Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Good fences make good dogs




Yeah, look. I know it's ghetto.

The dog won't stay out of the flower bed. He just keeps digging and digging and kicking dirt all over the patio, and tearing up the root system of the four o'clocks. I originally put up the wire thing you can kind of see in the back...as pups go, he's pretty responsive to boundaries, however real. But that cool, wet dirt got the better of him and he ended up in the bed once again yesterday.

I thought maybe a more substantial looking blockade would help, so I used the ends we cut off of our fencing boards. unfortunately, the little plants that are struggling to come up, are doing so right at the brick border, and I didn't want to hammer the wood into them and crush the little guys.


So I spread them apart, and now they look like jack-o-lantern teeth, and I managed to hammer my hand, which now hurts ALOT. And then I spread cayenne pepper water all over the bed and fence. We'll see how he does. The places where he's not digging are coming up like gangbusters


Meanwhile, the living room is kinda coming together. At least it looks like a place to sit and most of the boxes are out of the way. It makes me want to sit in it, and I guess that's all that matters.




Pay no attention to the shadeless lamp. It was a moving casualty.

We also finally got the insurance claim's itemized settlement statement and it's VERY detailed. We'll hire some of it out and do some of it ourselves. I'm just glad we can finally get moving on some of this crap.

7 comments:

B. Will said...

I know a guy who, put a shock collar on his dog and made the "invisible fence" around the flowerbeds. The dog got in the bed, and when he got shocked it scared him and he flailed around in the bed tearing it up worse than if the owner had just left it alone. Your solution seems much simpler and less destructive, as ghetto as it may be.

Jenni said...

I plant the bed with sticks. Well sorta.

I gather little branches, twigs, sticks and poke them all over the ground so the dog does not have enough room to get into the bed and dig. When the plants get large enough you no longer see the sticks.

Your solution looks good.

Sandy said...

I'm hoping you don't do a shock collar. I really don't like them. I like the idea of the sticks...

huskystarr said...

I got so excited to find your blog about restoring an old house. HGTV is great, but I like the real stories the best.
I don't know how to say this without coming across as someone on a soapbox, but here goes. I was really disappointed in your choice of using "ghetto" to describe your makeshift flowerbed protection. It just feels yucky to read that on a blog about restoring an old house when there are folks who actually live and deal with the reality of surviving in the ghetto (I don’t think the main concern there is keeping dogs out of the flowerbeds). Rundown, rickety or ugly all do the job of describing your situation, why not use those or other adjectives that don’t make other people’s situations the butt of a joke or even a silly comparison?
This is not all your fault. Our culture makes us insensitive to other people’s struggles and positions. Being mindful and kind becomes “PC” and nobody wants that.
I honestly had no intention of ranting on your blog. I just wanted to see the progression of your home improvement. Good luck with the house and future postings.

Amalie said...

I appreciate your concern, and I certainly meant no offense to anyone. Please don't think I am taking your comments as personally as it sounds, but I do feel as though I ought to better explain my situation.

As someone who was raised in such circumstances, not to get on a soapbox myself, but in a neighborhood where gunfire was not unheard of, where the police were reluctantly present, where we had our things, including my toys, stolen on numerous occasions, where my mother rolled pennies for groceries and kept a vegetable garden to make up the difference, I can say that I understand what that term means. I also know that we still kept beautiful flowers and a compost-- being in dire straits doesn't mean that you don't worry about your flowers or pay attention to little things-- they may not be the MOST important thing, but they're not always totally forgotten. The important thing is that you learn to improvise with what you have; and sometimes that improv is ugly, but it usually gets the job done. That's my use of the term "ghetto." I recognize that I'm not in that situation now, I have been lucky in so many ways and owe everything to my parents for that. I haven't really gone into my current financial situation on here, but know that this is a home we got for absolutely almost nothing and are doing ALL the work ourselves, save electric and HVAC, that a large chunk of our money is from a life insurance policy that I am sorry to have.

Again, I wasn't making light of other people's misfortunes, and I do understand the offense it may cause-- I apologize for that. I'm just explaining what that word means to me, and I believe means to most other people who come from a similar background, though I would never hope to speak for others.

Jennifer said...

Have you considered building your dog a place to dig? That is what worked for us... our dogs are ONLY allowed to dig in the shady part behind the garage. We are planning to turn it into a sandbox when we finish up the yard, since they love sand even MORE than dirt.

It was pretty easy to train... we just buried hot dog bits and bones where we WANTED them to dig, and gently removed them to that area every time they tried to dig elsewhere...

Amalie said...

Jennifer-- I was kind of hoping to avoid doing that, but now I think I'm going to try it. And thanks for the training tips-- hot dogs are a dog's best friend! We're currently building him his own yard behind the garage. It won't be his only home, but it will be a comfy place to go when we have company that he's not accustomed to-- he's not one for strangers and he's only become more cranky in his old age (going on 14!). I'll put his designated digging spot there. Though it may not do much good-- the bed he digs in is directly below our bedroom, so I think he likes the location. In fact, he was back at it this morning...

I may be coming to you for more help when we start this!