Monday, July 12, 2010

Screening in the deck

I've written about the trouble I have with my dog digging up the ground next to the house and I think this problem's finally solved. Not by preventing the dog from digging; you can't really do that, save by taking away the opportunity by not leaving her outside alone, which is absurdly impractical. Some breeds of dog just need to dig, and I don't mind Socks making my lawn a bit of a warzone, as long as she's not hurting the deck or house doing it.

In the backyard, I dug up a trench alongside the house, about six inches square. Into this I put a piece of wire meld fencing, curved with the convex side facing up. I then filled the trench back in. That way, if she digs there, she hits the fencing very soon, but she's unlikely to dig in such a way as to hit the edge of the fencing. Since I did that, she's almost completely given up digging there, and the few times she has, she stopped immediately. She digs other places now. Mission accomplished.

The front yard wasn't quite as simple. First, the edge of the house is under the deck in a spot where there's mere inches of clearance, so digging there is impractical. Second, I also want to keep her from digging around the posts that hold up the deck. There's a third factor: her getting under the deck inevitably leads to her tangling herself up in her line. Here's how I solved all of these considerations:

Actually, I hired a neighbor to do the actual work of affixing the lattice pieces. He dug out a trench at the bottom of each one and attached a bit of the wire fencing to that edge, to prevent her from digging her way under the lattice.

I ended the lattice before the end of the deck because that's beyond where she can reach on her line, and that leaves the part of the deck that's highest up still available to me to use as shelter for things like the lawnmower (I've had to do this with a tarp to make room in the garage temporarily before).

While we were at it, I also put on a much stronger hoop to affix her line to. She'd been able to either pull out the eyebolts I'd been sinking into the wood, or bend them up, and either way, get free. So now I have a solid welded zinc ring, about three inches across and quite thick, affixed to a base of zinc held in with four wood-screws. If she manages to pull this out somehow, next we're going to hook her up to an SUV and see if she can win a tug of war.

No comments: