in Checking In, Green, Mr. Fixit

Doggie arms race

The suspect

I’m locked in a doggie arms race when it comes to the garden. Once the plants were in the ground, I surrounded the garden with a two-foot-high wire fence, thinking that that would be enough disincentive for Rocket, our boneheaded Labrador, from wandering in and grazing.

I should’ve known better. At first I surrounded the garden on all sides but one, leaving a three-foot-wide opening to walk in. I was anticipating Rocket would be too lazy to walk all the way around. Needless to say, it didn’t take long to see that this wasn’t working. A few days later, I put up more wire fence to block it all the way around.

Then I saw the fence next to my new fence was dented outwards, as if a big, clumsy, lazy dog had not quite cleared it on his way out. I didn’t do much about that, preferring to keep an eye on it. Turns out I never saw that happen again: it seems the height was enough to keep him from jumping it.

But then I discovered another approach. I wandered outside and watched as he was heading towards the garden. He stood at the bottom of one section of fence and used his teeth to pry the bottom loose, trying to sneak in under it. I yelled at him and he ran off, though I could tell he wasn’t free of the idea of breaking in. It’s long been his habit to graze on the tall grass in the yard and I know he was thinking about it.

Yesterday evening, I checked on the garden and was incensed to find a whole section of fencing had been pulled away, mangled by the dog’s successful entry into the garden. A pulled-up pepper plant lay on the ground and Hallie’s prized cabbage plant had a broken branch. I cursed as I replanted my jalapeƱo plant and patched up the broken fence.

[Later] This morning, I booby-trapped my garden with an infrared sensor I had lying around. As I was writing this the alarm sounded, and I went outside to see the dog romping around in the garden again. The fence was bent back, showing he (mostly) leapt over it from the side where it’s three feet off the ground. I don’t know what it will take to keep this boneheaded dog out!

  1. you keep calling him boneheaded yet he manages to thwart your security measures! interesting…

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