The first thing that needed to happen once I moved in was a fence. The road is quite close to the house and the speed limit is 80kph so it's almost highway speed - not that many people go 80, it's more like an average of 90 or 100 as far as I can tell. There is also a lot of heavy truck traffic in the form of dump trucks, graders, and tractor trailers which, travelling at 80kph and meeting with a Ridgeback or a Puli would result in instant tragedy. Fencing as soon as possible was a must but the soonest I could get it done was 2 weeks after I'd moved in because the fence had to be ordered - I didn't realize this before I moved in. I'm sure the neighbours all thought, and probably still think, I was the worst dog owner ever screaming at the dogs to come when I couldn't see them. I saw a quote one time about parenting advice to children and it stated "I yell because I am afraid" and that was never more relevant than walking the dogs and panicking at the thought of them near that road.
My ever helpful Dad came out one hot sunny day to help me fence once I had all the equipment. We couldn't do more than across the front, the dog yard and to the road because the foliage here is so substantial we will have to wait until Fall to be able to even walk into the eastern acre of the property. I haven't walked more than 20 feet in, it's just too dense. Still, there are another 3 acres to explore and the dogs can survey at least one of those acres from the deck.
I chose the hottest summer in probably decades to move and have to do a tonne of work, most of which is outdoors. I feel completely insane. After what looks to be several years of neglect to bushes, landscaping and various other small but time consuming chores, I am taking back parts of the wilderness a bit at a time. I feel completely insane. Oh wait, did I say that already? Lately I feel gripped with a desire to work work work and keep working until it's done. I have list after list of things to do and every single thing involves lifting, shifting, hefting, moving, slashing, carrying, transporting, throwing, hacking, cutting, smashing, removing, nailing, sawing, snipping, or pushing. Some of them my Daddy helped with, namely the fence and the deck.
The fencing process was not easy and although digging holes with the rented auger was a snap, pounding the poles in, back-filling the dirt, rolling out the wire, nailing it on ... nightmare. We sweat buckets and despite liberal applications of bug spray we got bitten and my Dad said his back easily had 70 or 80 bites. I owe him big time for his assistance - best retirement home I can afford ... I swear. The dog yard, looking at it from the western side of the property. Esme is at the gate which has yet to be built and the deck and ramp are in progress. So ... all in progress.
The space between the house and the shed is also a work in progress, it's been a few different configurations, right now it's a combination of fencing, expen and part of the ramp that was along the house. It has since been re-used for decking in the dog yard. That will be in a whole other blog.
The part that blocks the dogs from getting to the road was the one I was most concerned about. This is The Boy demonstrating the side of the fence he's supposed to be on. There should be rails along the top, and those are coming, but for now the most important thing was a barrier between them and the road.
This is the path that leads down to the woods on the western side of the property, it's right outside my back door and the dogs delight in racing down the hill to scare up critters unknown. I rolled that fence down there myself after my Dad left and let me tell you, page wire is *heavy*. I managed to get it all the way to the creek and now I'm just waiting for the undergrowth to die back so I can man-handle it a little more easily. The dogs respect the fence and have not tested it and my peace of mind has increased tenfold since right on the other side of that fence is a ditch full of years of garbage including broken glass, rusted cans, bicycles, and some sort of farming implement that has long since rusted away its identity ...
Although at this point the fence it may not look impressive, installing it was a lot of work and took the better part of a hot damn day but it was worth it for the safety of the dogs. The middle part of most of the posts still need additional staples, the gates aren't done (thank doG for expen panels) and there are a few other things that have yet to be completed. It will all have to wait until the middle of September because my parents leave for three weeks of dog shows and although there are several things I can do without my Dad's help, there are also several things I need to do that simply require two people. A thousand Thank You's to my Dad for his uncomplaining assistance in helping ensure the safety of the dogs. And to my mom, for loaning me her husband ... I know I need to find one just like my Dad, but a younger model.