The Secret Life of Dogs


I honestly don't venture out into my back yard very often. When I bought the house, I decided that the back yard was for the dogs. It's fenced and that should keep them safely contained.

That was before I brought in Zach, the Destroyer. Zach is my Golden Retriever. Zach has lots of energy. Zach eats everything. Zach likes to dig. Zach has completely destroyed my back yard.

For a while, Zach liked to dig under the fence to escape into my neighbor's yard, which is also fenced. I put some stones in the hole so he couldn't dig there anymore. He didn't. Instead, he moved three feet to the left and started digging there. Once he tasted the fresh air of freedom, Zach was no longer content to reside in my back yard while I left for work. If a root or something prevented him from digging deeper, he chewed off part of my wooden fence so he had room to slide under.

Eventually, I had to line that entire section of fence with chicken wire covered with stones to keep him from digging. It took a lot of trial and error, as Zach learned how to push the chicken wire aside and continue digging. My other two dogs weren't instigators like Zach, but they also liked the fresh air of freedom.

My neighbor didn't like it, though. Twice, he called Animal Control to come take my dogs away (although I wish he would've called me). Each time, Zach managed to elude capture. The fines for the other two dogs set me back $300. The county apparently thinks they could use this money. I would've rather put it into better repairs to keep my dogs from digging out. So I spent more money to make the repairs, and the dogs remained in my back yard for a month or so.

This morning, I'm working from home because I have a nasty sore throat that's part of a lovely cold. I put the dogs outside for a while. When I opened the back door to call them inside, no dogs. Eventually, I see Zach's nose. He's inching his way back from the other side of the fence. This isn't part of the fence where he previously had any interest in digging. Humphrey came inching along behind him, but Max did not.

I called. I yelled. I repeated his name many times. The furry little bugger didn't appear. After locking the other dogs inside, I got in my car to drive around the neighborhood in search of this wayward ball of fur. If he gets caught on a third strike, it'll be even more expensive. Of course, I don't see him anywhere. When I finally get home, he's in the front yard right by the garage door.

So, it's cold. I'm sick, and my dogs have a new escape path. The only thing for me to do is put down more chicken wire and top it off with some stones. This is exactly what I wanted to do while suffering from a lovely cold.

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