We’ve had three warm and sunny days in a row. While it most assuredly feels like spring, the weatherman says to expect a couple more nights with freezing temps. So instead of pushing the “Go” button, here’s a bit about the challenges of gardening with dogs. First, a couple of introductions.
This is Loki. Back in spring 2012, I was reading local classifieds and found an ad for Vizsla-mix puppies. About two years before we had lost our old dogs to a variety of illnesses, one a Vizsla and the best, gentlest, smartest dog ever.
Once we met Loki, we had to adopt him. He was a gorgeous pup and so friendly. But we quickly learned he was stubborn, excitable, and well, to put it bluntly, just not the brightest bulb in the box.
Loki was so rambunctious, I thought it would be helpful for him to have a friend. Off we went to Kansas City’s Wayside Waifs – a wonderful place for rescue dogs and cats. There we found this dark beauty.
Juno is a black lab mix. Super smart, she knows she’s the boss of Loki and herds him around the yard. Together, they get into a lot of trouble; she instigates, he follows.
Both dogs are diggers. They especially love holes started by their humans (us). Making big holes out of little holes delights them both. They also believe they can go anywhere we go unless stopped by the invisible fence that borders three of our four acres.
For example, here’s our most recent grass germination attempt near the pad where we keep the generator. When Jim first put this together, he fenced it off with stakes and string, then put up the flags, hoping that would keep them out.
Soon we found stakes and string all over the yard and the not too surprising footprints of dog.
They love to cut across my front bed, knocking bricks off as they go.
Again, the suspicious paw prints in the newly scattered cotton burr mulch:
And I’m missing ALL the hellebores I planted last fall and three Purple Emperor Sedum plants. Bad dogs! The words they’re hearing most these days are “off!” and “stay out!”
But on the plus side, they “scent mark” my trees, including one where I planted tulip bulbs last fall. What self-respecting deer would deign to eat those stinky bulbs?
The challenge is to make them understand that even though we can dig holes and move plant material around, they can’t.
Sit! Stay! Good dog!