Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Gated Community

Shawn and I are moving up in the world.  You must now enter through a gate to access our property.  You might think this is for added security, a sign of privilege, or pretentiousness...you would be wrong.  This new property feature is to contain our dogs.  Not horses, not cows, not even sheep...the dogs.

We have lived in this house for four and a half years and, for the most part, the dogs have always stayed in the yard by the house.   They have 14 acres to run on after all...why should they need to leave the property?

I guess the answer to that is because they are bored, want to play with the dog next door, and want to dig in my neighbor's trash.  Thankfully, my neighbors have never complained.  I only know my dogs dig in their trash because I find trash for foods we don't eat in our yard. 

Not wanting to cause any more neighborly problems, we decided we really needed to do something about the dogs leaving the yard.  We thought about an invisible fence, but Mason is pushing 200 lbs so we weren't sure that it would keep him in.  The problem with a "real" fence is it had to go across the driveway...and I'm pretty sure I'm not getting in and out of the car in the snow in my high heels to open and close a gate every day when I leave for work.  So the only answer to that was to have an automatic gate installed.  They have ones that run on solar power which are quite a bit cheaper than I imagined they would be.

We had also made the decision to move Mason outside as he was getting claustrophic when he was in with the other dogs (we know this because he was getting grumpy with the other dogs quite a bit).  He was also having issues with "accidents" in the house.  Just let me say, an accident in the house by a 180-200 lb English Mastiff is more than Shawn or I can deal with when it's happening once or twice a week...at least not and still keep our sanity.  So Mason now has his own personal stall out in the horse barn with a heated dog bed and heated water bucket all his own (automatic timed feeder on it's way). 

He doesn't seem to mind too much, although occasionally he stares at me through the back door and gives me his sad eyes.  He likes to wander around and do his own thing...I see his smile a lot more now.  He also has the added benefit of being the first one to the car when we bring leftover food home.  Case in point, he was on the receiving end of the rest of my chicken sandwich from Wendy's today as I got out of the Jeep...not his fault the other two dogs weren't around!

So I now have a garage-door-opener for my gate...but still no garage to park in.  Only a pole barn.  And if you are coming to visit, make sure you call ahead so I can open the gate - you know, because we are pretentious like that!

Such is life out here!

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