Okay, so maybe a third of an acre isn’t really “lots of land” – but it’s huge to me and makes me happy. I don’t know about other areas of the country, but here in Western New York, most suburban lots are about one-eighth of an acre. Sure, it’s possible to buy houses on larger plots of land, but those are far out of my price range and often fairly far out of commuting range.
When looking for our new home, one of our “musts” was a fenced in yard for Puppy Cody to run in. Puppy Cody loves to chase bunnies and squirrels.
Um, gee, CM didn’t you realize when you looked at that house that there were no fences around it? Seems like that would have been pretty obvious.
Yes, we bought a house with no fences. I knew we would have to hire a contractor to install fences as soon as possible, and I also knew that we would have to walk Cody on leash until we could make that happen.
Puppy Cody does not like walking on leash. Even at 6:30 am, there are enough people out and about to make it embarrassing when Puppy Cody stops in mid-stride and causes me to trip over both her and the leash, or when Puppy Cody suddenly decides that roaring truck three blocks away is a threat that must be avoided at all costs and reverses course, dragging me into the middle of the street. Or, when Puppy Cody pulls so hard that both the no-pull harnass and the regular harnass disengage and wind up somewhere around her middle or tangled in her front legs.
After a month or so, Cody finally realized that Mom gets really pissed when any of the above happens, and being yanked back home by an angry Mom is not as much fun as one might think. Now, she goes out fairly easily in the morning, on leash, does her business and comes back in for breakfast. So much more pleasant.
However, there’s still the issue of Cody needing more exercise than she can get walking the block around our house. In the last neighborhood, we used to take her to the track at the elementary school and walk her for as long a she desired. Before moving to our new house, we weren’t sure if there were any green spaces within easy commuting distance to do that.
We shouldn’t have worried. Just one minute away is the local high school – and the campus is enormous! Unlike the elementary school in our old neighborhood, this school is dog-friendly. The only requirements are that pets must be on leash, and the owner must pick up and discard the pet’s “gifts.” The school even has strategically placed trash cans – no one wants to take those “gifts” back home if they don’t have to.
Of course, Cody also needs to run off-leash occasionally. When it’s too long between off-leash runs, Cody can become quite irritable in the evening. Trust me, a good-sized dog running full speed inside the house and bouncing off furniture is not as much fun as one might think.
Yes, there are dog parks in our area. But Puppy Cody tends to be skittish around other dogs (and their owners), and I worry about bigger dogs taking advantage of her nervousness. Sure, in time she would adjust, but I’m not willing to risk injury waiting for that time to arrive.
Fortunately, our youngest daughter bought a house just a few minutes away from our new house – and she has a fenced-in yard. She has been kind enough to allow us to take Puppy Cody over there on weekends and just let the dog run. Daughter even has frisbies! Win-win, and as they say: A tired puppy is a happy puppy!
Also fortunately, the fence contractor we signed on with way back when has finally scheduled us for the installation – next week! I can hardy wait.
May the bunnies and squirrels enjoy their last days of freedom in my back yard. Puppy Cody will be on duty.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom