Monday, March 10, 2008

Digging escape tunnels and fencing lessons


Ahhh, Spring is coming. This picture is of the front of our house in California, in the spring.

Well, Sunday was a nice day. We took the dogs to the park and gave them a nice long walk. Then we visited Cora’s Grandmother and her aunt. It was good to see that part of the family. Aunt Karen looked like she wanted to take Gypsy home with her. Yet, she seemed to like Toby as well. We figured that Laura, her daughter, would have had a fit if she had taken Toby. Laura fell in love with Gypsy, and even offered to give Cora her sister’s car in exchange. Her sister was not pleased. Well, no family feuds will develop; we still have Gypsy…unfortunately.

Gypsy chose us. Cora was walking me to work one day, while we lived in California. The plant was about two blocks away. If you look at the picture of Sully in the window, you can see the plant and the bins. Trailers of pears used to sit in front of the bins. It was under one of the trailers that Gypsy was waiting for us. We were walking with Toby and Cora was going to go back home. This ugly, dirty, bedraggled coyote-type creature came out from under the trailer and attempted to play with Toby. We tried to shoo it away, but it kept returning. Finally, Cora dropped me off and went back home. She called me later that evening. She said she had put some water out for this animal, which seemed to be a dog, not a coyote. A little while later she called again, this time to tell me the “dog” had broken into the fenced back yard.

We tried to find a place for her. I called the pound. When I discovered that most of the animals brought to that particular pound were euthanized, I decided not to take her to the pound. I was not pleased with her, but I figured we might find her a home. She was a nice dog. Finally, we decided to keep her, mainly because she would not go away. It seems she was aware of the day, if not moment, we decided to keep her, because within a VERY short time of that she began escaping the yard. The fence around the back yard was not spectacular, but Toby had been content to stay within its confines. Gypsy proved that it was insufficient. Repeatedly. And often.

Gypsy is the penultimate escape artist. As soon as we decided to keep her she began escaping the yard. My existence soon centered on keeping her in the yard. It became my ultimate goal in life. I began by wiring the existing fence together better. Still she escaped. Then I bought some fencing that prevented her from squeezing through the holes in between the wires. Still she escaped, this time under the fence. I replied to this by buying stakes and staking the fence to the ground. Still she escaped, now over the fence. I responded with using sharpened wire twisted on the top of the fence. Still she escaped. This time: by digging. I responded by taking every twig and stick I could find and cutting them diagonally, so they would go into the ground better. I began with a distance of no more than a foot between each. Gypsy proved that to be far too distant. By the end, the stakes were separated, often by centimeters, but in some places by millimeters. They were also overlapping, and several deep. I intended these to injure her paw when she began to dig. She has paws of iron.

Her escaping, in and of itself, was not what bothered me so much. I would have been ok, alright, a little upset, if she had never come back. The bad thing was she would stand outside the fence and call to Toby. She would explain to him that there were wonderful things to be seen, sniffed, and rolled in. He began life as a very good dog. He stayed in the fence and was always SO polite. Then SHE came along. She is blonde and she was a little more worldly. She has been a bad influence. She asks him to come along on her “adventures.” Ultimately, they get caught. Toby must answer for his crimes, but Gypsy gets off lightly because she was “abused.” I don’t beat her, although there are many times I would like nothing more. Basically, it comes down to the fact that we paid for Toby and we got her for free, although she has been no cheap dog. She is going to get him killed one of these days. She just does not run off all by herself. She takes him with her.

Luckily, my in-laws live in town with us. My father-in-law works for the school district. He is often in town and has, on more than two occasions, seen the dogs out on one of their jaunts. We have been able to recapture them relatively quickly on those days. Our dogs like their grand parents. My in-laws have a dog named Pepper. Our dogs think she is great, and Pepper loves them in return. On several of their short journeys they have made their way over there, we assume to visit Pepper.

So, back to the reason I originally posted: I got home for lunch this morning. I walked in the door. Toby met me and looked guilty. I just assumed he had done something he felt he shouldn’t have and, having seen no pee spots or messes, ignored it. I washed my hands and put my lunch in the microwave. As I was walking back to my chair with my Pepsi I caught a flash of fluffy yellow out the window. It occurred to me that there should not be yellow fluff outside that particular window. I decided to re-examine what was outside the window. It was Gypsy. Gypsy, by this time you know this, was not supposed to be out there. I let her in and went out in search of the hole.

It happens every six months. I now respond by stringing more wire and replacing the batteries in our electric fence which is about 6 inches off the ground. And last fall I dumped some Portland cement in one of her holes and added water. I mixed it around and, by golly, she hasn’t dug out that hole since.

I found the hole and then set about to place bricks, sticks, and dog poo in the hole. Hopefully that will slow her down. Stupid dog.

(This picture was taken in the field in the front of the house in California, also you will note Cora, Gypsy, and Toby [left to right, in case there is confusion])

I helped my Father-in-law with some fencing today. I did not get a sub job…due in part to computer issues, and in other part to the other subs who were annoyingly quick with their mice last night. So, I worked for the maintenance dept. today. For some reason, a senior has decided to re-do the baseball dugouts as a "Senior Project"…however, I have yet to see said senior. I suspect the senior has not seen this particular ball field, and have doubts as to her/his existence. We were supposed to remove the old, perfectly good, fencing. A fence company is going to put up new stuff in its place. It was heavy and sweaty work. We finally got it, but the last couple panels required us to use a tractor to remove them. I had a good day, even though my father-in-law made some observations concerning my physical prowess, or lack thereof. Yes, I am flabby and a bit weak, but he seems to take so much glee in pointing it out. I sometimes manage to get even. Like last summer, I asked the break room, no one in particular, what the difference was between toilet paper and a shower curtain. My Father-in-law said he did not know. I pointed at him, “So, you’re the one!!!”

1 comment:

Cora said...

Don't forget the 4am trip to Pepper's to pick up the escapees last year. I think they just want more adventure in their lives.