I have a variety of tug ropes and attachments that I use to open different types of doors. I thought you might like to know more about these. And how they make me more proficient with my job.
Buffy did a blog post on this very subject for you, nearly two years ago. But my mom has discovered new options. And perfected a few that she used to use with Buffy.
Buffy used to help our mom before she retired!
Have you ever thought about how many different types of doors there are? And the ways they open and close? It is something my mom and I pay close attention to. Because we need to be sure I can help when needed.
At home, we have a variety of doors and drawers in the kitchen. And a few in the bathroom. Along with our door that goes outside. And the gate at the top of the ramp. These are all ones where we can leave tug ropes attached. So they are always ready for me to tug open for my mom.
Some tug ropes in our kitchen!
For all of these at home, except one, we use the same type of tug rope. They are adjustable and very versatile. And easily attach to the types of handles we have.
My mom makes these tug ropes herself. She uses a couple of different thicknesses of rope. And makes them of varying lengths. This way, they can be fitted according to the length that works best for me. Which is dependent on the type of drawer or door they are attached to.
The tug ropes that my mom makes!
But when we are out in public, we need to be prepared for all different types of doors. And have tug ropes and appropriate attachments that will work on any door we encounter.
Because you know what? If I can’t open the door for my mom, she has to sit and wait for a person to come along who is willing to help. Or leave because she can’t get through the door. Which takes away her independence.
I love tugging doors open for my mom!
So my mom has a backpack that is filled with various things we may need. But mostly, there are several tug ropes and a variety of attachments. It hangs on the handle of her wheelchair, so it is always with us.
For doors with lever handles, my mom has a plastic hook that slides on the lever part. There is an attached terry cloth part for me to grab a hold of to tug.
The plastic “hook” we use!
At first, my mom had attached the style of tug rope we use at home. But I much prefer the thicker, softer terry cloth. Because some of those doors are big and heavy. This means I need something that I can get a good grip on, so I can pull hard.
The hook with the terry cloth tug!
Did you ever notice how many different types of lever handles there are? In case you haven’t noticed, I can tell you that there are lots of them! And the plastic hook doesn’t always fit.
So when the plastic hook doesn’t fit, my mom has two other options. Which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you. Because she is determined to have options for whatever we may encounter!
One is a nylon sleeve that slides over the lever part and attaches with velcro around the base of the handle. This works fairly well, on most types of lever handles. But it is a little more challenging for my mom to use, due to the limited use of her hands.
The nylon sleeve with tug rope!
So she did lots of experimenting. And came up with another option, for when the hook won’t work. She uses one of the tug ropes we use at home. And loops it around the lever handle in a special way. So when I tug, it pulls the handle down, and I can open the door.
The tug rope looped around the lever so I can tug the door open!
We even have one attached to our front door in this same way! Because the lever part was too thin for the hook. And the sleeve kept slipping.
The tug rope on our front door is looped around the lever handle!
That plastic hook can be used on commercial door handles, too. The type that is often on mall doors. Or other places of business. And also on the refrigerator/freezer doors in a grocery store.
So that takes care of the regular type doors we encounter when we are out. But there is another type of door where I need other styles of tugs to close them. Do you know what those are? Yes! Public restrooms.
The bathroom stall doors used to almost always be made of metal. So years ago, my mom found a magnetic hook to use for these doors. And attached a rope with a mini tennis ball for the tug.
Magnetic attachment with a mini tennis ball for me to tug!
But over the years, she was encountering more and more bathroom stall doors made of materials other than metal. So she was often stuck without a way to get the door closed.
So, again, my mom experimented with different options. She found a suction cup attachment that she could put on the door. And attached one of my tug ropes. Which solved the problem!
Suction cup with attached rope!
Initially, she used a larger suction cup, but it was bulky to carry in her bag. And hard to attach. Not too long ago, my mom found a smaller one that is easier to use. And works just as well with the tug rope.
I use the suction cup on our front door, too!
Some doors have automatic door buttons. While others open on their own. And even some that I can open with my paws. But I will wait to tell you about those in an upcoming post. Because you always need something to look forward to. Right?