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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Dogproofing the backyard... 

or how the heck did they get out? As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we have a new baby in the house. Full of energy, Nicky tears around the yard sniffing everything and creating total havoc for the other boys. Not only does he cause trouble with the other guys by jumping in their faces, Nicky is also an escapee. We don't believe it is intentional, but rather more of a game for him to explore new sights and sounds and see how quickly Mom and Dad will come running after him.

We've had a few scares. The first outbound trip was when my sister Dee came to visit. Duncan, our affenpinscher, decided it was time to lead the new little bugger astray so he ran through the door followed closely by Nicky. My husband set out on foot and I jumped in the car. Duncan, as you can guess not only a troublemaker but a former runner, came back right away. After all, he had ditched the kid and was happy to have his home and family back exactly the way he wanted it. Nicky was about 2 blocks away where we were able to coax him into the car and bring him home safely. There were two other adventures with Nicky - one escape through an open garage door, shame on us, and another we thought by climbing the fence, shame on him.

Things started to settle down and we kept a very close eye on his every move. Then came last Sunday morning. Harlan had taken the boys out for their morning constitutional while I lounged at the kitchen bar with the paper and coffee. Then it happened. I heard my husband yelling for Nicky and sprinting across the backyard. I went out the front door knowing that the little shit had taken off again - not sure how but knowing full well he would be out front. I grabbed the car keys, jumped in the car and drove slowly down about 4 houses where Nicky was sniffing around. I opened the car door, called softly for him to come, fully expecting he would, and then sat astounded as he laughed at me (or it sure seemed that way) and took off down the street. Ah - he had learned a new game. Let's get Mom to chase me in the car. Sure enough, he would run ahead and wait for me. As I approached and called his name, he would take off again. Now, picture this or maybe not. He's running, stops to sniff and lets me catch up. Then takes off again. I'm in my car in a bathrobe with no shoes, no drawers and no driver's license. Can you imagine what a police officer would have said to me if I had been stopped? "Alright lady, this isn't the time of day or neighborhood to be peddling your wares. I'm runnin' you in!" Holy gaucamole! Will that damn dog ever stop??!! Finally, what seemed like miles but was more like three blocks Nicky had to poop. I took advantage of the opportunity, grabbed his butt and threw him in the car.

Needless to say, Nicky was grounded for life after the bathrobe fiasco. He was on a leash from then until we could figure out how he escaped. It took a while but we realized that, with the lack of rain, the pond had evaporated enough that he could get around the cattails and go visit the neighbor's yard. Ah ha! The light bulb went off and we knew we had to extend the fence into the water. Especially after Max decided to go exploring on the other side of the yard the next day and visited the other neighbor! The good news is Max loves having a home and came to Harlan as soon as he was called, but who needs dogs running all over the neighborhood. There's enough of that without our contributions. So, long story long. Harlan fixed the fence yesterday by extending it on both sides about 5 feet into the water. We finally let Nick off the leash but still stay within eyeshot just in case. So, moral of the story is this. Next time you see a woman running around your neighborhood half-nekkid be kind. She may be looking for her little dog. Happy Gardening.

Hi Blogger,
I was looking for information about gifts for gardening when I discovered Dogproofing the backyard..., certainly one of the finest blogs I have found!
But before I continue my search for gifts for gardening I want to say that your blog deserves a compliment!
Hi Blogger,
Dogproofing the backyard... is truly a nice piece of work!
While looking for more information about garden gifts,
I see so much rubbish, that I am glad to find a blog like yours.
My interest goes out to garden gifts related information,
but Dogproofing the backyard... is a real inspiration for me.
Excellent blog and thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts here. I also love dogs and I decided to put together a website dedicated to dog training. However, I am actually trying to offer both some general tips for training your dog and some breed-specific training techniques. I believe each dog breed is slightly different and thus requires an adaptation of the standard dog training methods, to suit the breed’s behavioral patterns and genetic predispositions. This is why I believe there is quite a bit of difference between affenpinscher training and bandog training. Or between dalmatian dog training and Afghan hound training. Each breed has its own distinct personality, and an independent breed like the dal will require stricter training than the disciplined bandog.

There are hundreds of dog breeds I wish to cover and I am only half way through, but I hope to turn my site in the best dog training resource on the Internet.

An excellent day to everyone reading this!

Michael R.
Webmaster – www.expert-dog-training.com
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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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