04 December 2009

We're gonna need a bigger gate...

Five years ago, Valerie and I become the proud parents of a cute little fur-ball we named Walter. At the time, we thought it would be a good idea to put in a fence so that he could go outside to run and frolic. There was no good way to connect the fence to our house, so we decided to just fence in the grassy area of the back yard; I liked to call our yard the "box".

As Walter got older, it became apparent that he was no lover of the outdoors. We would take him out to the yard and he would just stand at the gate and bark, even if we were right on the other side. The only way he was content in the yard is if we were in the fence with him. He would also sit at the gate and bark if he was alone outside, and even if he had some other dog friends over to play. He did not like to be inside that fence without any other humans. Go figure.

So, we got him a tie-out so he could spend time outside with us outside the fence. The problem then, was the fence. If he was on his tie-out, he couldn't really get into the yard because of the fence. We didn't want to take the fence down since it was so new, and it kept the kids in the yard and out of the alley, so we were content to leave things the way they were.

Because of his lack of access to the yard when he was outside alone, Walter got into the unfortunate habit of relieving himself on the driveway or patio. Too much information, I know, but it lead to us making a decision about the fence. We couldn't continue to let him display that behavior, but we also knew he really had nowhere else to go. We could take him out to the yard every time we let him out, but that would just lead to a barking fit. We realized we only really had one solution to our ongoing problem.

What we ended up doing was taking down the section of fence that was between the yard and the house. Ari and I headed outside, tools and shovels in hand, and disassembled the fence. It was a pretty quick process, really, aside from digging those posts out of the ground. Removing that part of the fence enabled Walter more access to the grass and still kept the kids at bay in the yard. We are retraining Walter to relieve himself in the grass and all things are going well so far.

I am really happy with the way the backyard looks now, too. Removing that piece of fence really opened things up and makes the area look bigger. We are going to have to find another place for our garden this spring, but that's really no problem at all. We are also going to get Walter a longer tie-out so he can go further into the grass. I just love stories with happy endings.



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