor and of course, it helped that the Vizslas love dogs as much as they did.

Tate playing with his buddy
Photo: Hailee Graham

Harnessing Dogs' Social Welfare

No man is an island, that's for sure. Social bonding is vital to a human's overall health. Something happens to our mental, emotional and physical state when we’re isolated from our friends or hardly take time to be with people.

The two dog friends are together at last
Photo: Hailee Graham

Apparently, it's the same thing for dogs. They also become distressed, anxious, lonely and depressed when they are deprived of social bonding.

Sometimes, this distress and anxiety translate to physical problems like panting heavily or losing an appetite for food. It could also trigger destructive behavior and the dogs could end up hurting themselves. The Grahams and the Vizlas truly love their dogs to recognize what Tate and Vernon needed.  They are great examples of responsible pet owners.

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Camden Savage is a Phoenix based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught her every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.