Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yard Work: Part II

I talked about our lawn in my last post, and I’ve got one more thing to say, but first, I want to give you some background on our excavator.

My husband has a 1-year-old German shepherd. Technically, she’s “our” dog, but as far as she’s concerned, I am a wicked witch who happens to reside in the same home as her and her father. I’m not sure WHY she came to this conclusion, but I can’t seem to change her opinion of me. It was ME who purchased Erika, it was ME who filled out mounds of paperwork and went through multiple phone interviews with the breeder, it was ME who drove 18 hours to bring her home, it was ME who was the stay-at-home parent for the first 3 months, and then worked only a few hours a day until she was 10 months old. I potty trained her, I feed her, I took her through her first obedience classes, I played with her and trained her tricks during the day, and I am the one who reminds her father that we love her and can’t give her away, even when she has eaten 18 inches of the door frame or hubby’s beret.

Still, she is a daddy’s girl ‘til the end. And truly, I’m glad. When we got married, I had Satchel (R.I.P, my darling, dear, Satchel), who had been around long before hubby was in the picture. They loved each other, but me and Satch, we were a pair. Erika had been hubby’s dream dog since he was in grade school, so it couldn’t have been better that she took to him, despite my heavy involvement in her raising.

Erika was a dream-puppy. She had less than a dozen accidents in the house, she passed her S.T.A.R puppy test on the first try, she’s the smartest dog I’ve ever met and whoever said you can’t have beauty and brains never met our baby girl. I may be bias, but her breeding and paperwork backs up my claims, she’s quite an extraordinary dog.

As well bred and gorgeous as she is, sadly, E is not immune to the teenage phase. Now that I’m back to work full-time, she is left home alone with my (well-behaved) black lab, Buford all day. As much as we don’t like being at work, hubby and I dread going home. Every day it’s something new, and always worse than the day before.

Destroyed items worth noting:
-my passport
-hubby’s beret (If you aren’t military, you may not know this, but they spend a LOT of time shaping those things, pretty important and big deal items)
-18 inches of the interior door frame in the kitchen
-many, many slippers, gloves, books, and other items she felt needed to be tasted

Those are just a few of the things from INSIDE. Outside, our lawn is littered with things we’ve never seen, but she somehow got a hold of, and proceeded to destroy. I wouldn’t be too concerned if it was potato chip bags, papers, or other miscellaneous bits of trash that sometimes blow from yard to yard. No, there are railroad ties (I’m not even sure WHERE the closest railroad is), large bones we never brought her, and gutters. The gutters are the weirdest part. They aren’t coming off of OUR house (believe, me, we’ve checked), and they’re huge strips, ranging from 2 feet to 6 feet… I don’t know what she does during the day to acquire this stuff, but somehow it ends up covered in teeth marks in our yard.

When she’s not disassembling houses for the gutters, or hanging out by the railroad chewing on ties, Erika turns her attention to the lawn. Our backyard looks like the surface of the moon, there are craters everywhere! The holes are unsightly and irritating, but when it rains they become even worse, holes become mud pits. Erika loves mud pits even more than she loves travel documents, exterior pieces of homes and Army uniform headwear all put together. I, however, do not love a muddy dog, because inevitably, I have just mopped the floor and put on dress clothes when she comes tearing in, dirties up my floor and leaves me with paw prints on my skirt. (Real quick: worse than a muddy dog, is a poopy dog.)

When hubby finally reached the breaking point and couldn’t deal with the holes anymore; we began to research ways to stop a digging dog. The first suggestion we tried was filling the holes with the dog’s poop. (This is how we ended up with a poopy dog). This solution was gross, and didn’t work. The other popular suggestion was to fill the hole, and just under the surface, lay chicken wire. When a dog digs into the wire, it hurts and they are deterred. Aha! So we went to Home Depot and bought 80lbs of dirt and a roll of chicken wire.

80lbs of dirt only filled in one crater, and Erika proceeded to dig around the chicken wire, then pulled it out and restored the hole to it’s former glory. Except now it’s even bigger because of the hole next to it. She did not, however, chew up the chicken wire.

Our latest strategy? If you can’t change your circumstance, change your attitude. We went to Wal-Mart and bought six rose bushes and took advantage of the evenly placed holes E dug us (Hubby only had to slightly move ONE hole!). We’re hoping the thorns will prevent her from pulling them up or digging around them.

Hopefully soon we’ll have flowers, but I’ve got a gut feeling we’ll end up seeing those holes again before long, have a dog with a bloody mouth and rose bushes chewed and scattered among the gutters…

1 comment:

  1. Ah, dogs. My Wilson loves to chew on his chew toys. He goes through them like nobody's business. He destroys them in record time. Missy likes to chew but only occasionally. We have to put her toys away or else Wilson will destroy those, too. He just loves to rip out the stuffing. He even destroyed a plastic bone. But thankfully, he knows what's a toy and what is not. Except for my underwear. I have to be careful not to drop them on the floor when I go to shower. He chews on them and rips them up. Gross.


Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like this, compulsive, need, to be liked. Like my need to be praised. - Michael Scott, "The Office"

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