In hindsight, I realize that last night the boys – Mick Jagger the rock star, long-haired dachshund, and Little Richard, the neurotic terrier – were spending an inordinate amount of time in the back yard. But since the doggie door in the kitchen allows them to go out to the fenced in backyard whenever they choose, I really wasn’t paying much attention.
Docile and mesmerized by something inane on TV, at some point it finally dawned on me that they’d been outside for quite some time – and quiet. Usually, they are prowling from one end of the yard to the other, barking regularly to keep our home safe from squirrels and Toby, the cat next door.
I turned on the porch light, peeked around the door and spotted Richie near the gate leading to the side yard, at the far end of the garage. I didn’t see Mick, but since his coat is black, I thought he just might be blending into the shadows of a large bush in the corner. Rich came running to the steps as soon as he saw me, but after calling Mick several times, I became concerned when he didn’t appear.
Then suddenly, Mick came tearing through a gap in the fence from somewhere in the Great Beyond. I don’t know if he had been working on breaking out for a while, or if someone had interfered with my fence, but one of the plastic poles had broken away from the end of the gate and the chicken wire had been pushed aside to make a Micky-sized hole, perfect for escape.
You all KNOW how I feel about my boys, and especially Mick. I can admit he’s my favorite here because Rich can’t read and even if someone tries to tell him I’m partial to Mick, he won’t understand and/or won’t believe it, because I love them both more than is probably normal between pet owners and their animals, anyway.
So, in bathrobe and boots, in 20 degree weather, in the dark, I knew I had to do something to repair the fence and gate so my darling Mick could not escape again. Cute little soft, fluffy guy that he is, dachshunds are of the hound family and if he were to get loose and get wind of prey (even prey too large for him to realistically deal with), he’d be off like a shot, on the hunt. Coyotes have been spotted and heard just blocks away from me, and he wouldn’t stand a chance if he ran into one of those guys.
What to do? I looked around the yard and saw the two cheap aluminum lawn chairs I never got around to stowing in the garage last fall. They really belong to the dogs now, anyway, since they like to sit in them in the sun, if they’re not snow-covered. It occurred to me that I could wedge a chair into the gap and secure it with duct tape and, Bob’s your uncle, there it is:
For a small town, if not a city girl, I realize this is truly the quintessential redneck solution to emergency fence repair. That’s why I had to go outside to take a picture of this hot mess to share with you today.
I’m happy to report that the lawn chair/fence patch is keeping the boys safely inside the fence for now. I’m less happy to report that last night’s balmy temperature of 20 has dropped to just 11 degrees today, sunshine notwithstanding. I bundled up and went out with the intention of crafting a somewhat less ridiculous-looking repair job using chicken wire and zip ties to get us through until spring. But it’s so damned cold out there, all I could do is take the photo and run back inside.
Until the weather warms up a bit, I’m afraid the current fix will have to do. Let’s hope it keeps the little doggies in the back forty till then. Yee haw.